J&M Bar

J&M BarIn a word: Worthy of a Belle-hop.

The specs: #00918   
127 W. Main St., Belleville, 53508
Details at Yelp, J & M Bar on Urbanspoon

Latest J&M Bar news and reviews at del.icio.us

JM ate the chicken sandwich with a lemonade.
Nichole ate the bacon burger with a cranberry juice.
We split some curly fries and a basket of complementary pretzel sticks.
The bill was about $20, or $10/person, plus tip.
JM and Nichole gave J&M Bar a B+ (see our grading rubric).

Belleville is a lovely spot to bike to. The Badger State Trail is a good place to hit on a summer's day, the terrain is mostly flat, and it passes through town near the main drag.  We'd probably stop in Belleville more often, but we hadn't yet found a good place to eat (though Borland's has a decent fish fry; the convenience store on the north side of town, while nice, is not worthy of a bike ride). J&M seems to fill the bill nicely.

The first thing that J&M has going for it are nice people. Really nice. They offered us free pretzel sticks with a good mustard. And while the service was laid back and not rushed, every single staff person in the place (about 6) stopped at our table to see if we needed anything. 

Curly fries and mustard

Chicken sandwichJM's chicken sandwich was pretty standard but even in that there is a great deal of comfort. The bun was toasted, but ample sauce was to hand so that the moistness of the dish was not threatened.  Each bite was good, meaning that the fry medium was definitely top notch.

Curly fries = standard.

Burger

Nichole got a burger, so let's see how it does on Accidental Hedonist's burger rubric:

  • Bun: untoasted white sesame bakery roll. Airy but with structural integrity.
  • Meat: thick patty, juicy.
  • Bun/meat ratio: good.
  • Cheese: Skipped this time. Bacon was crispy.
  • Misc.: The home-grown (by the owners) tomato slice on this burger made the sandwich - it was more like a BLT plus beef. A 9.5 of 10, with the acknowledgement that it's dependent on tomato season.

The best part of the burger, and J&M itself, was that it was so unassuming. J&M will never make the paper for growing their own tomato, or put up a billboard touting their farm freshness. Ever since we finished the List and started the Wheel, we've been making the rounds of lots of corner taverns. These kinds of family-run places can be hit or miss in the wild, but once in a while there's a place like J&M, so genuine that we'll gladly add it to the "try again" list.

Bike the Barns 2014

Bike the Barns, the annual fundraising ride for FairShare CSA Coalition, happened yesterday. It was fantastic! We highly recommend it to anyone who rides bikes, likes fun, or eats food.

The farm tours were interesting, restful & hospitable. Here are some onions in Luna Circle's hoop house.

Onions in hoop house

Lunch and snacks were amazing. Here, brat burger and sides from Food Fight; at other stops, scones from 4&20, Sassy Cow milk, cookies from Graze, Madison Sourdough Co. granola bars, apples, and at the end kabobs or La Fortuna pizza.

Burger

At the end, music, massages and cool green grass to lie in.

Sky after Bike the Barns

Thank you pledgers, congratulations FairShare on another great year (holy cow, John and friends! Awesome job!), and ride on.

Itzza Pizza

In a word: Itzza bitzza uzzual.

The specs: #00917   
2825 University Ave., 53705
Details at Yelp, Itzza Pizza on Urbanspoon
Official web site, Facebook

Latest Itzza Pizza news and reviews at del.icio.us

JM and Nichole ate the deep dish pizza with Canadian bacon and pineapple on the whole thing and giardiniera on half and a three-piece hot & tangy chicken tenders.
The bill was about $25 plus tip.
JM gave Itzza Pizza a B; Nichole gave Itzza Pizza a B+ (see our grading rubric).

Itzza Pizza has some mighty big shoes to fill.  It has gone in where the old Gumby's on University was and it actually might succeed about as well.

To start with, the space on Uni has always been hard to find and small, so Itzza starts out with about the best thing about the place: its ordering process.  This is the first place we've really appreciated the online ordering more than the brick-and-mortar experience. You get to play with a pizza, topping it how you want and laying out what should go on half or a quarter of the pizza. If you are only ever ordering for parties, this is unnecessary, but for families, couples and small groups, it's salvation.

The pizza itself was quite good. It had a great romano cheese crust that was salty & not burned, but crunchy on the bottom. Pizzas of this variety tend to get soggy in the middle -- and this one didn't, quite as much, and the toppings had the right feel on the tooth.

Itzza Pizza

The chicken wings were hot and spicy in a good way and dried out in bad way, which dinged JM's grade. Based on the pizza, he'd agreed with Nichole that Itzza was a B+, but the wings were a minus. 

We would think of Itzza Pizza for pizza delivery sometime again, just to change it up.


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