By Sarah B. at 2016-07-15
First Peruvian experience and it was fabulous. Our waiter (big guy- didn't catch his name unfortunately) was wonderful. He answered all our questions with ease and elegance. He was funny and interactive. I had the Lomo Saltado and it was filling, flavorful, and large portion. Another person in the party had the Pisco Sour and it's a good thing we share - we both loved our drinks. I would definitely come back if I ever make it to Madison again.
By Khiang S. at 2016-07-12
Came for dinner before an evening show at 730pm. Arrived around 6pm to a quiet restaurant but it filled up relatively quickly by 630pm.
Restaurant was nicely adorned with awards and Peruvians wall hangings. Potential patrons will look into the glass window before making an entrance so if you don't like people to look at what you are eating, choose an inside table. We choose the corner table near the windows.
Hindsight is always 20/20. That corner of the restaurant seems to be a fly magnet. All the flies congregated on that window to have a party. It was really bothering me. I wished the owner did something about it before opening.
Service was slow tonight. Someone called in sick and there was just a wait staff doing her best to cater to everyone. Those who choose to sit outside may experience slower service.
Food was alright. We had the chicken with potatoes with rice topped with a bit of hard boiled egg and olive. The taste was good. Not salty but the presentation seemed haphazard. The other dish we ordered was their seafood paella. Decoration was better, the two halves of a mussel look like ears or antennas. There were shrimps and squid rings and that 1 mussel. The shrimps and squid rings were on the small size. The taste was pleasant, again not salty so I like it. The rice was too mushy for me. I love the Peruvian beans, don't know what it is called, but not a fan of the green beans and diced carrots. They looked canned.
I will try their other dishes in the future since I like not so salty food and the portion is just right.
By Rintaro A. at 2016-05-23
I'd really like to give this place 3.5 stars but that is not an option for users (Yelp dev team get working on that!).
As someone who has lived their whole life in South America, I can say the menu at Crandall's is authentic Peruvian food. They have several staple dishes from Peru, like Arroz con Pollo, Arroz Chaufa, Lomo Saltado, Pan con Chicharron, Pollo Asado, and a few others.
I ordered the Pan con Chicharron (braised pork sandwich). It was satisfyingly good. It came with a good serving of peruvian style fries (thick cut fries) for a side. They carry imported beer from Peru and even Inca Kola, which is Peru's most popular soda. This totally adds to the experience! The food has great presentation but in my hungry state I forgot to take pictures, maybe next time.
The reason I'm giving it 3.5 stars is because the food was kind of pricey IMO. Latin american food is very simple, nothing fancy, so I think the food could be less expensive.
By Rich S. at 2016-08-21
We walked in at 7:29pm on a Sunday with a sign on the door that said they closed at 8 pm. A woman sat us then about 5 min later a woman walks up to the table and told us they wouldn't serve us because they were closed. It has been some time since I had been to Peru, and I was really looking forward to some Peruvian food. After a brief exposure to the hospitality at this restaurant, I can tell you it was nothing like the hospitality in Peru, so I sincerely doubt the quality of their food is anything to talk about.
By Christoph J. at 2015-04-20
I ate lunch at Crandall's last week, and used the Hooked iPhone app to get a $6 meal. While it was affordable, it unfortunately wasn't very good.
The rotisserie chicken was way overcooked and seriously lacking in flavor. I couldn't eat some of the meat, as it was too chewy. The garden salad on my plate was fine, just a pile of iceberg lettuce with red onions and carrots and dressing. The thickly cut fries were easily the best part of my meal. The $6 Hooked deal also includes a soda.
I had a nice yet slightly inattentive server.
Overall, a pretty underwhelming meal. I'll perhaps try the dinner menu sometime to see if that provides a better experience.
By Donna M. at 2014-11-21
I have an undying love of Peruvian food, and Lomo Saltado is definitely in my top #5 favorite dishes of all time. Since Peruvian restaurants in my own hometown are hard to come by, checking out Crandall's was an absolute necessity while I was in Wisconsin.
Lots of variety to be found on the menu with Peruvian Dishes but also with a smattering of Classic American fare as well including Roast Turkey, Pot Roast, and even Pasta Primavera. I love ceviche too, and they have a handful of those to choose from but I had to stick to my guns and get the Lomo Saltado with Steak.
I liked the crispy fries, and the steak was marinated well and had a nice depth of flavor. However, the steak was also very overdone, and very tough. There was also wayyy too little steak to justify the $17 price tag! It was mostly fries and rice!
Our waiter was attentive and friendly but we were also the only patrons in the restaurant at the time so that might also have something to do with it. The restaurant smells heavily of incense too, so keep that in mind if you're adverse to strong smells while dining. Although I finally got my hands on some Lomo Saltado, it wasn't as satisfying as I'd hoped it would be. My friend got the Seafood Paella and really enjoyed her food. It looked good too! Maybe I ordered the wrong thing, but with so many other great dining options in Madison to choose from, I wouldn't waste my time coming back to find out.
