Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Eating Off the Table: Spaghetti on the Board

If you're looking for a food adventure in Madison, WI, head to Bunky's Cafe for "spaghetti on the board". I had first heard of the concept from another local Italian place, but they closed before I ever got over there to try it out.  When I heard Bunky's had it as well, I put it on my "must-do" list. 

I made reservations for our family, another family, and a couple other friends (9 people total).   We had no idea what we were going to encounter, but figured we should try it out.

The Details

When you arrive you might notice your table looks a little different.  It's covered with a standard tablecloth, but over that is a huge white industrial cutting board that completely covers the table top. 

They offer you a glass of Chianti, lemonade, or tea.  You can order other beverages as well, but they're not included in the price. 
Bread and beverages.
Then they bring out a plate of bread for each table and everybody gets a plated salad with a nice Italian dressing.  Well, they skipped the kids, but let's face it, most kids don't eat salad.   

My partially eaten salad, was so excited I forgot to take a picture!
After we slaked our initial hunger with bread and salad, the waitress handed out a lot of paper napkins, which we used to line all around the edge of table because the cutting board heaves up when they add the hot food.  So the napkins are a barrier to prevent the sauce from making its way onto your lap due to gravity.

Then she came out with a big bowl and plopped down two huge piles of hot noodles right on the tabletop.   
Our waitress putting down a big pile of noodles on the table.
Check out the napkins around the edge. 
She topped each big pile of noodles with spaghetti sauce and big meatballs. 
Ladles full of sauce and meatballs.
Then you use your fork to pull some food towards you and you eat directly off the table surface.
Digging in.
After the initial chowing, they offer you more noodles, sauce, and meatballs.  We needed a little more noodles on our side, while our other table needed more sauce.  They were quick with the additional food.  I think they might have brought us more bread, too. 
A big, tasty meatball.

Slurping down.

What a messy table!
Once the spaghetti part of the meal is done, they clean up the cutting boards and pick them up off the table, which is good because there was sauce everywhere.

Then they bring a mini cannoli for each person.  It looked small, but it was the perfect little dessert to end the meal after stuffing ourselves.
Um, there was a cannoli there.  But I ate it.


A fun food adventure! So glad we tried it. 

We all had a ton of fun with this meal out.  Sonny D ate so much food!  I think he loved being able to eat the spaghetti in whatever way he wanted.  Toddlers usually have a difficult time with spaghetti noodles, but he did a great job with his fork (and hands).  He loves meat, so the meatballs were also quite popular.

I would say all of the meal is completely homemade.  You can definitely tell the sauce didn't come out of a jar or at least they've jazzed it up with good ingredients.  The meatballs seemed like a nice mixture of beef and pork.  The cannoli seemed like they were made with real ricotta and not too sweet. 

Wanna Chat?

I turned off the 'leave a comment' feature, so if you want to share what you're thinking about this or anything else, drop me an email at jhk1013 (at) gmail.com. It's so much more cozy than a comment, plus we can have a real conversation!