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“great food, great beer sampler” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Granite City Food and Brewery

Granite City Food and Brewery
Gammon Road, West towne Mall, Madison, WI
(608) 829-0700
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Ranked #112 of 838 Restaurants in Madison
Cuisines: American
Dining options: Breakfast/Brunch, Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Breakfast/Brunch, Reservations
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“great food, great beer sampler”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 15, 2012

We were a party of three. Two of us had the Bedda Chedda Bacon Burger with fries, the other had the Bleu Peppercorn Burger with garlic mashed potatoes. We all found our food to be delicious. My husband and I each had a brew sampler, some delicious brews and very reasonably priced. We received a thorough explanation of each brew when we received the samplers. The service was excellent and the staff was very helpful. Would definitely recommend.

  • Visited October 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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56 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Sun Prairie, Wisconsin
Top Contributor
74 reviews 74 reviews
50 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 31 cities Reviews in 31 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
“a favorite”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 1, 2012

Outside of Westowne Mall in Madison. Great selelction of brews. We have been to the restaurant many times. Our favorite is the flatbread pizza but the menu is extensive and you are sure to find something for everyone.

  • Visited July 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Arena, Wisconsin
Top Contributor
75 reviews 75 reviews
48 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 30 cities Reviews in 30 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
“The Beer Sampler is a Bargain”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 29, 2012

DOS 7/28/2012 for Lunch.

My husband (DH) and I decided to stop in for lunch at Granite City as I'd heard good things about the food (I'd heard nothing about the beer). First we'll go with the decor - they've put an awful lot of effort into giving the place an "upscale Rustic" look and feel. Lots of wood, lots of stone. There was also a fair amount of art class panels here and there... and TVs. (If you've read my other reviews, you'll know that I'm not a fan of TVs in dining establishments.)

Our waitress was very friendly, introduced herself took our initial drink order as I perused the beer selection. I went with the Beer Sampler Platter for $3.95; it included eight 3-4 ounce samples, 6 of their regular beers and 2 of their seasonal. The only beer I didn't care for was their IPA - but I'm not an IPA fan anyway.

Once my beer had arrived, we ordered our lunches, the Cuban Sandwich with French Fries for me, the Prime Rib Sandwich with potato chips for DH. While we waited for our food to arrive, we looked around - the restaurant was busy. Table tents advertised a Sunday Brunch, and though it was Saturday, it appeared that the restaurant was running their brunch on Saturday as well. DH pointed out that they took a lot of effort placing table skirts on their omelet station, but had the waffle iron on a plastic rolling cart that had seen better days; we both laughed about that.

Our food arrived and we dug in; my Cuban Sandwich was quite tasty, however, the mustard used was plain, yellow mustard, not a spicy brown mustard that I'm accustomed to. The french fries were quite good and there was a large pile of them on the plate - I would guess at least a pound plus. They were shoestring-style and would not reheat well for those interested in taking the extras home.

DH enjoyed his Prime Rib Sandwich, which I thought was a bit like a cross between a plain Prime Rib Sandwich and a Philly Cheesesteak - there were peppers, onions and cheese besides the prime rib. The potato chips were seasoned and tasty.

We both took half of our sandwiches home along with the leftover chips; DH ate most of my fries (I needed room for beer). The desserts looked very good, though there was "no room at the inn" and with more pending errands for after eating, I didn't want to bring any home - having it sit in the car for a while.

Overall, I give the restaurant two thumbs up and will have to go back for another go - and try the desserts (and at least one of their signature cocktails).

Please enjoy my "craptacular" (it's a word, I "said" it) cell phone photos!

  • Visited July 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
20 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
59 helpful votes 59 helpful votes
“Worst Brewpub in Wisconsin, Worst Beer in the Entire State (And That Includes Blatz).”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed July 24, 2012

I came here with my daughter one Friday night and we had a bit of a wait, so that should be a good sign, right, that lots of people want to eat there? At the end of the meal, I concluded that the explanation was that there were either a lot of people who were clueless about this restaurant (counting myself as a former member of that group) or were clueless about how good food and beer taste.

I have to say that Granite City's facility is very attactive and much more upscale than any other brewpub I've been in, the equal of most of the higher end restaurants in Madison. That was one of only two highlights with this entire meal. They have a lengthy menu, with enough menu choices that it almost seems like too many and with so many different styles, ranging from American to Asian to Italian, that it is difficult to believe they could do a good job at many/any of them.