By Michelle F. at 2013-08-08
Although I was sad to see Chautara go, I was eager to sample the fare of the space's new occupant, Crandall's, which offers Peruvian-American cuisine. First, I have to say that "Peruvian-American" is used in the loosest possible sense of the term here, since you can order an appetizer of fried Wisconsin cheese curds...And I can't say that if I had a hankering for lasagna THIS would be the first place I'd come to look for it. But there it is on the menu.
Our server was excellent, and the atmosphere was relaxed and nice--although the music selection, which included Bruno Mars, was somewhat disorienting.
I ordered the Arroz con Pollo, a very traditional Peruvian dish. I was not expecting chicken and rice to make a grand entrance on an absolutely gorgeous plate, but that's what was laid in front of me. I also appreciated the portion size, which was not overly large. On first bite, the dish struck me as hearty and savory, but a tad on the bland side. Peruvian cuisine is not as spicy as some other Latin American cuisines, after all, and as I kept eating, it suddenly hit me. The pickled red onion garnish was there FOR A REASON. So I assembled a forkful of rice, chicken, and a slice of the onion pickle. The sheer perfection of that bite was amazing: the pickled onion provided a perfect textural counterpoint and highlighted the subtle flavors of the dish. The insanely reeky onion breath two hours later was well worth it. I'll be back.
By Melissa G. at 2014-12-23
My husband is from neighboring Ecuador, and since there are just a few South American options in Madison, we took the opportunity to dine here recently while holiday shopping on State street.
Our meal was fantastic. We has ceviche mixto, Seco de Cordero, and alfajores for dessert. My husband felt a taste of home. The ceviche was fresh and perfectly spiced, the seco de Cordero had amazing texture and flavor, and the dessert was homemade and delicious.
I also had a pisco cocktail with infused basil. The server, also the catering manager, told us there are other unique cocktail options with pisco. These cocktails should absolutely not be missed.
Service was extremely friendly and attentive, and it was a busy night. The tables were all occupied and there was a private party upstairs (I believe we were told you can rent the room for an event free of charge with food).
I will go back, and my husband agrees! For previous folks who said there were American items on the menu, that was not my experience. It is now an entirely South American menu, and it is amazing!
By Brian L. at 2016-06-22
I usually go to Crandall's with my friends for dinner and drinks. Their menu options range widely in reguard to price, flavors, and portions, so there's really something for everyone. I usually get steak tacu-tacu or steak pan con lomo. I've tried a few other items on their menu and I've never been disappointed. My friends and I enjoy their Pisco Sours to drink (they're sort of like margaritas but they don't use Tequila and are frothy on top). Music is nice, ambiance is very pleasant, and servers are very accommodating. I plan on continuing to go here regularly.
By Prathyusha S. at 2015-03-26
I have visited this place twice, and both the times I did not find a reason to complain or be disappointed. With regards to food, I dont know which is worse. So, the first time I was here I ordered the Loma Saltado with tofu. My dish that day, though good was a tad bit acidic (could be the balsamic or any other vinegar that was used). The dish though flavorful, was not something I would come back to again. However, on my second visit (with my husband) we went through most of the menu. We got a Chicha Morada, (some regular beer), the Vegetable and Cheese Empanadas, Loma Saltado (again!, for the hubby) and the Arrozo con Pollo (without chicken, but with tofu instead).
The Arrazo was absolutely delicious! The cilantro sauce (without beer) subtly enhanced the carrots and green peppers in the dish. Fragrant and full of flavor and a lovely color, this dish is certainly a winner! I would come back for this! The Saltado was as expected, OK! nothing to complain about (the tartness being accounted for), but nothing to praise either!. I would skip the Empandas!(buy them off the food cart for half the price and twice the taste). On the whole, our dining experience was good, with the Arrazo emerging as the hero of our dinner! Go back for the Arrazo! Forget everything else and bite into the cilantro goodness :).
The dishes were a bit pricey too, with the exception of the Arrazo. I would certainly pay the $15 asked for taste and the portion. This is a 4 star review with 1 star exclusively for the Arrazo.
Go ahead and give Crandall's a try, I would go back only for the Arrazo though!.
By Christina D. at 2015-09-14
The wait staff was very attentive, but the kitchen was extremely slow. The food wasn't anything to write home about.
By Ashley H. at 2013-11-03
First off; the name is the same as the former American takeout&catering service in Middleton, but almost everything else has changed. About 80% of the food is Peruvian-inspired, there are just a few Americana options (turkey dinner, fish fry, 1 pasta dish, pot roast).
Crandall's accommodated a group of 6 pressed for time before an Overture Center show without a hitch. The server was extremely helpful and polite and ensured we were served quickly, yet didn't feel pressed for time. Our party selected Peruvian dishes, which including ceviche (multiple types), chaufa de quinoa (Peruvian "fried rice" except with quinoa), lomo saltado (steak, veggie, french fry dish).
Everyone loves choclo, the roasted giant corn kernels served as a snack before ordering, and ceviche usually appeals to anyone who likes fresh fish. Overall the sauces such as ají (onion condiment) adds a brighter element so even the heartier dishes like lomo saltado don't make you feel as heavy when you're finished. The prices are all right-they seem dead on for ceviche, but the chaufa de quinoa, which is borrowed from fried rice, is a wee bit overpriced.
