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The Old Fashioned

The Old FashionedThe Old Fashioned

Taps: 52 / Bottles: 105
Cask: N / Beer-to-Go: N
BA SCORE
91
outstanding

29 Ratings
Ratings: 29
Reviews: 24
rAvg: 4.11
pDev: 10.71%
$$ - reasonable


[ Bar, Eatery ]

23 N Pinckney St
Ste 1
Madison, Wisconsin, 53703-4207
United States
phone: (608) 310-4545

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap 

Notes:
None, yet.

(Place added by: DaPeculierDane on 01-17-2006)
Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 29 | Reviews: 24 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of BoitSansSoif
BoitSansSoif

France

4/5  rDev -2.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$

Took my mom here last year for her birthday. A decent selection of local brews on tap. The place had a considerable dinner crowd, and we were seated by the door, so it was pretty cold with all the coming and going. The waitstaff was attentive and polite, and we ordered a sample plate that had the type of crazy sampler stuff that I like. I also remember ordering some smoked fish, and a sandwich, both of which were quite tasty. The atmosphere and dim but ample lighting was pleasant, the prices not low, but reasonable considering the food was of a higher caliber than your average joint, and the overall selection was ample, and up anyone's alley. I intended to come back again soon, but have not. I should.

Edited Sept 09: Went back here numerous times this year. Food keeps getting better, service was good, and I joined the passport dealy where you check off the 300 beers one by one from Wisconsin. I had this beer cheddar soup that was absolutely awesome, but a little heavy to the point that I wasn't that hungry anymore afterward.

04-21-2008 13:17:03 | More by BoitSansSoif
Photo of Atron67
Atron67

Wisconsin

4.05/5  rDev -1.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5 | $$

A- I really like this place as well the atmosphere is nice, however it gets crowded quickly and I am not a fan of crowds

Q- they do a great selection of traditional foods and food that you wouldn't quite expect to be on a menu. They have a great selection of wisconsin craft beers

S- their service is pretty quick and solid, I havent had any problems with the place in the couple times that I have gone, the food arrives quick and is really good

S- their wisconsin beer selection is great, lots of bottles, and most of the taps are good choices as well

F- their food is great, big fan of the cheese curds and the Green Bay chili, ale and cheddar soup, the burger, and the fish fry on fridays

Can get a bit pricey depending on the dinner selection, but the beer is around 3-4 depending on the beer, unless you get a Blatz

12-02-2007 03:11:19 | More by Atron67
Photo of DaPeculierDane
DaPeculierDane

Wisconsin

4/5  rDev -2.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$

Old Review from late 2005 or early 2006

First the good points… The place looks sharp. Forest-green, antiqueish tin lines the ceiling. The walls are a combination of antique light brick and antiqued plaster. The bar holds about twenty stools and three or four large round booths line the opposite wall. The front restaurant area is comprised of several inauspicious small tables that are just a bit too close together so that things get a little tight when it’s busy…and it’s always busy.

When the Old Fashioned opened it quickly became a favorite spot for my co-workers because of their above-par cocktail list and close proximity to our workplace. My interest was more beer oriented.

The Old Fashioned offers about 15 beers on tap and 30 in the bottle. Almost all of them are from Wisconsin. Breweries represented at the OF include New Glarus (even one unplugged offering), Falls, South Shore, Slab City, Viking, Sprecher, Lake Louie, Huber, and a whole host of others.

The food at the old fashioned is pricy and hit or miss. I recommend the Lazy Susan snack plate featuring Wisconsin meats and cheeses as well as pickeled eggs and other nasty Wisconsin traditional cuisine. The cheese curds are decent too and come less battered and more fluffy than one will find at other establishments. Typical pub fare is well balanced with pastas and other creative offerings although I haven’t heard anybody rave about anything in particular yet.

Now…here comes the big problem.

The Old Fashioned, despite being named after the state drink, is not a bar and does not like drinkers. To make matters worse, their staff is incredibly rude in the way they go about conveying this feeling.

