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  • Kickers

    May 21st, 2017

    20170513_122816I was expecting greater things from Kickers in Wisconsin Dells, given that its sister restaurants, Moose Jaw and Buffalo Phil’s, are well-established. But Kickers is a restaurant that needs focus. It tries to appease sports fans, groups and families, all with a fairly average menu.

    For example, I wouldn’t watch a game here. There aren’t that many TVs, and some of the vantage points would force you to be sitting among the other diners, which means half your table couldn’t see the TV.

    The menu has the expected burgers, sandwiches, pizzas and entrees. The pricey Buffalo chicken wrap ($12.99) is fairly standard, except it came in a better-than-expected wheat tortilla. You’ll find lots of lettuce inside, but fortunately not so much that it drowned out the chicken.

    The only soup on the menu is chicken dumpling ($4.59). In it were giant chunks of chicken that needed to be broken up, and I think I only got three pieces of dumpling.

    20170513_122925One unique item on the menu was the Elvis burger ($14.99), and I liked its components. The peanut butter was creamy, but there was only a small smear of it. The bananas added a complementary sweet flavor and soft texture to the crispy bacon.

    I checked out the weekend-only buffet ($10.99), but it didn’t appeal to me. It was mostly pizza, with broasted chicken, mac & cheese and some unappetizing pasta, among the dishes.

    I do want to mention a service issue. We had a waitress who was very slow, forgetful and seemingly disheveled. It took her nearly 10 min. to make her first visit to our table, she gave our table only one straw instead of four, she left the soup sitting on the counter for almost 20 min. (so it was luke warm) and she didn’t bother to get our food for 45 min. Fortunately, a manager soon learned of our troubles, and he gave us a 20 percent discount.

    Still, I don’t plan on making a return, and with so many better restaurants in the area, you should go somewhere else, too.

    Kickers is open every day for lunch and dinner.

    Kickers Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

    Food carts: Slide, Leia’s Lunchbox

    May 14th, 2017

    20170510_114742Slide has really mastered the slider sandwich. You can get one for $4.50, two for $8 and three for $11, and they come with one side and a few housemade potato chips. Regarding those chips, they are quite enjoyable, having a light fried flavor. You can even buy them in stores such as Metcalfe’s.

    You have your choice of meat sliders and veggie sliders. My favorite was the Power Ball, which is a giant meatball stuffed with mozzarella and topped with a slightly spicy marinara sauce. The meatball itself is tender with the right amount of pork flavor.

    Want a tasty shredded Italian beef sandwich? Get the How do You Say the Name of that Pepper? sandwich. It is loaded with juicy beef and comes with provolone cheese and soft pepperoncini peppers.

    Slide also has daily specials. The key component of Dina’s Texas–a succulent BBQ beef sandwich with a slice of cheddar cheese–was the crunchy fried onions, which added another layer of taste and texture.

    My only disappointment was with the Buff Chick because the shredded chicken was a bit tough, and the carrots and celery seemed out of place.

    ***

    20170322_121711If you want unhealthy but tasty, go to Leia’s Lunchbox.

    Start with the Wisconsin poutine ($9 small, $16 medium, $23 large). This version is topped with nacho cheese instead of gravy, the cheese curds are deep fried (though the insides weren’t melty) and bacon bits are sprinkled on top. By the way, the small size is enough to feed two people–I can’t imagine what the large size looks like.

    Sadly, I think the name of the Frat Boy burger ($8 single, $12 double) is derived from the homemade ranch sauce that’s generously applied (don’t think about it too much). That sauce is not as thick and is more mild in flavor than a typical ranch sauce. The rest of the burger has lettuce, tomato and crispy bacon, and overall I thought it was a satisfying sandwich.

    Other specialty burgers include the Buckin’ Rodeo ($8, $12), which comes with bacon, a fried onion ring, cheese and BBQ sauce, and the Trippin’ Swiss ($7, $11), which comes with mushrooms, swiss cheese, lettuce, tomato and red onion.

    Madison-area community festivals 2017

    May 7th, 2017

    Time again for my annual round-up of Madison-area community festivals, which begin next weekend. I can’t wait for the beer tents and live music!

    Events Dates Of note
    Syttende Mai (Stoughton) May 19-21 (This event is a week later than normal.) Is a marathon just a bit too long for you? Try the annual 20-mile run from downtown Madison to Stoughton. Also check out the strongman competition called the “Viking Games.”
    Fitchburg Days May 19-21 Fitchburg Days allows us to celebrate our Irish heritage in Fitchburg. That means annual performances by both Pat McCurdy and The Kissers.
    Verona Hometown Days June 1-4 Hometown Days always books great bands, and this year in no exception with local favorites 5th Gear and Cherry Pie. The big parade takes place on Sunday.
    Fireman’s Festival (Cottage Grove) June 15-18 This festival has a little bit of everything, from a craft fair to the Smokin’ Hot BBQ contest to a horse pull. Big coup to land Madison County as a headliner.
    Oregon Summer Fest June 22-25 See cars from all decades in the annual car show, and enjoy ribs and BBQ chicken at the Oregon-Brooklyn Lions Club “Thrilla on the Grilla.”
    Cross Plains Worlds Fair TBD 2016 was likely the last year of this two-day event. No announcements have been made yet about this year’s version.
    Monona Community Festival July 3-4 I’ve always enjoyed the hole-in-one challenge, which seems to be won with some frequency. And believe it or not, the festival hosts the annual Wisconsin Wife Carry Championship.
    DeForest Area 4th of July Celebration July 3-4 Definitely the worst website of all the communities. Features a well-attended parade. Lots of free events, including a Kings of Radio concert and pony rides.
    Waunafest July 27-30 Waunakee has such strong community spirit, which is why this event has the largest attendance … and also the largest beer tent. Be warned that parking can be difficult.
    Sweet Corn Festival (Sun Prairie) Aug. 17-20 As the name implies, you can’t attend this event without eating some of the 75 tons of sweet corn. Since the event is at Angell Park, there will be midget car racing and a tractor pull.
    Middleton Good Neighbor Festival Aug. 25-27 Here we are at the end of the summer festival schedule. Check out the huge craft fair and the parade on University Avenue. Still WAY TOO FEW porta-potties by the beer tent.

    Note: I didn’t include the McFarland Family Festival since it takes place in the fall.

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