If you live in the Madison area, you’ve probably eaten at The Great Dane. Hell, if you live in Wisconsin you’ve probably heard of The Great Dane at least. And if you were into football in the early ‘90’s, you know of the monster that was “The Great Dane”. We’ll talk about the first one though.
Great Dane: The World Traveler
Recently voted as “The Best of Madison: Best Brewery/Brewpub”, this place obviously puts out the crazy good food and great beer that comes with that moniker. It legitimately is a place of many faces, not just because they rotate menus based on season. They have foods ranging from all over the U.S. (think Nashville Hot Chicken sliders to catching a flight to Hawaii and getting some Ahi Poke) to things like… West African Chicken Peanut Stew? What?? And, why not go down to Argentina and get some Chimichurri Steak? Or get down on Falafel!
The crazy thing is that they do them all well. Usually, places that fancy themselves as global restaurants (or at least define their menu that way) try and pull themselves in too many directions. Then there is The Great Dane. You know what makes this even more wild? They’re a great place to go and watch a game…or play pool…or go on a date! They have truly nailed the “catch all” bar in the best way possible.
Let’s start with how any good meal should start…BEER! As is probably blatantly obvious by now, I lean towards the hoppier side of the beer spectrum and was really jones-ing for one this day. Throw up a salute for “Old Glory”, The Great Dane’s version of a pale ale. This is not a super classic pale ale in the sense of hoppiness, but it has very distinct flavors that are recognizable with a nice rounding of maltiness.
On this fine day that I will never forget, we truly took advantage of the global cuisine that is to be expected from The Great Dane.
To Germany we go! This massive Bavarian Style Pretzel came with 2 different mustards and some good ol’ fashioned Wisco Beer Cheese! The beer cheese was just oh so tasty, but the Cranberry Mustard was where it was at! This one is just a show stopping, game changer! (I’d probably get extra next time…)
NEXT! Some of my favorite wings…EVER! Not just in Madison, but anywhere. The sauce is unforgettable, the wings equally ingrained into my brain. Just, wow…Here I am still rambling, and you don’t even know the flavor: Jamaican Jerk. Seriously, the way that these are cooked helps the flavor permeate the entire wing and I swear, if you dare dip these in ranch or blue cheese, you are not allowed to eat wings again! There is a time and place for Wisconsin’s go to liquid and sorry, this ain’t one of them!
Lastly (but certainly not…leastly?), the sliders that have proven to be one of my favorite sandwiches from the Madison pub scene! NASHVILLE HOT CHICKEN SLIDERS! Just an awesomely fried chicken topped with a homemade Scotch Ale Pickle, a creamy slaw, and chipotle mayo all stacked on brioche. I will say, if you don’t like spice, STAY AWAY! This little sandy is packed with flavor outside of the heat, though! You know what, I don’t care if you don’t like spice, JUST TRY IT!
All-in-all, just go there. To any of the four locations. Drive there right now! Go there for the game, go there for a date, go there for happy hour. Who cares why you go, just go slam some suds and get down on some new grub.