Posted by: KStrate | July 21, 2008

The Icehouse: A Field Trip to Madison

I always said if I had a boyfriend, I’d make him take me to Madison.

Well, I got tired of waiting, so my sister went with me instead. 🙂

Madison, Ga. is one of those charming little towns that many Athens dwellers forget about. Just a short 30-minute down 441 South, Madison remains tucked away from the hustle and bustle of lives controlled by high gas prices and ozone alerts.

I had heard about a certain restaurant called The Icehouse, and I had been wanting to try it for a while. Since my sister came to visit me this weekend from Tennessee, I thought we would take a little road trip even farther South.

If you get off 441 and turn right where the really big sign for Madison is, it will take you right into its downtown. The Icehouse is on Washington Street, the second red light you’ll come to. Head North on Washington about a half mile, and it’s on your right.

Claire and I walked in (they don’t take reservations), and we only had to wait about 15 minutes for a table. In terms of the demographic, Claire and I were definitely the youngest party there. Most of the eaters were groups of adults or families with older children.

Some people may think that’s bad, but we got special attention. The inside looks like a warehouse, and the bar area is lower than the dining area. It looks really neat because it’s in the center of the restaurant, so Claire and I got to spy on other people while we were eating- one of our favorite nosy past times.

Our waitress, Rachel, was really nice, and she came to us soon after we were seated. I ended up ordering the salmon smoked in apple bacon with green beans and asparagus, and Claire got the penne pasta with shrimp and portabella mushrooms.

In the summer, there’s nothing better than a cold beer. I ordered an Amstel Light, and it came with the coldest glass. I won’t ga-ga over it, but the beer definitely hit the spot.

When Rachel brought our salads, they came in one big plastic bowl with tongs. How fun is that? It seemed like a family-style restaurant, but only half-way. I had the balsamic vinigarette, and Claire had their house dressing: Caesar and Ranch mix.

Rachel also brought out some yummy hot bread, and poured olive oil into a saucer with herbs.

Our food came out fairly quick, too. My salmon was perfectly portioned. I’d say it was about 6 ounces, and it had a small piece of bacon wrapped around it. I didn’t realize it was piping hot, so I had to roll it around in my mouth and blow out at the same time. You know you’ve done it, too.

Claire loved her pasta. She said the shrimp were a little tough, but it didn’t stop her from eating about half of the bowl. The sauce on the pasta was light and not too flavorful. It was just right. Claire didn’t want her portabello mushrooms, so I ate them for her.

We were too full for dessert, but we had a lot of fun at The Icehouse. Our trek back didn’t seem as long as it did going down. We even filmed a little tour of Madison’s downtown for you!

So (guys), if you want to take your girl for a fun date that isn’t in downtown Athens, go to Madison. It’s fun, quaint, and the houses in the area are b-e-a-utiful! Madison is famous for its houses.

I hope you enjoyed this little tour outside of Athens. Try it some day!

P.S. Here are some good links that will tell you about Madison

Chamber of Commerce

Wikipedia entry

America’s No. 1 small town

Directions from Athens



  1. Thanks for the date trip, KStrate! I’ll keep that in the back pocket…and claim it as my own sometime.

  2. The Icehouse definitely looks like it’s worth the trip to Madison, those shrimp look tasty. If yall like shrimp, you need to try out the new special they have at Carrabba’s on Atlanta Hwy, the Venezia…it’s a trout filet crusted with hazelnuts, and comes with sauteed shrimp stuffed with crabmeat – I had it for the first time a couple of weeks ago (along with a cold beer, of course), yum!

  3. I just found your blog, it is a good read! Haven’t been to The IceHouse yet, looks great.

    You need to go and review the Hoyt House at Foundry Park Inn. I had my first meal there this week (lunch) and it was fantastic. They apparently don’t get a lot of local traffic, just from the hotel, when they found out we were locals they gave us coupons for free entrees on our return visit!

  4. Really?! You think the Farm is the best in town?! And you give the Nat’l a bad review? Have you ever worked in the service industry? You really think the busy host and manager have time to call YOU? The last time I ate at the farm was the worst service I’ve ever received (not to mention the delightful roach which fell which fell on my head when dining alfresco).

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