In this short-staffed, pandemic-tightened era, a restaurant offering breakfast, lunch, dinner — and late dinner — seven days a week is a rarity. Yet that’s what Blind Shot Social Club is doing. But if you think about the unrelenting daily business of golf courses, this starts to make sense. Blind Shot might be one of the area’s best clubhouse bars — what duffers call the 19th hole — and it isn’t even attached to a golf course.

With five golf simulator screens available for booking, Blind Shot is a clubhouse of a sort, with a mid-century modern design that Madison can’t seem to get enough of these days. You’d be forgiven if a few lines from Caddyshack popped into your head as you settle in at the bar.

There’s a strong likelihood that one of any number of movie lines may come to you there, because the drinks menu is a veritable Where’s Waldo of spot-the-reference. The drinks are also enjoyable, and with plenty of non-alcoholic options.

A perfectly golf ball-sized appetizer, the fried goat cheese balls, are labeled as the house signature dish, and aptly. They’re fried to the “golden brown and delicious” standard, plated in an entirely playable rough of salad greens.

If that doesn’t work for you, there’s always the monster wedge salad. Yes, wedge, like the golf club. I’m trying very hard to not lean on too many golf jokes, and Blind Shot doesn’t hang a lampshade on them either. Regardless, this is a solid wedge salad indeed, jazzed up with slices of avocado.

Portions tend to be generous, from the creamy pickle dip served with what feels like a whole bag of pinkie-length pretzel sticks, to the dish of zesty house-seasoned oyster crackers — “for snacking,” the menu says, as if I of all people needed direction to snack.

Morning meals will get you started with plenty of hearty calories. The bagel sandwich may come on an unimpressive bagel, but the volume of folded egg, turkey sausage and herb cream cheese more than make up for it. Same with the Good Morning breakfast sandwich, which features bacon, arugula and sriracha aioli on an English muffin. Do not expect to eat either of these in the car on the way to work; they are sandwiches that will surely punish the inattentive with a tumble of ingredients onto your lap.

I tried the huevos rancheros burrito as a takeout breakfast, too, and found it good enough but a little bland, as well as oddly rolled with both ends open, like a taquito. But served in-house, its saucy plating takes it to a different level, and the frizzly bits of house roasted pulled pork don’t get lost in a cloud of to-go steam. Adorable silver dollar pancakes, ordered at 75 cents a piece, are a dine-in must — especially with a bubbly brunch cocktail to cut through the maple syrup sweetness.

The extensive specials menu (which reboots frequently) featured a plank of teriyaki-glazed salmon over rice in a hollowed-out half pineapple. The preparation is adept, with texture and doneness just so. Tiki food isn’t nearly as common as tiki drinks. It’s wacky, but it works.

Friday’s fish fry is the only special that sticks around. The fish is walleye, the batter is crisp, and the fries are plentiful. But these are flimsy shoestring “sugar and salt” fries that convey too little of either.

One exception to the portion trend was a shrimp roll sandwich so small I admit I stifled a giggle when it arrived. Though the tasty bun is filled with plenty of tender shrimp, it is definitely petite.

Good service and good-faith effort can reinforce the occasional weak spot, though, and Blind Shot has both. I certainly didn’t need an apology for a minor delay caused by a nearby party’s 20-some order of silver dollar pancakes, but it was offered nonetheless. Play at your own pace, I say, and don’t let the next group rush you. I know, I said I was done with the golf jokes, but as with Blind Shot, there’s something surprisingly irresistible about them. 

Blind Shot Social Club

177 S. Fair Oaks Ave.



8 a.m.-10 p.m. Sun.-Thurs.,

8 a.m.-midnight Fri.-Sat.

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