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“Excellent” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Shish Cafe Incorporated - CLOSED

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Shish Cafe Incorporated
5510 University Ave, Madison, WI 53705-1235
608-236-9006
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Cuisines: Middle Eastern
Dining options: Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations
Paris, France
Top Contributor
122 reviews 122 reviews
86 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 39 cities Reviews in 39 cities
36 helpful votes 36 helpful votes
“Excellent”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 23, 2012

Excellent food however this location has closed and their new one is Palmyra on century ave in Middleton.

    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

21 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    7
    11
    2
    0
    1
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Madison, WI
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“"F" isn't only for falafel”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed June 26, 2012

Went here for lunch expecting all kinds of good things based on these reviews and some positive word of mouth. It pretty much was awful. We got there about 20 minutes before they stopped lunch service, and were made to feel like we were really inconveniencing them, even though there was only one other couple in the whole place. Did I mention it took them 10 minutes to seat us? Again, with us there, a total of 4 people in the whole restaurant. Inexcusable service. The food was completely flavorless and forgettable, I could have made much better food at home in just as much time. Dingy, dusty, outdated decor, and a suspiciously dimly lit atmosphere, probably because they don't want you to see how closely their baba ganoush resembles the inside of a dirty diaper. I was this close to reporting them to the health inspectors, and I can't wait to see them finally get shut down for good, seeing as they've already given up on putting out anything resembling a quality product. Avoid!!!

  • Visited March 2012
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
    • 1 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Waukegan, Illinois
Top Contributor
66 reviews 66 reviews
45 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
“Best Middle East Food in Madison!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 23, 2012

We has a number of great dished here. The food is fresh and flavorful. It's all good. The one iffy aspect of the place is their wine. The good news is they serve wine. The bad news is that they only have a house wine selection and it's a very cheap rough stuff.

Visited July 2011
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Savannah, Georgia
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
15 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
“Good food, but slow service”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 14, 2012

I tried the Shish based on reviews and generally, enjoyed it. But my wine had floating cork, the initial service was slow due to only 1 server and a full house and the lamb with hummus was a little bit greasy, but flavorful.

I'll return again. I think on a less busy nite with more servers, it will be better.

  • Visited June 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
Top Contributor
91 reviews 91 reviews
22 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 40 cities Reviews in 40 cities
46 helpful votes 46 helpful votes
“Wonderful food, but be careful about seafood”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 21, 2012

Shish Cafe is on the top of my list ever since my friend introduced me to this restaurant. I have been there countless times and have never been disappointed with food there. Their spice on the talbe was amazingly tasty! However, I experienced health problems after I had a fish dish two days ago - escolar (a type of fish replaced sea bass). It was good that the restaurant told me that their sea bass would be replaced with escolar. The server told me escolar tasted the same as or better than sea bass. But I had no clue escolar could cause health problem that scared me.

Here is what happened. About 24 hours after my dinner at Shish Cafe, I felt wet in my underwear. When I went to bathroom to check it out, I found a 3 x 3 cm patch of orange color oily stain on my underwear. A few hours later, I had discharges of orange color oily droplets that floated in the toilet. This repeated 3 times within the next 6-10 hours. At that point, I was ready to see my doctor. Since this was acute without any other symptoms, I was wondering what it could be and started google searches. What I found was this fish - escolar! Health Canada has very good information on this fish. Japan and some other countries have banned this fish for human consumption. So be careful if you order sea bass at Shish Cafe.

The ambiance of this restaurant is okay (5 on a 1-10 scale with 10 being the best). They do have a dancer at dinner time on weekend. Overall, this is a good place to try.

  • Visited May 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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