So its the weekend, and guess what, I’m brunching. I know, this will come as a shock to everyone. This week for my weekly installment of restaurant reviews, I’m eating at the Daisy Cafe & Cupcakery. Located in the quirky Atwood neighborhood, this local favorite is a Madison brunch classic.
When you walk in, you are greeted by a case of freshly baked cupcakes and friendly staff. All the tables and chairs are mismatched and look like they are reclaimed from garage sales around town. I love that! They offer ordering at the bar for coffee and cupcakes or service for their full menu. We opted for the full brunch and took a seat in the back dining room.
Definitely start with their chai latte. It is strongly spiced so it rich, creamy and delicious. Their food menu is extensive. They offer brunch & lunch every day of the week until 3pm, as well as dinner service Tuesday-Saturday after 3pm. Their food is classic breakfast comfort food, with a Mexican twist. Lots of the dishes feature Mexican ingredients, such as chorizo, avocado, peppers and cilantro. It’s a nice twist on the classic American breakfast.
I’ve been here a few different times, so I’ve had a variety of things on their menu. From the brunch side, I highly recommend the Steak Hash or the breakfast sandwich. The steak hash is well seasoned and a great comfort food without being too greasy. The rosemary bread on the breakfast sandwich is so awesome, and the slightly fried onions offer a nice spicy bite. Another favorite that’s off the menu is the chorizo biscuits and gravy. It’s always the special and it is soooo good. The smoky spiciness from the chorizo really comes through in the gravy and the biscuits are soft and fluky without being mushy.
If you’re in more of a lunch mood, I’ve tried the Daisy Cod Sandwich and was underwhelmed. I thought it was a little under seasoned, even though the fish was perfectly fried. However, the meatloaf, holy yummy batman. I love them all. I’ve had the Reuben and the chicken. They were so homey and you could tell they were made with love. The meat was juicy and the seasoning was spot on. I especially like all the toppings on top. They really help to enhance the flavors.
But the best part of course is the tasty little cupcakes that you spotted when you walked in. You just sit there thinking about them all brunch and then when you think you have no room left, you decide “I’m going to indulge”. And it will be the best decision of your morning. They have a rotating list of cupcakes, as well as a few classics. I’ll just start by saying I’ve never met a Daisy cupcake I didn’t like. I appreciate that they are small and well proportioned. Some cupcakes these days are just too big to handle. These are made to end a meal. They frosting to cake ratio is always great, and the cake part is really moist yet crumbly.
Today, I went for the carrot & walnut cupcake with cinnamon frosting. I loved it! It tasted like a delicious carrot cake and the cinnamon played well with the flavors of the cake. Another favorite is the strawberry & champagne. The bubbliness from the champagne makes the cake super light! If you’re more of a chocolate person, the double chocolate is a go-to. The chocolate frosting is super rich and bitter from the dark chocolate, which goes nicely with the sweet dense cake. But for real, you can’t go wrong with any of them, so just try what sounds good to you!