Sunday, October 16, 2011
First Impressions: AJ Bombers
For my second trip I brought my partner and our two year old son. We came for a late lunch on a Sunday and found the place very empty. A little concerning being that the Packers were playing and I'd think this would be a great place to watch a game. Still with a toddler we're never too upset to have a place to ourselves. The service again was personal, without being fake, and certainly contributed to keeping the kid entertained. He loved the peanut bombs but as parents we really appreciated our server checking with us before sending a potentially scary, loud noise making machine over his head. Since it was the weekend I opted to start with the Bloody Bomber which was a monster of a bloody Mary topped with a bacon wrapped strip of muenster cheese and hamburger. The great garnishes were appreciated but let it be known that the bloody mix stands on it's own. I was offered a chaser of Miller Lite or High Life which was too bad given my boycott of Miller/Coors products. I thought about asking to sub for a Wisconsin craft brew but instead just nodded and nursed my way along. With three of us dining we got a little further into the menu. We split the buffalo chicken egg rolls which were tasty but nothing I'd rush to order again. I do appreciate that they were clearly made fresh but the flavors were a bit subdued for something that had buffalo in the title. For the kid we got a hot dog split open and topped with American cheese and sauteed onions. The kid picked off the onions but loved the bun and was ok with the dog. His parents were impressed with the cheesy dog and debated the origins of the sausage for the rest of the meal. My partner opted for the Mad Sconnie, AJ Bombers tribute to their new home town. The beef patty also contained bacon in the mix and was topped with lettuce, tomato, and a fried pickle. All of this sat on Stella's Bakery spicy cheese bread roll that had a healthy spread of Bomber sauce. We both liked it although we felt it could use more cheese. After all, a burger meant to pay tribute to the capital of the cheese state, should feature cheese in multiple ways. Not wanting to leave out Bombers' other location, I went with the Milwaukee burger. This burger had ample Colby cheese, bacon and Schlitz braised onions. Tough call on where this ranked with the Barrie as I can't really come up with any negatives. I panicked and ordered fries again leaving the sweet potato chips for another day.
I try hard not to make blanket proclamations about a place in it's first 60 days but AJ Bombers will clearly give Dotty's and The Blue Moon a run for the best burger in town. Not only is the food very good but the atmosphere just makes you feel welcome and at ease. On the second trip we sat in a booth we dubbed the Doctor Who booth given the (at least) 3 piece of Who art around the table. The only regret is that we didn't get a Sharpie to add a K-9 to the group.
AJ Bombers, 210 W. Gorham St., Madison, WI (608) 305-4474