In a word: Salty treat.

The specs: #01036   
444 S. Park St., 53715
Details at Yelp, official web site, Facebook, Twitter

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JM ate the chicken sandwich with a Sprecher root beer.
Katie ate the grown up grilled cheese.
Nichole ate the wild rice burger with tea.
The bill was $25, or $8ish/person (thanks to Bucky Book), not including tip.
JM gave Rockhound a B; Katie and Nichole gave Rockhound a B+ (see our grading rubric).

Rockhound is one of the latest to jump into the make your own beer game.  The lines come from the vats straight into the taps, for truly fresh beer, if that's your jam.  The small menu trends toward the salty to keep you thirsty.

Grilled cheese

Speaking of jam, Katie's "grown-up" grilled cheese had tomato jam that was indeed jammin'.  Its blend with the goat cheese atop a buttery white bread lent it an awesome flavor and texture combo. Similarly, Nichole's wild rice burger was a garlicky, salty, and rich affair that held together pretty well.

Wild rice burger

Sadly, JM's chicken sandwich was ordered after the kitchen had run out of coleslaw for the night and so his chix sand was a little plain and dry.

BBQ chicken sandwich

(JM was back at Rockhound within a week for one reason and another. Someone he was with ordered the chicken and found the slaw corrected for this problem, but they served the inferior model to JM again. Boo. Fortunately, they had a Sprecher root beer for him to drink, which he always enjoys.)

The stars of the A to Z meal, though, were the fries.  They all came out perfectly done and with large flecks of salt like untwisted pretzels.  Sure, you'll order more drinks, but you'll also get to eat delicious salt.  The sweet potato versions were similarly prepared and similarly good.

Rockhound's menu doesn't stretch as far as, say, Vintage's, so it hard to imagine coming here if we aren't in the area (which we often are, see JM's anecdote above). But Happy Hour seems more like this place's forte -- and JM can confirm that on his subsequent visit, the mac and cheese side was quite good.


Rock'n Rollz

PicksIn a word: "Hello, McFarland!"

The specs: #01035  
5208 Farwell St., McFarland 53558
Details at Yelp, official web site, Facebook

Latest Rock'n Rollz news and reviews

JM ate the 7" BBQ chicken pizza.
Nichole ate the #13, chicken salad on a garlic herb wrap.
The bill was $14, or $7/person, plus tip.
JM and Nichole both gave Rock 'n Rollz a B (see our grading rubric).

We visited Rock'n Rollz on one of those interminably snowy December nights. As a result, the custom here was pretty low.  We saw a couple of take-out orders come and go, but otherwise we were eating alone with Freddie Mercury, Brian May, John Deacon and Roger Taylor in a concert video of them in all their 70s glory. See, Rock'n Rollz is a theme restaurant and theme is rock and roll. Several guitars are showcased, each signed and displayed with paraphernalia from rock and roll boot camps.


Rock'n Rollz is an order-at-the counter place. We searched the menu for a signature item, but nothing jumped out at us. JM got a pizza and Nichole opted for a chicken salad wrap. These were squarely in the "you can get it better elsewhere, but McFarland's is close for someone" camp. Each of the items was above average, but not enough above average to make it a place we'd seek out. (And this is recalling that JM is about as committed to popular music knowledge as he is to eating alphabetically. Seriously, try him sometime; he named the four members of Queen in the first paragraph without having to look it up.)


But the rock theme isn't present in the food. There's no cutesy rock/pop star names for the dishes, and a slightly better-than-average BBQ chicken pizza isn't gonna top the Roman Candle or Glass Nickel version we can order at home.

That said, if you are looking for a place in McFarland that is very clean (super sharp on the night we went) or you are looking for about the most darling Christmas tree during the holiday season, well, you can do a lot worse than Rock'n Rollz.


Madison Food coverOur book Madison Food: A History of Capital Cuisine is out. More about it here. Read an excerpt on Carson Gulley and some bonus bits on Porchlight, Argus, Sunshine Supper, and Babcock.


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