Thursday, January 20, 2011

Monty’s Blue Plate Diner – Madison, WI

I had gotten a recommendation from a few different people about going to Monty’s while in Madison. I had to work some major magic (which included sleeping late to miss out on the free breakfast at the hotel) to make this happen, but it eventually worked. This place is apparently busy all the time, so we were lucky to get in with only a 20 minute wait on a Sunday morning.

While were waiting in line, we ooohed and ahhhhed over the dessert case which had all kinds of pies and cheesecakes in it. Then when we got the menu, we knew we were in for a treat. The reason I had made sure we made it here was the ever popular Donut Sundae!!!!!

D.Rough, Rita, and Betty went round and round and back and forth and side to side trying to figure out what to order. This place isn’t like the old timey grandma and grandpa diner you’d expect – the menu is filled with some of the most creative and delicious sounding food ever. Things like Wisconsin Salmon Hash, Potato Zucchini Pancakes, Heathen Vegan Shoplifter’s Delight (really), and Donut French Toast (almost the same thing as the Donut Sundae).

D.Rough ordered the Sweet Potato Hash. Rita ordered the Breakfast Burrito. Betty ordered the Mushroom and Pesto Omelet. And I changed my decision at the last minute from the Donut French Toast to the Blue Plate Omelet with a Donut Sundae on the side. Then the brakes got put on full force – “We’re out of donuts. You have to get here really early to get donuts.” Are you serious?!?!?!? If you KNOW that you run out, then why don’t you make MORE. This didn’t sound like it was the first time it had happened. It wasn’t like – “oh, we somehow ran out of donuts, that never happens.” It was a recurring slap in the face to millions of people who expect to get donuts in a random food item covered in syrup and then have their hopes and dreams shattered on the rocks of ill-preparation. Bastards. Well this just sucked. Sucked ass. Sucked the life out of me. Sucked eggs – oh wait, are you out of THOSE too?!?!?! My ENTIRE day was ruined by this one waiter’s admission that it happens all the time. I set about pouting the rest of the day. I admit it. It ruined everything. My master plan to drive to Madison. My master plan to trick D.Rough into letting me eat something horrific by sleeping late and “missing” the free breakfast at the hotel. Everything.

The guy offered any number of replacement items, but it simply wasn’t going to fix it. No sir, a brownie is NOT the same thing as a donut and is paired with ice cream all the time. Why would I get something that NORMAL people eat?!?! Forget it. Just the omelet and be quick about it.

And then to rub salt in my emotional wound which was now spurting blood like an awesome Japanese film special effect, D.Rough and Rita decided to get a Fat Elvis shake to split – vanilla custard, bananas, peanut butter, and chocolate syrup. Jerks.

The shake came out pretty quickly and the waiter had split it into two glasses. The shakes even came with a little cracker wafer thing like an old soda fountain. Here we see Betty drooling over the Fat Elvis. This shake was actually awesome. I’m really jealous I didn’t get one for myself, but the bitterness of life’s kick in the spleen wasn’t going to allow any more happiness this day. Very good shake. Now I want to go back and get some of their other shakes – they have a ton of awesome sounding ones and also build-your-own options with super fun ingredients. Next time. …When I drive 5 hours from the Twin Cities and show up on their doorstep at 4am, hoping they haven’t run out of freakin' donuts.

Word from Rita was that the Breakfast Burrito was good. Even though the chorizo tasted more like ground beef than sausage. She still seemed really happy with her decision. Betty’s Mushroom and Pesto Omelet looked delicious and she said it was great. She’s a huge pesto fan and had nothing bad to say about her dish.
D.Rough’s Sweet Potato Hash was really good. I tasted a lot of cinnamon in this, but there were some other spices as well. I thought this was really a great dish and excellent concept. She had an issue with one of her eggs not being poached correctly. It was too done and didn’t gush out like the other one did when lacerated.

My Blue Plate Omelet was really good as well. Despite the oh-so-recent donut-scented punch in the face, the Omelet was just about perfect. It is an omelet with bacon, cheese, and avocado, covered in salsa. Pretty simple sounding, but the flavors worked really well together and it didn’t get sloppy. It also came with seasoned fried red potatoes, which I absolutely loved. The whole thing was delicious and I think I ordered exactly what I needed (minus the big hole in my soul that could easily have been filled with a little foresight into freakin' inventory management).

Oh, look! Here's a photo of the Donut Sundae I didn't get!

I will go back to Monty’s every chance I get. I won’t however get my hopes up that there will be a groundbreaking shift in the culinary space-time continuum of the fried food dimension, like I did this time.

Monty, you have a delicious restaurant, but I’ve got a hole in my heart that can only be filled by deep fried donut-flavored deliciousness (that original hole was actually caused by eating prior deep fried deliciousness, but we won’t talk about that…).

Top 5 things about Monty’s Blue Plate Diner
1. Fat Elvis shake
2. Blue Plate Omelet
3. Sweet Potato Hash
4. One of the best menus for creativity ever
5. Amazing desserts, including cheesecake and also shakesfloats with alcohol in them

Bottom 5 things
2. Bad poached egg (just one though)
3. This place is super busy and you’ll just have to be ok with waiting (have a piece of cheesecake while you wait)
4. Not sure the chorizo was actually chorizo, but it was apparently still delicious
5. I’m not going to get over this donut conspiracy anytime soon, I assure you that!


Anonymous said...

I absolutely LOVE your blog!!! As someone that works at Monty's, I will personally make sure that next time you are in town, YOU will get a doughnut!!! And if I could send a dozen to you right now, knowing that they would not get stale in the mail...I would do it!

Great writing, Great blog!! - thanks for the props to our diner!! We are thrilled that you loved the food. Send us an email when you are back town and we'll be certain you get that Doughnut Sundae!

Also - would you mind if we posted a link to your blog on our Facebook Page?


Cake Mouth said...

I can't eat eggs, (so every once in a GREAT while I'll risk health and happieness and steal some of my boyfriends pesto eggs- which are AMAZING)... but every single other thing on the menu is fantastic! Sadly they removed a delicious posole stew from the menu last winter, but very graciously sent me the recipe. It's worth it to get a side of the corn bread (if they're not out:D) just to try it out. Also the Fat Elvis cake is something that keeps me lying awake at night, dreaming of the next time we unite in perfect culinary heaven. I'm so glad that you had the time to go to Monty's! It's absolutely an east side staple.

Chao said...

Sooo glad you guys liked the review. Monty's food is so delicious that I'm already trying to figure out an excuse to drive to Madison again. (And I'm exaggerating how mad I was about missing out on the donuts - mostly...)

And Cake Mouth, I'm a MAJOR fan of pozole, so if you feel like sharing the recipe, please do. I understnad it's a pretty involved process, but I'm willing to give it a shot. Great, now I'm hungry for Pozole!!!