If you go to the Old Fashioned, plan on eating a full meal or they won’t let you have a table. Even then, don’t plan on sitting around and enjoying a pint after you finish your burger. The staff will start pushing you out the door halfway into your first French fry and they don’t have any hesitation about being overly affront about it. In my experience, this is less of a problem after around 10 pm or so but even then they can be rude if it’s at all busy.

Overall, I like most of what’s going on at the Old Fashioned but the way that they treated my friends and I the last time we were there is unforgivable.

Re-review 04-20-07

Boy has my opinion of this place changed.

Service is now top notch. The unforgiven is forgiven and I’ve become enough of a regular that they clap when my friends and I come in and usually offer a round on the house. The selection has improved and always included New Glarus Unplugged, Bourbon barrel offerings from places like Central Waters, and loads of big Wisconsin IPAs, Barleywines, etc… Old Fashioned also offers mead from Aeppel Troew at a great price. Old Fashioned has the best selection of Wisconsin Craft Brews in Madison, period.

I’ve eaten almost everything on the menu and like just about all of it, especially the roast tenderloin sandwich, the pork shoulder, the hot dog, the chili, well…all of it.

I’ve found the key to service and atmosphere to be going at an off hour. Go to lunch after 1:30 or hit this place on an afternoon for early beers. It really helps when it’s not busy. The owner is just a wonderful person to talk to and really enjoys good crafts as well as a cold PBR or Old Milwaukee.

I’m increasing my service rating form a 1 to a 4, food from 3 to 4, and both selection and quality from 3.5 to 4.

04-20-2007 16:15:41 | More by DaPeculierDane
Photo of dirtylou
dirtylou

Washington

4.55/5  rDev +10.7%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5 | $

update 6.3.09

The beer selection at this joint has elevated from impressive to other-worldly. Don't come here for the latest Bells release. Dont come here for the most recent belgian fad. Madison has TONS of great bars to satisfy those needs. This place currently has 29 taps and 151 bottles. 3 of those are from outside the state lines and their presence is almost as a joke.

29 taps range from blatz/schlitz/pbr at dirt prices to NG imperial saison, tyranena scurvy, cw imperial stout, lake louie kiss the lips at also insanely low prices (most expensive pint was 4 freaking dollars). The fact that you can get the latest hype from great places like red eye, titletown, o'so and many other Wisco breweries with very limited distribution is extremely impressive.

If you are visiting from out of state, you would be a god-damned fool not to stop here.

---

I dont want this place to get too bad a rap, because I really like it and have never had a bad experience

The Old Fashioned is located on the capital square and has views of the capital building from inside. There is minimal outdoor seating that is greatly overshadowed by the outdoor seating next door at Harvest. The indoor atmosphere is pretty sweet. Its a traditional wisconsin design filled with really interesting old beer signs from all the traditional Wisco Macros. Theres a fair amount of tables and a bar with 10-15 bar stools at least I would say. There are a couple of nice flat panel tv screens as well.

The beer selection is very interesting. It's all wisconsin. The menu does feature two "imports", budweiser and bud light. I find that hilarious! The tap list is not terribly interesting as it features a lot of local lagers...breweries included are New Glarus, Fauerbach, Harbor City, Hausmann, Capital, and South Shore along with a handful of wisco macros. The best tap beer is Sand Creek Wild Ride IPA which is very quality. Bottles expand on the wisconsin breweries and include some of the more interesting New Glarus beers from Belgian Red to an Unplugged. Obviously, with a name like the old fashioned, they make a mean old fashioned. I enjoy the makers mark version.

Service is hit or miss for the most part but we had a phenomenal waiter the last time I was in.

The food is great...mostly traditional wisco fare with local ingredients when possible. I had a great portabella/eggplant sandwich when i was there last. I will also vouch for their walleye fish fry and wonderful chicken sandwich. Good quality bread makes a good sandwich. The house burger features a fried egg which I enjoyed as well

08-27-2006 00:38:50 | More by dirtylou
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The Old Fashioned in Madison, WI
91 out of 100 based on 29 ratings.