Taking a stroll to Bassett Street Brunch Club

Kyla’s Kitchen

On a trip to visit Emma’s brother at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, senior Jamie Gardner, Emma, her brother and I stopped by Bassett Street Brunch Club for a sit-down breakfast, as the area in Wisconsin is known for its brunch restaurants.

In all honesty, brunch is one of the greatest inventions of all time, because the ability to eat breakfast food at any time of day should be a universal right. Taking this to another level, Bassett Street has a section devoted to “brunchfest” food, which essentially just means an all day brunch menu. On certain days, they are open until 12 a.m., and true to their word, they will serve omelets and pancakes until they close. However, they branch out into lunch and dinner, with salads, sandwiches and full entrees, like pot roast or blackened salmon.

Although I cannot attest to the quality of their later day meals, if they are anything like the breakfast that I had, they must be great. I had been craving pancakes for a while, so I went to the “Sweeter Stuff” portion of the menu and chose the buttermilk pancakes with strawberries on top. Since the restaurant specializes in their breakfast foods, I knew the pancakes would be amazing, and the fresh strawberries made the whole meal that much better. The perfect bite consisted of a part of the fluffy pancake, a hint of the sweet maple syrup and a flavorful strawberry topped off with a touch of the whipped cream.The combination of sweet and fruity brought out all of the best components of each individual food, and made for a fantastic breakfast.

This restaurant also happens to offer a variety of coffee drinks, from the basic iced or hot coffee made with local beans to espresso drinks, like an Horchata Latte or an Americano. After a

Emma's brother Ben Ratliff enjoys french toast with fresh mixed fruits.
Emma Ratliff
Emma’s brother Ben Ratliff enjoys french toast with fresh mixed fruits.

long day of driving, Emma and I decided to go for mocha iced coffee. This worked really well with my pancakes as most of my dish was very sweet, so the coffee’s bitter but chocolatey flavor rounded out the flavor pallette of the whole meal. However, if you are not a coffee person, under the section labeled “Wait, There’s More” on their menu, there is a wide selection of tea as well, so anyone can get their caffeine fix for the day.

The only real issue with this restaurant is the long wait, ours was about half an hour, but this was to be expected as we went at one of the busiest times, a little before lunch time, in an area full of hungry college kids. However, this simply gave us the opportunity to walk around the center of downtown Madison, seeing the sights in some of the nicest weather of the whole weekend.

Although it is difficult to become a well-known brunch restaurant in an area with many breakfast and lunch options, Bassett Street Brunch Club rises above the rest with their quirky and friendly atmosphere and service. The food and entertainment is definitely worth the wait.

Emma’s Eats

Upon our arrival at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, we quickly discovered that a very popular trend in the area is to attend brunch. Since this is such a huge phenomenon and there was a plethora of brunch restaurants in the area, we decided to go.

Since brunch is a combination of both breakfast and lunch, we opted to go closer to lunch time, but still kept with the traditional brunch and got breakfast foods. While Kyla, Jamie and my brother, Ben, all went the sweet route, I chose a different path and went for a savory omelette.  While there were many different options, I quickly singled out the Hangover omelette as the best

looking choice. The Hangover is an omelette stuffed with salty, savory ham mixed with sweet cheddar, but that wasn’t even the best part.  Drizzled over the top was a giant helping of Vermont white cheddar fondue, which is one of the best cheeses I’ve ever tasted.  The strong, tart flavor of the white cheddar mixed perfectly with the egg and ham making for a tasty breakfast.

The Hangover omelet paired with breakfast potatoes.
Emma Ratliff
The Hangover omelet paired with roasted breakfast potatoes.

Because it was around mid-day, Kyla and I decided we could use a pick-me-up and ordered mocha iced coffees.  This paired really well with the meal because the bitter flavor of the coffee complemented with the sweet chocolate added a nice, cool variety in flavor to the omelette.  And while they did offer a wide variety of different specialty coffees that looked delicious as well, the classic mocha was the best choice with this meal in my opinion.

As mentioned before, it was around noon when we went and since brunch is such a popular meal, it was fairly busy. We ended up having to wait about half an hour to get a table, but it wasn’t an issue because we took the time to explore the beautiful surrounding area of downtown Madison.  Along with that, once we were seated, it truly became evident that the wait was worth it because the waitress was extremely friendly and helpful.
Despite the wait, the upbeat, unique atmosphere and amazing food make for a great meal.  If you ever find yourself in the area and in the mood for brunch, I would highly recommend paying a visit to the Bassett Street Brunch Club.