Sweet Home Wisconsin

Nostalgic Wisconsin Comfort Food with a Chicago Twist
by Robin Gray
January 2019

Sweet Home Wisconsin is just off the corner of Regent St. and Park St.

Sweet Home Wisconsin is just off the corner of Regent St. and Park St.

Sweet Home Wisconsin is located in a small storefront at 910 Regent Street. It opened in the spring of 2018 and is slowing building a name for itself. Several times it was recommended to me and each of these times the recommender could not recall the name. “Good grub” said one. “Fun place to watch a baseball game” said another. When I was lamenting the lack of dog friendly spaces in Madison another said “there is a cool outdoor patio behind a bar on Regent that had a bunch of dogs there.” So, I went off to find this fun place to watch a game, grab good grub and hopefully pet a dog. Turned out they were all talking about Sweet Home Wisconsin. They boast a double tagline of a “craft casual public house” and “nostalgic Wisconsin comfort food with a Chicago twist” and are open for lunch and dinner seven days a week. The atmosphere is welcoming. We were recently greeted outside with a sandwich board letting us know that it was “Phish Fry-Day” inside. The sidewalk facing windows were lined with assorted potted plants that were labeled with names. The staff, including the bartender, server, and cook were all friendly and attentive. There were a number of tvs (all on and tuned to sports) and music was playing. Most menu items were musically themed and named. I decided to go with the Phish Fry Sandwich. It is on the regular menu but is offered at a reduced price as a daily special on Fridays. The fried cod came on a sweet brioche bun (made locally at Madison Sourdough), and it was a standout fish sandwich thanks in part to red wine pickled cucumbers and a lemony tartar sauce. The sides of pub potato chips and slaw also helped the cause. They have specials daily and another one to note is “Nothing to Whine about Wednesday” that includes ½ priced bottles of wine and $1 off a glass of wine. The cheese curds were white cheddar Wisconsin curds very well done with a light batter and a spicy srirracha dipping sauce. I always enjoy a place that offers a sauce selection and Sweet Home Wisconsin satisfied me well in this arena with no less than a dozen sauces to choose from to add to sandwiches, burgers, and for dipping. A dining companion had one of a variety of burger choices that included delicious whiskey braised onions that I compulsively kept stealing from his plate. They will swap in a black bean vegetarian option to replace any burger choice, lettuce wrap to replace bread for gluten avoiders, or grilled chicken can be substituted for the any beef patty. I also sampled the Italian Beef sandwich that was served with a side of “gravy”. The beef was tender and juicy and the giardiniera peppers added a nice spicy kick without being over powering. The ciabatta roll did a fine job of containing the juicy contents of the sandwich. They source most meats from Knoches butcher shop and the Bavaria Sausage House. In addition to the food they have a plenty of cocktail, wine and beer selections. I had a Bloody Mary that was well spiced and accompanied by a light beer and a “side car of garnishes” which translated to a mason jar filled with delicious pickled veggies. The beer garden was not open when I was there but pictures on their website and the possibility of dogs will undoubtedly lure me back when the weather permits and game days return. In the meantime, I’ll just enjoy the food and drink.

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