BY GREGORY SCHUETZ | APRIL 11, 2016
On the 1800 block of Monroe Street sits a pub and restaurant named Brocach that provides homage to traditional Irish fare. Brocach, meaning “badger den” in Gaelic, opened its doors in 2011 as a continuation of one of Madison’s premier Irish restaurants. The décor resembles a quaint Irish pub setting with embroidered seats and a well-stocked bar. Their extensive craft beers on tap change often to quench any thirst. The quintessential beer of choice of any true Irish pub experience is Guinness, better known as the black stuff. Its rich malty taste is known to many as the drink of Ireland, which makes any visit not complete without a pint.
I arrived on a Sunday just missing the end of their weekend brunch menu selection (10 am – 2 pm). The lunch and dinner menu is combined and offers a small focused selection of classic Irish food. My meal began with the Beer Cheese Dip ($9) that had two warm golden pretzels with a skillet of bubbling cheese. The pretzels were freshly baked with a soft gooey center. The cheese dip tasted less like the sharp cheddar as advertised and more like processed cheese. That is not to say it was bad, but I’m a stickler for good cheese, having lived in Wisconsin for over twenty years. The very fine layer of hardened cheese that settled upon cooling was a very good accompaniment with the pretzels. So if you’re sharing, grab a bite before it’s gone.
I opted for the Shepherd’s Pie ($15) as an entrée. The plating can be deceptive when one is given a small bowl for an entrée; however, every inch of that bowl is stuffed to the brim with a fresh synergy of ingredients. The Shepherd’s Pie consists of finely chopped beef and piping hot vegetables in rich gravy adorned with whipped potatoes. The beef was more on the minced side than a pot roast.
My meal overall was quite pleasant. Brocach is nice spot among the rows of stores on Monroe Street. It offers a wide variety of weekly deals and an ever changing live Irish music venue with no cover charge every Saturday night. The Brocach on Monroe Street is an extension to an otherwise wonderful atmosphere of a traditional Irish pub experience. I look forward to returning to Brocach for a pint of the black stuff once the walls echo in melody.
1843 Monroe Street, Madison, Wisconsin, 53711
Mon-Thurs 11 am–11 pm
Fri 11 am–12 am
Sat 10 am–12 am
Sun 10 am–10 pm