Brotherly Grub – Madison, Wisconsin

This will be the first of many parts to a blog series highlighting the best places to eat in our Alpha’s college towns. So read below and enjoy the first of a many part series.

Brotherly Grub

State Street Brats & Mickies Dairy Bar – Alpha Iota/University of Wisconsin

Alpha Iota at The University of Wisconsin (Go Badgers!) has no shortage of food available to them within walking distance. As a matter of fact I give them the distinct award of having the Best Food of any college town I have had the privilege to visit.

Upon my arrival in Madison I was quite hungry as I had been on two planes which had directly tailed a lengthy car ride. This would bring my total travel time to 12 hours. Twelve hours was nothing a grizzled Alpha Visitor like myself couldn’t handle, but my stomach was beginning to feel the side effects of two time zones, two planes, one layover in Milwaukee, a three-hour car ride and no lunch. Thankfully, Brother Charlie Tilleman was kind enough to escort me to an establishment called State Street Brats.

“Best brats in Wisconsin” or so I was told and after my experience I would have to agree. White brats, red brats, spicy waffle fries all served in a neat little basket. Now, I like my brats with Ketchup and good ole’ French’s Yellow Mustard. However, it’s all about the special mustards here at State Street Brats; only the best mustards for the best brats I guess.

If you are looking for an adult beverage to compliment your meal I would suggest the Spotted Cow Farmhouse Ale by a local Wisconsin Brewery called New Glarus. It is a lighter, smooth finishing Farmhouse Ale with, here’s the kicker, a hint of honey. Unfortunately, it is impossible to get Spotted Cow outside of Wisconsin and that is a shame because this Farmhouse Ale currently ranks as my favorite beer hands down.

There is one experience that I did miss out on, cheese curds. I heard much about these but am not sure exactly what they are so, Keegan, when I return to Madison, cheese curds (see image to the right) must be on the agenda.

State Street Brats was good. So good I went there twice; however, to get the full Iota experience your trip must include breakfast at a little place called Mickies Dairy Bar.

"The Scrambler"

 Near the Camp Randall Stadium is a little place called Mickies Dairy Bar. Only about a 35 minute walk from the Lodge and you will need the exercise after plunging face first into the mounds of cheese that only seems reasonable because you’re in Wisconsin. The thing to order here is the “Scrambler”. It’s a huge, more food than one can handle, four egg omelet served atop “American fries” (their version of hash browns) and your choice of one meat. All topped with, of course shredded cheddar cheese. Gravy is then put on the side or poured all over. Welcome to Wisconsin and enjoy your stay.

Round that off with a side of toast and one of their famous Malt milkshakes and you’re ready to greet the day. This meal was well worth the 35 minute walk from Lodge to Mickies and back, and I thank Brother Keegan for escorting me and making this experience possible. Oh and don’t expect to splurge, swipe the card and pay for it all next month, cash only here at Mickies (Keegan I’ll pay you back, I promise).  

Honorable Mentions:


This is a convenience store-type establishment only two to three blocks from the Lodge. Tag’s has everything you may ever need from toiletries to fantastic breakfast sandwiches.


Best gyros I ever had!!! Your breath will stink for twelve days and I don’t believe I could make it that long without eating another. So, I suggest you just go ahead carry around listerine, tomato juice and a toothbrush, and eat one a day.


One response to “Brotherly Grub – Madison, Wisconsin

  1. State Street Brats? mmmmmm. I too will be loving Wisconsin soon… right after they run all over Ohio State this weekend. Go Badgers!

    And of course a shout out this week to my fellow fowls, the S.Carolina Gamecocks. You helped my Ducks fly to #2.

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