MadiScone Blues – Lazy Jane’s Cafe (Madison, Wisconsin)

Blackberry Scone

I will travel far and wide for an exquisite scone.  Finding myself in a dairy capital, the lowly scone may seem an odd bedfellow for the more ubiquitous cheese curd.  Nonetheless, Lazy Jane’s Café purports to be a fine trader in the delicacy of scones.  Boasting a variety of fruit options, this seeming anomaly reveals its Sconnie roots upon closer examination: glistening layers of sugar flow down the sides of the scone forming white skirts around its base.   Not one to be intimidated by excess sugar, I approach this Blackberry feast with high hopes.  The quality of the fruit is apparent on sight and the size is completely adequate.  Yet, I leave disappointed.

This donut-like entity displays summits and trenches that seem to suggest crunch by virtue of surface area.  However, these features belie the softness of the material.  With the first bite, a rush of sugar combines with real berries to initially overwhelm the disappointment of the pliable border.  Further, the lack of glazed sugar inside the scone appears to create a nice contrast between the subtle, dry inside and the maniacally sugared outside.  Yet, this mixture is unsustainable.  As soon as the desert-like inners outpace the sugar and all fruit disappears, the essential qualities of the pastry are unmasked.  The scone is dry and dense, clotting in the eater’s mouth.  Moreover, the inside lacks flavor.  The creator clearly expects the flavor to derive from the fruit and glazed sugar, but these elements cannot penetrate the dry indifference that lies beneath the surface.

With so much promise, the ultimate lack of execution leads the eater to dark thoughts.  In our evanescent times, with so many mayfly pleasures, this scone offers a sugary cheap thrill, but lacks thoughtful presence.  To have grasped for the sublime, but to fall so very short, I am left dejected.  Maybe in another time, and another life.




2 thoughts on “MadiScone Blues – Lazy Jane’s Cafe (Madison, Wisconsin)

  1. Dear DANG,

    Thank you for this thoughtful, poignant, and slightly unnerving review. I find myself intrigued by two separate lines of inquiry. First, do you think this scone could have been improved by mixing the copious amounts of sugar and fruit directly into the scone rather than using both as toppings? Could this relatively simple modification produce radically different results? Or, do you believe that the dough of the scone was too sub-par to be augmented by a simple physical change? Second, do you feel that you, as a scone scholar and reviewer, should engage in purposeful separation of your psychological well-being from the objective quality of the scones that you review? The obvious disappointment you experienced upon consuming said scone appears to have brought you to an emotional nadir from which you may never fully recover. Do personal emotions have a place in the reviewing of scones? Can any one human being be reasonably expected to withstand such an unending barrage of mediocrity?

    Cordially Yours,
    The World’s Strongest Newborn


  2. Dear oddly sinewy baby,

    Give me a truly objective reviewer, whose emotions are not impacted by their subject, and I will present to you a liar. Clearly, one is emotionally involved if they have decided to dedicate time and effort to systematically ranking specific items. I am but the humble reviewer who accepts the fallibility of my endeavor. To separate my emotional response to the scones would not only be disingenuous to my dedicated readership, but would be unfair to my beloved scones. Perhaps I am not fairly forming counterfactual scone comparisons, but what are rating systems but oversimplifications provided to quickly and messily transmit information? I believe my system achieves this aim.

    In regards to fixing this scone, I’m not sure if mixing the top sugar into the scone would solve the problem. I doubt the sugar would evenly distribute. Even a greater number of berries likely would not solve the issue. You nailed the problem when you target the dough. I believe the dough requires refinement. While alteration of the present ingredients into a new shape could perhaps lessen my displeasure during the second half of the eating experience, I doubt this change would raise the scone’s score more than a point.

    Thank you for the engaging questions.

    – DANG


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