Madison Sweets

In a word: Sweet cuppin' cakes.

The specs: #00955   
511 State St., 53703
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Official web site, Facebook, Twitter

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JM ate the peanut butter cupcake.
Nichole ate the - can't even remember which cupcake.
The bill was $5, or $2.50/person, plus tip.
JM and Nichole gave Madison Sweets an A- (see our grading rubric).

Madison Sweets has been open for a few years on State Street. They sell various kinds of popcorn and caramel corn, chocolate truffles and other confections, and, of course, cupcakes. We've never tried the non-cupcake fare because the cupcakes themselves look like the best things in the store, and in most cases are pretty darn good.

In the cupcake firmament of this city, we'd place Madison Sweets up high. More modest than Gigi's sugar mountains, more subdued than Cupcakes-a-Go-Go's mod podges, yet more decadent than Bloom's comfy treats, Madison Sweet's cupcakes are comparable to Daisy's in flavor range, price, and presentation. There are often many chocolate choices (a huge plus in our book - save the fruit flavors for pie, cake is best with earthier tastes that go with nuts, caramel and salt, and many of Madison Sweet's best work on those lines). Many cupcakes have a core of cookie dough or a whipped filling that complements the cake and frosting. Some can get messy, though three or four bites is as big as they get so it's not too bad.

Here's the thing, though: don't try to bring them home on a bike.

Cupcakes

Madison Labor Temple Bar

In a word: When your local is Local 139.

The specs: #00954   
1602 S Park St #106, 53715
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JM ate the fish sandwich.
Nichole ate the cheeseburger.
We split an order of onion rings. The bill was $15, or $7.50/person, plus tip.
JM and Nichole both gave the Madison Labor Temple bar a C (see our grading rubric).

There's a little bar and grill inside the Madison Labor Temple that is open after work. We were there on Euchre night and the tables along the windows were filled with foursomes trading bowers [sic] and calling trump.

Burger and pickles

Nichole got a Knoche's cheeseburger, which was pretty good. JM's fish sandwich was basically two fish sticks with some tartar sauce served on a bun. It was fine, too. The onion rings ended up being divisive. Nichole was in favor of this thin, crispy execution, whereas JM thought they were short on onion.

Fish sandwich and onion rings

Many small-town Wisconsin bars, and even Bennett's, project a certain right-wing air. The Labor Temple is going for the opposite, but if the posters on the wall were removed, the differences would be hard to spot. It's a comfortable place for a square meal.

NEWS

Madison Food coverOur book Madison Food: A History of Capital Cuisine is out. Updates here.

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