The Rigby Pub and Grill

Foodie Review
by Robin Gray
January 2020

The Rigby Pub & Grill

The Rigby Pub & Grill

We ended up at the Rigby Pub & Grill the after we tried several other places that were all jam packed with long wait times on a Friday night in downtown Madison. I was with out of town guests and a bar was not where I had hoped to take them to dinner. Our hungry group stumbled into the Rigby feeling disappointed. But that feeling did not last long. Right away the bartender helped to lighten the mood as he was super friendly and the vibe at the Rigby was uplifting.

There is something to look at everywhere you turn and we enjoyed the rock and roll album covers that covered the walls.

We learned from the bartender that they have house made infused liquor and I had a very tasty whiskey sour that used infused whiskey with honey for sweet tones and hot pepper for a spicy kick. When asked what other flavors they had, the list went on and on. The Rigby also has more than a dozen taps with rotating selections. Everyone in our party was raving about their drinks.

We quickly ordered appetizers and they came out fast, fresh and hot. The jumbo pretzel was tasty. It was nicely crusty on the outside and soft and doughy on the inside. It was served with both beer cheese and mustard. I also enjoyed the loaded tots which were “loaded” with moist pulled pork, cheese, and sour cream. A perfectly heavy dish for a hungry crowd. The fried pickles were also well done and served with a spicy dipping sauce.

For dinner, several of us ordered the Rigby Burger and all of us were glad we did. I would definitely include the Rigby if someone asked “where can I grab a great burger.” It was thick and juicy, had a house sauce and included a huge crispy onion ring. Mine was perfectly cooked to my liking. The menu has a number of other classic sandwich choices, such as grilled cheese and Reuben, and most are made with a unique flair of a special sauce or ingredient. Most days they have some specials and since it was Friday, one of them was a Fried Fish Dinner. It was well enjoyed by a northern Wisconsin Fish Fry snob.

We stayed for the comedy show that night and I returned recently for the “Beatles Brunch.” The brunch menu was accompanied by bottomless mimosas, and Beatles videos. While most everything was tasty and well prepared, for me the standouts were the home made cinnamon roll, which as expected was gooey and sweet, and the chicken and waffles, which was very heavy but a plain yet good version of this dish. I also enjoyed a Bloody Mary bar which had all the accoutrments to create a well spiced and personalized bloody.

As with the first time I visited, the staff was noticeably friendly and I had fun time at the Rigby. Along with the fun, relaxed atmosphere, and the solid food and drinks, the Rigby hosts an eclectic mix of events. There are three floors and sometimes feature multiple events on the same night.

On an upcoming Wednesday you can watch a movie or speed date. On most Tuesdays they have free trivia night with prizes. On weekdays they replace happy hour with “hippy hour” but keep the drink specials.

Be sure to check out their website or Facebook page where you can find a calendar of upcoming events and daily food and drink specials.

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