By: Aron Yohannes
As most of you know already, last Saturday I attended my first ever college football game watching the Wisconsin Badgers pummel BYU at Camp Randall. Of course, if you haven’t read that blog already, scroll down below once you’re finished reading this post and check it out. The experience was one that I wished I had every single day, but right before it, I had to grab a delicious and filling breakfast from Mickies Dairy Bar, which is literally located right across the street from the stadium. A close friend of mine who attends Madison recommended I stop by the classic diner and grab the popular scrambler plate. Before heading into the diner, I had absolutely no clue what the scrambler was. While standing outside in the line that loops around the corner, I did some research and according to Yelp, the scrambler was the main attraction. So after about a 15 minute wait outside, my friends and I settled down and feasted. Prepare to drool on your keyboards.
The first initial reaction I had when I walked into the funky old school diner is that it’s very similar to Franks Diner located in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Frank’s is the oldest diner car currently in America and has been featured on the popular Food Network show, Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives with Guy Fieri. All of the workers inside Mickies were friendly and kind. No attitudes or impatient personalities, just all around great people that are there to accommodate you. The place was packed, as I expected on a Saturday morning a few hours before kickoff. The place doesn’t have much space though, and that’s a bit of a downer considering all of the consistent service they receive. Also, make sure you bring straight cash homie because they don’t accept draft picks or credit and debit cards.
Blueberry coffee cake
Okay, now you can start drooling. I easily decided to get a scrambler plate but wanted to start off with a nice warm breakfast desert before. Initially, I decided to go with a homemade cinnamon roll but unfortunately they were fresh out. The pumpkin coffee cake was next, but it contains nuts and my braces aren’t too fond of those. So after further review, I went with the blueberry coffee cake. It was served warm and that was the first time I had actually received a breakfast cake warm in my entire life. Yeah, that says a lot about the places that I’ve eaten at for breakfast. Moving on, the cake was superb, it had fresh blueberries inside along with a homemade crumble on top. It certainly wasn’t filled with excessive amounts of sugar or syrups, but instead, it was smooth, simple and crisp. I definitely would’ve liked to see what the cinnamon roll business was about, but that will be on my radar for next time.
Time for the main event: The scrambler. After not eating breakfast that entire morning (I drove from Kenosha to Madison early that morning), let’s just say that I walked into the diner looking to possibly eat a horse. For those that don’t know, the scrambler is a plate layered with potatoes, eggs, cheese, and any type of breakfast meat that you select. Then, it’s topped with their homemade gravy sauce and served with a side of toast. You determine the meat or any other elements that you would like added to your scrambler. You can also decide whether or not you want your gravy on top or on the side. In my case, I decided to get it on the side so I that I could feel better about the calories I was about to consume.
The plate is a belt breaker man. The combination of the cheesy eggs flourished well with the meat and potatoes underneath. For my meat, I went elderly and got corned beef. The gravy really helped put the meal together. Even though I didn’t douse my plate with it, I added it on every bite that I had and it helped bring out the flavors of the dish honestly.
Although the gravy was the frosting on the cake as I should say, it wasn’t the most important element of the dish. That title belongs to the potatoes. The potatoes at the bottom of the dish provided the hearty and filling component of the dish. Besides adding just protein, the potatoes helped make the dish worth the price even more. If you were to take away the potatoes from the plate, you wouldn’t feel nearly as full as you’d like to be.
I enjoyed my time in Madison that weekend particularly because the Badgers won and because I had a tremendous meal before the game. They have an old fashion and unique environment that many will enjoy that’s conveniently located across the street from one of the main attractions of the city. Depending on the time of day that you go, you’ll probably be looking at about a 10-15 minute wait outside the joint. It’s worth it, and considering the fact that I only spent nine dollars on my meal, the prices might be undervalued.
On the grading scale, I will give Mickies Dairy Bar the grade of a solid A and they get the recommendation seal of approval.
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