Is that your lunch inside that brown paper bag?
I don't see you smiling from utter delight at what you've packed for your mid-day break from whatever you were doing before....
Oh, I dunno...
...before you decided how absolutely boring your lunch is?
Is it some sort of basic meat and cheese sandwich? Some leftover casserole from last night's dinner?
Did you even bring a lunch today???
Now before you go raiding the office fridge for someone else's sad excuse for a bagged lunch (which I do not condone or recommend), let me tell you about a Neighborhood eatery in the near west side of Madison, Wisconsin that will have you questioning why you bother brown-bagging your lunch at all.
Gates & Brovi is a casual East Coast and seafood-centric eatery located on Monroe Street for all of us Mid-westerners to enjoy.
How lucky are WE?
"But wait, is there parking?" you may ask.
But of course! Click here to check out their parking location map.
It's a super casual setting, and you can seat yourself once you walk inside for Lunch. If you don't believe me, there will be a sign waiting for you to let you know.
I absolutely LOVE the decor. It's New England, meets industrial, meets vintage.
The ceilings are planked with reclaimed wood and the walls were adorned with white painted shiplap giving it that coastal cottage feel. There's just the right mix of old and new to give this place that relaxed, laid-back kind of coolness that people of all ages are drawn to. There's a TON of seating. Booths, tables, communal/shared tables, and of course, you can always sit at their awesome bar and take a peak into their kitchen.
They have a great selection of specialty cocktails, wine, and beer.
DISCLAIMER: Now unless your boss is cool about day-drinking, I'd save ordering from any of the aforementioned beverage menus until after 5pm, or whenever you're done with your daily grind.
Now back to the food.
The service was fantastic, and our server Alicia was incredibly accommodating and SUPER nice!
We decided to order food that we haven't tried at G&B yet. So, we went a bit overboard with the apps.
Whatevs. We are here to eat and tell!
So, we decided on the Fried Smelt and the Fried Fresh Calamari.
If you've never tried fried smelt before, then I urge you to try them first at G&B and ONLY AT G&B! These tiny little fishies were dabombdotcom! They definitely know how to make these tiny little guys taste spectacular!
Take a look at how amazing they look deep fried and on a plate.
Let's not forget about the Fried Fresh Calamari we ordered.
I mean GAWD!!! Just look at it!!!!
The seasoning they used for the breading is out of this world! It was MAD good! They definitely taste as good as they look. If only you could reach out and grab this from out of your screen.
Oh, if only.
For our main dish we decided to try their specials for the day. The Fried Oyster Sandwich and the Salmon Sandwich.
Here they are.
I cannot begin to tell you how amazingly FRESH both sandwiches are, and let me be the first to say that I am not a sandwich type of person. So, for me to order a sandwich, and actually like it...let alone LOVE IT, is a milestone event.
Just take a look at the Salmon Sandwich.
Now take a look at this marvelous seafood sandwich do a twirl.
At this point, I'm pretty confident that I've pleaded my case victoriously as to why you should eat at G&B for lunch, especially if you haven't already. But, for the ladies and gents of the bagged lunch jury who aren't convinced, let me leave you with my closing argument before you deliberate and deliver your final verdict.
The price point? INCREDIBLY REASONABLE for legit FRESH food.
The decor? FAN-FREAKING-TASTIC
The food? AH-MAZING!
Look once more at the food we had for lunch at G&B.
Now take a look at your bagged lunch again.
Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I rest my case.