Friends and I would often go to Paisan's when we were University of Wisconsin students in the 1990s, when the restaurant was located at the since-demolished University Square. It provided affordable full service dining for cash-constrained students. Now, we're grown up, and Paisan's serves as a gathering place for many in the same group when we're back visiting Madison. The current setting overlooking Lake Monona and the ambience are more upscale than in the old days, but it remains a good place for affordable dining in a pleasant atmosphere with food that is perhaps not fabulous, but eminently acceptable.
Many speak highly of their pizzas; I'm not among them as I find them to be a bit heavy, and as far as I am concerned, if you're only in Madison for a few days, save your pizza craving for Rocky Rococo. Although they are not Italian items, I have generally gravitated to their burgers and chicken sandwiches and find them enjoyable. Their salads are also a solid choice.
Servers are always friendly and helpful.
All in all, a pleasant and enjoyable place to eat.
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