Our group was happy with our experience here, and we would return, especially as a good option prior to an event downtown.
By Jessie S. at 2015-03-13
Ok food at great food prices. The Pisco Sour was good, the Seafood Paella was below average with frozen veggies, rubbery calamari and average shrimp. Service was not good, but I can look past that because it was busy.
For the price, I doubt we will go back.
By Eric K. at 2013-08-05
Excellent food. Good service. I'll be returning, often.
We ordered chicken empanadas as our appetizer. The crusts were amazingly flaky, the chicken tender, and the aji Amarillo pepper sauce had a nice bite. I'd go back just for those.
My lomo saltado featured tender sautéed hanger steak, red onions, and tomatoes in a nice sauce. It was tasty comfort food. The French fries that accompanied them reminded me of Red Robin (meh), but were an excellent medium for the remaining delicious sauce that came with the empanandas.
The ceviche mixito my friend ordered was quite good. I sampled a few tender morsels, and only one had a hint of "fishy" flavor. The rocoto pepper leche de tigre leant everything a delightful burn.
By Rob P. at 2013-08-08
New restaurant here! I came here for lunch with a few colleagues. Check out the attached photos. They serve Peruvian food with some traditional american items on the menu. (There was a regular burger on the menu).
Overall things were pretty good. Great service, clean restaurant, and a nice feel.
The empanadas are really great. Extra flaky. I would suggest the cheese or chicken.
I had the steak sandwich. I think it was called the Pan con Lomo. It was pretty good, but could've used a bit more meat on it. Fries were so-so.
Overall, I'd go back for sure. There are plenty of other items that looked great!
By Jean S. at 2015-03-11
I have never been to Crandalls before but for many years I had seen the cars lined up on the street in front of their Middleton location on Fridays with everyone going crazy over their famous fish fry.
My husband and I went on the first Friday of Lent. The place is small but they had several tables opened. We ended up sitting in a booth. The server was great, though she had only just been there for a week or so. She was friendly and a little quirky which made us comfortable.
I ordered their fish fry opting for the traditional. My DH ordered the Paella. I have had Fish Frys everywhere, some great some just ok. It's not like its a complicated dish. This one was just ok, actually not really because I wont' go back for it. The breading on the small fish filets tasted odd to me, and the fries were not crisp at all as if they had been sitting under a warming light for awhile. I didn't finish my meal and left still hungry. I couldn't imagine that this is what people were waiting in a long drive thru line to get back at the old restaurant.
My husband has had paella several places, the best being of course at La Paella when it was still open. This was nothing like paella. It wasn't cheap, and it was basically a bowl of rice, and not even a big bowl. There were a few token pieces of seafood on the top but nothing like it should have been for what we paid.
I like that they are trying something new for their restaurant, but sadly we won't be back. There are many other options on State Street that offer better food for the money. I gave 2 stars instead of one for our waitress, because she was fun. The food was not fun.
By Liz C. at 2015-07-25
Friendly service & large portions. Solid food. Nothing spectacular. Pisco Sours were big, but with large pieces of ice.
By Ari W. at 2015-04-19
Pleasantly surprised with how delicious and wonderful this place was! Walked in just after 9pm unsure of how late they were open.. Treated great even though closing time was near (I think!) The yuca was very good and the sangria was AMAZING! Overall great experience! Large portions made for great leftovers and another meal the next day!
By Meghan M. at 2015-07-03
I went with my husband and 2 kids (2 and 5). We ate outside. The tables were tiny, and the tops wobbled, so we couldn't fix them by stabilizing the bases. The empanadas were good, flaky crust and tasty filling. My husband had a quinoa dish, which they forgot to add chicken to. I had a rice dish with chicken. It was ok, but very heavy with the oil. The kids split fried fish with fries. It was pretty good. The service was slow for a table with children, but it seemed like they were not used to having kids. The best part of the meal was the pisco sour.
By Sabine W. at 2014-04-06
So this restaurant is new to State Street here in Madison. Until a month or two ago it was a Himalayan restaurant. Not sure if Crandall's moved here from another location in Madison or whether it's completely new to Madison.
Anyway, we thought we'd give it a try today (a group of 4 of us). It really didn't impress us at all, as you can tell from the rating. In fact, it was downright disappointing. When you order something for $13, you don't expect to get something that tastes like something I can get for $6 at a local Chinese take-out. And I don't know if it was a bad day for them or what, but the wait was too long AND they couldn't offer us half the things on their menu. So... what DO you have to serve us today? You could count on one hand the options we had. After we got our food, it was really unimpressive for the price and setting. Our food was bland and didn't have much taste. The chicken was bland ("Rotisserie chicken" from the menu), the Quinoa dish was bland and tasted like chinese stir fry, the tofu version of the "lomo" dish was ok, and the steak version of the "lomo" dish was ok.
Really, really not worth anyone's time considering the amazing other restaurants surrounding it on State Street - and DEFINITELY not worth the money they're charging you for these dishes. In one word: "meh".