Under dated, dusty chop house lives classic, quality supper club

You’ll have to look past the stained carpet, dusty windowsills and dated furniture to see just how great the Watertower Chop House in Sun Prairie is. You’ll also have to look a little harder to actually find the Watertower Chop House because it looks a little rundown on the outside and there isn’t really a sign. We walked in through the back and, after getting past the musky smell, I fell in love with this place.

The drinks are strong here!

The drinks are strong here!

The front room where the bar is needs a facelift and way more seating, but then again the entire place needs both of those things. The dining room is small so we had to wait for a table, but it wasn’t a long wait.

My plate from the salad bar

My plate from the salad bar

As for the menu, it’s a traditional supper club — steaks, seafood and a salad bar (my favorite). We went on a Saturday night, so obviously both of us got got the prime rib. They have three sizes of prime rib and they all come with two sides (one of which can be the salad bar). The salad bar had all of the goodies I was expecting from a good supper club — traditional salad toppings, potato salad, macaroni salad, beets, pickles, soup and rolls. I’m not sure what it is about supper clubs and salad bars — it’s probably because I used to get to go to the salad bar when I was a kid — but I love them and everything they come with.

The prime rib was great and I ate it so fast I forgot to take a picture of it before I had inhaled it. It was cooked to a perfect medium rare and the outside had a great char on it. I got the mashed potatoes as my other side. They also offer some healthier options like veggies, but who wants that! Oh…well my mom got the asparagus so I guess some people order the healthier options!

slightly melty grasshopper

slightly melty grasshopper

And just in case our visit to the chop house wasn’t old school enough, we ended our meal with a grasshopper. I think our waitress left ours sitting somewhere because it was slightly melty when we got it, but it was still tasty — not too minty, not too sweet and just the right amount of alcohol — and she comped it from our bill, which was not necessary but very good customer service.

FOOD NOTES: Once you get past the old building and the old smell, Watertower Chop House is really a hidden gem. There’s nothing better than a good supper club in my book and this one tops my list in the Madison area. There are a lot of supper clubs in the area, but not all of them are worth the trip. The chop house looks like it hasn’t changed or been updated in 60 years, but maybe that’s why it hasn’t changed…because it hasn’t had to. The dining room was full on a Saturday night, so this place must not be a secret. I will definitely be back, and like all supper clubs I go to, I’ll probably get a steak, salad bar and mashed potatoes because it’s what they do best!

Mission #fallbucketlist complete

If fall isn’t your favorite season…you’re basically wrong. The weather is great, the clothes are great, the food is warm and comforting, and then there’s Halloween and Thanksgiving. My friend Riju loves Halloween and in an effort to keep me very busy during the month of October, she sent me the “31 Days of Halloween to do list” to do. This blog will be my recap…with one caveat: some of the items were modified but totally still count!

Screen shot 2015-11-14 at 11.15.17 AMNo. 1 – Bake Halloween cookies. Krista, Nicole and the cookie-decorating master Avery helped out with this one.

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The master at work

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Our cookie-decorating work zone

The best of the best

The best of the best

No. 2 – Drink cider

I chose the adult version...

I chose the adult version…

No. 3 – Watch a classic monster movie. This one was completed…just not documented. I watched some freaky movie about Halloween.

No. 4 – Make pumpkin bread with fresh pumpkin. This one was also completed with help from Krista.

Krista doing some baking things

Krista doing some baking things

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Pumpkin bread pre-bake

Pumpkin bread

Pumpkin bread

No. 5 – Collect different color fall leaves. I didn’t know what I would do with a handful of leaves, so I just took pictures during a hike.

Blue Mounds State Park

Blue Mounds State Park

Blue Mounds State Park

Blue Mounds State Park

Blue Mounds State Park

Blue Mounds State Park

No. 6 – Eat a caramel apple. I got this one at Treinen Farm in Lodi.

Caramel apple

Caramel apple

I didn't want to lose a tooth, so I cut it.

I didn’t want to lose a tooth, so I cut it.

