Wookiee Hut Cuisine presents:
Marigold Kitchen
a.k.a. Marigold's
South Pinckney Street, Madison, WI
608-661-5559
Review by GornPod (LoveCherub of the Ghetto)

I went to Marigolds today. Everyone in Madison seems to love Marigold's. I do not. Here is why:

1.) Their menu never changes. This is the sign of one of two things: (a) a bad chef; (b) a lazy kitchen. Neither is particularly desirable to me. Readers know that I am a proponent of local food. This means seasonal food. Even if you don't care about this, it should be clear to you that what tastes good varies by the season. Right now it's 10 degrees (F) in Madison. It's dry and cold. In the summer it will be 90 degrees and incredibly humid. Who wants to eat the SAME food under these two conditions? Not me. And probably not you. But apparently the folks at Marigolds do. But not really. Either they can't cook anything more than what's on the menu, or they're lazy.

2.) The dish composition is poor. My dining mate had the tuna melt. It tasted fine. The problem: it was impossible to eat. The bread was hard. So you have to remove the tuna from the top of the bread to cut it. The result: a messy pile at the bottom of your plate, with cut up bits of bread and tuna. It was like what a kids plate looks like when you have to cut up her food. Note to Marigold's: food has to be eaten. Tasting good isn't enough. It has to make it into your mouth. A lot of your dishes are poorly designed. One should think not only about how a dish tastes, but how it is eaten. Marigold's doesn't do this. This makes me think that (b) is the case above. The kitchen is lazy.

3.) There is no such thing as a universal side. What tastes good with one dish doesn't taste good with ALL DISHES. The cabbage with caraway is ok (though it could be salted before it is dressed to remove the water, so the diner isn't left with a puddle of cabbage juice on the plate). But it's not idea for all dishes. Actually, it's not that good. My dining mate got the potato salad instead. It wasn't good. So if you ever do get around to constructing a new menu, perhaps you could work on the sides as well.

4.) A further note on the sides: the breakfast potatoes are disgusting. They are left to cook for a long time. They don't develop a crust. Instead, the starch in them develops and breaks down, leaving an oddly wet, at times almost gooey mess on the plate. I love potatoes. It's a bad sign that I can't bring myself to eat Marigold's.

5.) Oh, and the breakfast menu hasn't changed since the place opened either. It's been what, four years? Learn to cook something new! I know you left Zuni a while ago and took what recipes you could with you (ah, that Chicken and Bread Salad). But you could learn to cook something new. And if you ever do bother to do so, perhaps you could walk outside. On Wednesday and Saturday the Farmers' market is just outside your door (in the summer). At the WORST, you'd realize the weather. And maybe make something relative to the time of year! Imagine that.

6.) Finally, if you're going to charge as much as you do, provide table service. Or run the distribution of tables better. People hover over you when you eat. Folks in the back of the line grab tables ahead of those ordering. Dining out shouldn't produce anxiety — will I get a table; will this person stop standing over me; why did that person just grab a table in front of me; will I be able to sit before my food comes; etc. Don't off-load the work of assigning tables to customers. Do it yourself. Plus, that way people will also tip your employees better. And they could get paid more and be happier.


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