Restaurant Review: Creative faux-meat vegetarian fare & vegan desserts served in a cozy, rustic venue…
The area around the State Capitol building in Madison is a great place to visit and there are loads of wonderful bars and restaurants. The State of Wisconsin is known for is agricultural heritage; the dairy cow is the state domestic animal and milk is the state beverage. So, for a vegan you might expect there to be few options in terms of food, especially around the Capitol. Madison itself is a large University town with a student population of over 40,000 so there are a growing number of eateries offering vegetarian and vegan options to cater for this community.
After a bit of research I settled upon the downtown location of the Great Dane Pub & Brewing Company on Doty Street. This is a popular place and is busy much of the time so expect a wait. They have a restaurant area but they also serve the full menu in the bar, which worked out well as I was on my own. I wrestled a spot at the bar in the pool room, which was loud but I enjoyed the lively atmosphere and amused myself watching people.
There is not a lot on the menu that is vegan friendly. Some dishes could be made to be vegan but I decided on a dish that sounded safe so I ordered the High Point Harvest bowl and a pint of stout.
When the bowl came I was not disappointed, it looked and tasted fantastic. The contents of the bowl were brown rice, red quinoa, broccoli, sweet potato, roasted beets, spiced cashews, edamame, dried apricot, sesame-crusted tofu, orange ginger dressing and aged balsamic. Yummy!
If you find yourself in downtown Madison I can highly recommend checking out the Great Dane whether you are a vegan or not. The food, beer and atmosphere are fantastic. If you want a nice, quiet romantic meal I would suggest waiting for a table in the dining room!