No. 7 – Build a fire. This one was very unconventional…but fire is fire right?

Watching the Packers game and I "lit a fire."

Watching the Packers game and I “built a fire.”

No. 8 – Go on a hay ride. The hay ride at Treinen Farm was pretty interesting. It was one of the only cold and rainy days in October, but Nicole, miss Avery and I made the best of it!

Cute boots for hayride in the rain!

Cute boots for hayride in the rain!

No. 9 – Eat a Halloween Oreo. They don’t taste different, but I feel like they should!

Halloween oreos

Halloween oreos

Orange oreo

Orange oreo

Orange you glad I didn't make a joke!?

Orange you glad I didn’t make a joke!?

No. 10 – Wear orange. I don’t own anything orange, so this scarf will have to do.

This picture also qualifies as No. 21, which is eat a caramel apple Milky way…but they don’t make those anymore, so I had a caramel apple pop instead!

Orange scarf while eating a caramel apple pop!

Orange scarf while eating a caramel apple pop!

No. 11 – Watch Hocus Pocus. Thanks to Mary and Kevin Arbuckle for the movie access and the prop!

Hocus Pocus at the Arbuckle's.

Hocus Pocus at the Arbuckle’s.

No. 12 – Drink a pumpkin spice latte.

Strayed from my "regular" to get this.

Strayed from my “regular” to get this.

But coffee is coffee!

But coffee is coffee!

No. 13 – Eat candy corn. This nasty Halloween treat goes pretty well with coffee!

Candy corn

Candy corn

Candy corn in a candy corn!

Candy corn in a candy corn!

No. 14 – Play in the leaves…see No. 5.

No. 15 – Drink spicy tea. The Trader Joe’s version I got was not good.

Spicy tea

Spicy tea

Pumpkin spice rooibos tea from Trader Joe's.

Pumpkin spice rooibos tea from Trader Joe’s.

No. 16 – Bake an apple pie. I thought this was going to be one of the hardest ones on the list…but Krista and I made a pretty great pie!

Pie part 1

Pie part 1

Pie part 2

Pie part 2

Pie part 3

Pie part 3

PIE!!!

PIE!!!

No. 17 – Carve a pumpkin. Steph and I carved Frank the Pumpkin…harvested at Treinen Farms for No. 23.

Soon-to-be Frank

Soon-to-be Frank

Frank in progress

Frank in progress

Frank's insides are gone

Frank’s insides are gone

Frank is emerged!

Frank has emerged!

Frank is officially a jack-o-lantern!

Frank is officially a jack-o-lantern!

Love me some Frank!

Love me some Frank!

Hannah, Frank, Steph and Dunkin!

Hannah, Frank, Steph and Duncan!

No. 18 – Host a spooky movie night. I’d say mine was technically a movie afternoon…but it totally counts.

No. 19 – Eat Frankenberry, BooBerry or Count Chocula. I chose BooBerry…

BooBerry cereal

BooBerry cereal

Sugar and purple dye...ick.

Sugar and purple dye…ick.

No. 20 – Drink pumpkin ale or beer. Thanks Marissa for sharing your pumpkin beer!

Pumpkin beer at Chicks with Picks!

Pumpkin beer at Chicks with Picks!

No. 21 – Eat a caramel apple Milky Way. See No. 10.

Caramel apple pops...because Milky Ways don't come in caramel apple flavor anymore.

Caramel apple pops…because Milky Ways don’t come in caramel apple flavor anymore.

No. 22 – Roast pumpkin seeds. Steph and I roasted the shit out of Frank’s seeds!

Cleaning the seeds

Cleaning the seeds

Seeds...

Seeds…

Seeds!!!!

Seeds!!!!

Seeds pre roasting

Seeds pre roasting

Oven time.

Oven time.

Roasted to perfection!

Roasted to perfection!

Yum!

Yum!

No. 23 – Visit a pumpkin patch. Nicole, miss Avery and I braved the rain and cold to find Frank the Pumpkin at Treinen Farm.

Pumpkin patch

Pumpkin patch

I have found Frank!

