1980 Atwood Avenue
Madison Wisconsin 53704United States
Alchemy stirs up superior bar food in a trendy, oft-overlooked neighborhood--and oh, the sweet potato fries!
The thing about craving bar food is that the reality rarely lives up to the dream, leaving you filled with greasy remorse. Not so here at Alchemy, a new business in an old Atwood Avenue building that used to play host to the now-defunct Wonders pub. The food is, in a word, delicious. We think the appetizers are even more impressive than the entrees, particularly the dolmades--grape vine leaves stuffed with herbed rice, roasted and served with garlic dill cucumber yogurt and feta ($6). And if you fancy yourself a sweet potato fries connoisseur, we guarantee the ones at Alchemy (slim, crisp chips twice-fried and served with the most incredible tarragon mayo and local jalepeno blackberry jam dipping sauces) will forever own a slot in your top five. Soups are fresh and prepared in-house, salads are hearty, green, and surprising, and burgers are above and beyond bar expectations, like the Apple Rum Burger--1/3 lb applewood bacon-infused Angus beef patty topped with sweet onion rum relish, Wisconsin cheddar, lettuce and tomato, served on a fresh baked roll ($8). There's the stuffed Wisconsin swiss grilled cheese, grilled tilapia ($11), the free range grass-fed bison patty melt, several vegetarian and vegan choices, and a kid-friendly menu. Alchemy is located on the near-east side of the Capitol, in an area of Madison much beloved by its residents and completely overlooked by tourists. It's a neighborhood defined by creative, free-spirited independent shopkeepers and residents. This is where you can find the progressive locals Madison is famous for, and, since the city is 100% smoke-free, you get the cozy pub vibe without the hacking cough and stinky hair. Best of all, you get the food. Did we mention the sweet potato fries? (Note: No credit cards accepted, but there is an ATM on-site)