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Short Stack Eats, Madison WI

Wisconsin-palooza Day 3 was going to be a pretty slow day overall, since the only thing on our schedule was the Shania Twain concert that night. Saturday was such a gorgeous day that our plan was to do something fun outside on Sunday. We had discussed hanging out by the lake, or even renting a Pedibus beer bike. But when we woke up it was overcast, breezy, and not that nice. So we ended up watching NFL games most of the afternoon.

One of Kerrie’s friends had recommended Mickie’s Dairy Bar for breakfast, but it was a little farther than we wanted to walk. We looked for something closer, and came across Bassett Street Brunch Club and Short Stack Eats. When I had been out walking earlier in the morning there was hardly any line at Short Stack. But that was also at about 8:30AM. By the time we got back after 11AM, the line was out the door. Kerrie stayed there to keep our place in line, and Dereck and I walked to Basset Street to evaluate their situation. The wait there was 90 minutes. No chance, so back to Short Stack we went.

The restaurant is in the heart of downtown Madison, only about a 5 minute walk from our hotel. They make all their dishes from scratch, and use locally sourced ingredients. I love restaurants like that. It’s not huge, seating maybe 75. There’s an open kitchen at the back, and a combination of booth and table seating. The decor is also very cool and unique, and I really like that they use the pillars and wall space for chalkboards.

Short Stack Eats, Madison WI - Karyl's Kulinary KrusadeShort Stack Eats, Madison WI - Karyl's Kulinary Krusade


The whole ordering and seating process was very interesting. You stand in line to order at the register. I was the first in our group to order, and saw a family that had just moved from a table so I sat down. A minute later an employee came over and told me that we had to wait for tables. I know restaurants where you order at the counter ask that you don’t sit down until after you’ve ordered, so I showed her my order number. She then explained that you have to still have wait to be seated. I apologized, and told her it was our first visit so we had no idea. The whole thing is kind of weird if you ask me. Thankfully another table opened up just a couple minutes later and we were seated there. I apologized again, because I really didn’t want her thinking I was “that person”.

The water and condiments are self serve, in an area over by the kitchen. We had no clue, and had to figure it out on our own. I think they should tell you when you order, or have it posted somewhere. In a college town, you’re going to have a lot of people who are there for the first time and don’t know the rules.

If you want a cocktail, you order that separately too

Short Stack Eats, Madison WI - Karyl's Kulinary Krusade

I had ordered a milkshake, mainly because they used local milk. I went safe, getting the vanilla shake

It was nice and thick and rich, but the flavor was a little plain. Then again, it was just a vanilla shake so I guess that’s normal. It just didn’t wow me. And since I got a small, I didn’t get it in the cool mason jar. Oh well.

Short Stack Eats, Madison WI - Karyl's Kulinary Krusade

Even though the restaurant was packed, they were turning over tables pretty regularly. We did have to wait about 35 minutes for our food, but it didn’t seem like forever. And since it was Sunday morning after a home game, and parents’ weekend to boot, it could have been a lot worse.

Kerrie got a Bloody Mary.

Short Stack Eats, Madison WI - Karyl's Kulinary Krusade

Fresh pureed carrots, cucumbers, celery, shallots, garlic, beets, dill, red peppers, jalapenos, serranos, habaneros, and tomatoes

Wow, there was a lot going on in that glass! It almost looks like a milkshake. They pretty much include every vegetable they can in there. Kerrie said they use crushed ice, so that just adds to the thickness and texture…cubed ice would be a lot better. She said it had good flavor, but was way too thick and she wouldn’t get it again.

The menu isn’t huge, but they’ve got a little bit of everything. One very unique option is the “blind special”. It changes weekly, and if you just order without asking what’s in it, you get it for half price. None of us were quite that adventurous though.

Reg went the healthiest of all of us, getting the scramble with spinach, cheese and tomatoes, with wheat toast

Short Stack Eats, Madison WI - Karyl's Kulinary Krusade

Dereck got the Trio with scrambled eggs, breakfast potatoes, and chocolate chip pancakes

Short Stack Eats, Madison WI - Karyl's Kulinary Krusade

Kerrie got the Trio with bacon, eggs, and buttermilk pancakes

Short Stack Eats, Madison WI - Karyl's Kulinary Krusade

I went with the Trio with over medium eggs, bacon, and chocolate chip pancakes

Short Stack Eats, Madison WI - Karyl's Kulinary Krusade

The eggs were good, and cooked perfectly medium. The bacon was cooked a little more than I would like, but it was still good. Normally I would get toast as well to eat with the eggs, but since I had pancakes I didn’t want the extra carbs.

Short Stack Eats, Madison WI - Karyl's Kulinary Krusade

I don’t normally eat pancakes, but how could I pass them up at a place called Short Stack?! Speaking of that, I love that for each type of pancake you can get either a short or a regular stack. All 3 of us went with the short stack. The pancakes were really delicious and fluffy. A reviewer said he had no chocolate chips inside his pancakes. He must have gotten a bum batch, because mine had chips throughout. They skimped on the syrup, but when Kerrie went back to the self-serve counter to get more water she brought back a syrup bottle. So now the small amount of syrup to start with makes sense. The only way to improve the pancakes is if the syrup was served warm.

Will I go back? Yes! As we were waiting for our food we were looking around at other tables and saw some really good looking dishes. I still won’t be adventurous enough to try the blind special though.

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Karyl Henry

Saturday 10th of October 2015

you definitely should! Big thumbs up on all the food...including the dishes we saw other people getting :)

Friday 9th of October 2015

I haven't been there, but it is not far so I will have to try it out!

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