I have found Frank!

No. 24 – Dance to Thriller. Mary Arbuckle and I got our groove on. A short, yet extremely entertaining video, is available on Facebook.

Thriller!

Thriller!

No. 25 – Visit an OctoberFest…was replaced with “drink an OctoberFest beer.” Thanks Kevin Arbuckle for the beer!

OctoberFest beer...this is my "I don't love beer" face!

OctoberFest beer…this is my “I don’t love beer” face!

No. 26 – Collect cool pumpkins. Thanks for the pumpkins dad!

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Pumpkins from dad!

No. 27 – Sit on the porch and smell the rain…this one seemed odd, but here’s a rainy picture from my balcony.

Cold and rainy October day.

Cold and rainy October day.

No. 28 – Visit a haunted house. I hate haunted houses, but Mary Arbuckle found one for little kids…so I consented. Favorite quote of the night: “Hannah…stop screaming, you’re scaring the giraffe (who was probably about 2 and being carried by her dad).”

Haunted house selfie!

Haunted house selfie!

No. 29 – Make a Halloween playlist.

These are the only two songs you'll ever need!

These are the only two songs you’ll ever need!

No. 30 – Decorate the house – inside and out. Thanks to the instigator of all of this, Riju, for the new Halloween owl!

Pumpkin inside

Pumpkin inside

Decorations inside

Decorations inside

More indoor decorations

More indoor decorations

'Outdoor' decorations

‘Outdoor’ decorations

No. 31 – Go trick or treating. I gave away candy at Kevin and Mary’s…I also got trick-or-treat candy at the haunted house…all of this counts…none of it is documented.

SUCCESS! #Fallbucketlist complete!

Basement bar is hidden gem of old Greenbush Neighborhood

Greenbush Bar

Greenbush Bar

There aren’t a lot of original businesses left in the Greenbush Neighborhood just south of the UW-Madison campus, but one of the last remnants of the ethnic neighborhood is a hidden gem. Greenbush Bar is in the basement of what looks like an abandoned building…but it’s actually the old Italian Workman’s Club building on Regent Street.

When you walk in it looks a little rundown and the odd stairwell down to the basement is a little suspect, but the dark, quaint, simple dining room makes up for it. The eatery and bar is lit mostly with lights strung from the ceiling and the tight basement quarters makes it feel hidden and exclusive.

garlic cheese bread

garlic cheese bread

bread basket

bread basket

We started with garlic cheese bread and pizza sauce. They cover their homemade bread in garlic butter and top it with cheese. The pieces are just thick enough to manage the heavy cheese, but not too thick so the bread isn’t overwhelming. It was a good appetizer, but a little unnecessary because we also got a basket of their homemade bread. Their antipatso platters have some great traditional ingredients listed…I’d like to give those a try some time.

carbonara pasta

pasta carbonara

I knew pasta was the only option for an entree because I don’t love pizza, but I do love pasta. I decided to go traditional and got the pasta carbonara with pancetta, parmesan and romano cheeses, and cream and egg over spaghetti. I don’t think the pasta was homemade, but it was perfectly cooked — aldente, not mushy. The sauce was rich and cooked into the pasta the way it’s supposed to be. I wanted a little more of the saltiness from the pancetta to cut through the heavy sauce, but it was still very good.

cannoli

cannoli

For dessert I had to try one of their homemade cannolis. The cannoli was an interesting twist on what I expect a cannoli to taste like. It looked exactly like a traditional cannoli, but the filling had a strong flavor of cinnamon that was unexpected, and not in a good way. The cinnamon was so overpowering that I could barely taste the sweetness of the marscapone.

FOOD NOTES: There are still hidden gems from the old Greenbush Neighborhood thriving amongst the students and new businesses on Regent Street. Greenbush Bar may look like it’s in an abandoned building, but the atmosphere in the basement is lively and welcoming. The menu features classic Italian appetizers, pastas and pizzas. The antipasto platters look promising, but avoid the cannoli if you don’t love the flavor of cinnamon.