We sat down and had a lengthy wait before our server, a middle-aged woman, brought us a complimentary tray of carrot sticks and ranch dressing, the only other positive experience of the entire meal. We experienced a lengthy wait before receiving our beverages and initially, our server forgot my daughter's drink; we also had a lengthy weight for a bottle of ketchup. That was par for the course that night, very slow, inattentive service, delivered in an unfriendly manner by someone who ought to have had the experience to move her backside a bit more quickly and at least pretended to be pleasant.

I ordered the reuben and our crappy server listed a bunch of sides that I could select with it, and I chose sweet potato fries. I believe my daughter had macaroni and cheese, but it may have been a sandwich; whatever she ordered, she didn't like it much. My reuben was supposed to have a half pound of corned beef, but I doubt it had even a quarter pound of meat in it, definitely false advertising. Honestly, I think it had at least half as much butter on the bread as it had meat in the sandwich - it was extremely greasy, the greasiest reuben I've ever had, which really detracted from what might have been a pretty good sandwich.

I ordered a beer sampler tray with 8 glasses of their beer. Let me preface this comment by saying that I consider myself to be rather knowledgable about beer. I've visited most of the brewpubs in Wisconsin, I've had beer from every brewery in the state, and I enjoy a broad variety of beers. I'm also a homebrewer. I know what a good beer tastes like. Two of these eight beers were drinkable. Several, of these were so awful I didn't bother with a second sip. Almost none of them tasted like beers of that type were supposed to taste, with no wheat flavor in the wheat beers and no refreshing hop bitterness in the pale ales. Four of the beers were swill, so bad that I suspect that GC's brewer got lazy, didn't adequately clean their tanks, and the beer was contaminated.

GC's manager, a younger, cocky sort of guy, stopped by and asked disinterestedly how our meal was. I told him my reuben was really greasy and explained to him that the beers really weren't good at all, they were not representative of their types, that I was familiar with all of the state's microbreweries and Granite City's beers were by far the worst beer in the state. The manager could see I had hardly touched six out of eight of the sampler glasses. He looked up in surprise and said with a sneer, "Well I'm sorry we don't meet your standards," turned his back on us, and walked away. If this jack*(*ss had no intention of doing anything if there was a problem, why the hell had he bothered to ask?

After a long wait, our server finally brought the check. I discovered that she had charged me $3 extra for my sweet potato fries. I asked her why she had never told me they was an extra charge. She said it was clearly marked on the menu. and walked away. A $3 upcharge for switching from regular fries to sweet potato fries???? I've never heard of that excessive of an upcharge anywhere. For $3 I could have bought more sweet potatoes at a grocery store than anyone could eat for an entire meal - they only cost GC maybe 20-30 cents more than regular fries. After being extremely slow, inattentive and unfriendly, our server was already getting less than a 15% tip, but with this overcharge on the side dish, I took the extra $3 out of her already-reduced tip. On the way out the door, I stopped at the front desk and asked to see a menu. The same manager handed me one and notwithstanding he could see I was not happy, did not ask me if there was a problem. Sure enough, in very fine small print, not clearly stated as on most menus, there was a mention of the upcharge on the sweet potato fries.

In summary, we had bad food, slow, inattentive service, some of the worst beer I've ever drunk, and management was rude and awful. Quite frankly, if I was the owner of this restaurant disguised on one of those reality shows and I encountered this level of service, I would have told the server to finish her current tables, go home, and in a week come back to explain why she should still be working there, and with the manager, I would have fired him as soon as I could have brought another manager in to fill in for the rest of his shift. I recommend staying far away from this joint, especially when Madison has perhaps the best brewpub in the country, the Great Dane, and a second very good one nearby, the Vintage Brewing Company, only a mile away.

  • Visited February 2012
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
    • 2 of 5 stars Food
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Menifee, California
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
28 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
“Family Favorite”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 16, 2012

We have been to Granite City a few times with family. Every menu item we have tried has been fantastic. Our most recent trip (July 2012) was with another family so we had a party of nine. We planned a little ahead and a table was ready for us at the exact time we reserved. We ordered a mix of dinner entrees and sandwiches and everyone raved about their meals. The shrimp tacos were a hit and multiple people had to try them. Two of us had the cajun pasta which had some pretty good heat to it. I had enough to make two meals out of mine. By the way the beer selection is great with excellent descriptions of each and samples if you can't make up your mind. Because we had a larger group two people served us and the services was excellent.

  • Visited July 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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