November 5, 2009
As we wandered around The Madison Theater last night before the Guster concert, we spotted several establishments (Covington Chili, Rima’s Diner …) that appeared to be open only for lunch hours. Situated directly next to the theater, Backstage Cafe was a more than convenient spot to grab a seat, a beer, and a quick bite before the show.
Clearly a bar first and restaurant second, our expectations weren’t overly high as we claimed a high-top near the bar (but be forewarned Ohioans, if you have forgotten, the smoking ban has not yet crossed the river). The menu is your basic bar fare of fried apps, a salad and soup or two, burgers and sandwiches, and a steak dinner, with a few oddities thrown in with a side of broccoli and cheese casserole and a molten chocolate lava cake for dessert.
Bar prices were average (we each ordered a Newcastle at $4 a pop), but the food prices were surprisingly low. Both Tyler’s Angus cheeseburger and my Tilapia sandwich were around $5 or $5.50 (adding a side of fries, onion chips, mac ‘n cheese, etc. will run you an additional two bucks). I almost ordered the grilled cheese for $2.50, but I had had that for lunch.
I doubt we would ever seek this place out to eat under any normal circumstances, but the next time we’re headed to The Madison Theater, I’ll look forward to arriving a little early for a drink, beer and bite at Backstage Cafe. (BONUS: From the restrooms, you can hear the band warming up on stage.)
(DOUBLE BONUS: I didn’t see anyone doing this, but if you sit in the balcony area of the theater, apparently you can have food delivered to you from Backstage.)