Name: Lazy Jane’s Cafe
Location: 1358 Williamson St, Madison, WI 53703
Ambiance: Diner, brunch/lunch location
Best Dish: Seitan Hash/Melt (depending on when you go)
Madison has no shortage of fantastic brunch places, but Lazy Jane’s Cafe does fill a niche. Specifically, it provides a “meaty” option to vegetarian – and also has fabulous scones. Set out in the Atwood/Williamson neighborhoods, the restaurant is surrounded by many, many amazing restaurants, but manages to stand on its own.
My dining companion and I ordered the Arti Melt and the Seitan Melt (made as a hash earlier in the morning) respectively. I also ordered an iced vanilla latte and a lemon cream scone, while he ordered just plain iced coffee. The vanilla latte left much to be desired. It had too much vanilla syrup and was cloyingly sweet, and as a result was somewhat unpleasant to drink. My companion said his iced coffee was okay, but nothing exceptional. The scone was delicious – the lemon flavor came through well, and it was moist, crumbly and one of the best scones I’ve had outside of the Farmer’s Market. The entrees were generously portioned and accompanied by a heaping serving of kettle cooked chips and salad. The salad dressing was very good, creamy but light, however, the focus was really on the sandwiches. The arti melt took artichoke hearts and layered it over marinara, creating a pizza flavor in a sandwich. It was hearty and tasty, flavored with Italian seasoning. However, the seitan melt really stood out. The seitan was meaty and well seasoned, and was not overwhelmed by salty brine as often happens. It was paired with portabella mushrooms and perfectly sauteed onions and bell peppers that had softened just enough to still have a bite.
Overall, Lazy Jane’s Cafe offers a great dining experience. It’s a lovely little diner, and while it isn’t particularly unique, the seitan melt does set it apart from the many other brunch places that Madison has.