Tag Archives: sandwich

Toast – Gili’s Paninis

Perfect Panini
Location: Capitol Square at Mifflin and Wisconsin Avenue (near Chase Bank) for lunch, also at Farmer’s Market and with Lets Eat Out Madison. Best to check Twitter
By: Kailey

How lucky are we? Two new-for-2014 food carts in Madison are offering warm, grilled sandwiches. Previously, Madison was lacking many sandwich options from food carts and these two carts are filling a sub-sized hole in the market. Both Melted and Toast are great reasons to never set foot in a Subway again (sorry Subway, I do appreciate you, but sometimes that fake bread smell makes me sick…and avocado should not come out of a can). (Note: Slide and others also serve sandwiches but I’m referring to the grilled variety)

Toast-Gili's Paninis

Toast-Gili’s Paninis

At Toast’s bright yellow cart, you choose your bread, meats, veggies, cheese and sauces and they grill up your sandwich while you wait. I like that you can pick as many toppings as you want (more than two sauces recommended!) and every panini comes with a small cup of pickles or hot giardiniera. In addition to lunchtime flavors, they serve dessert or breakfast paninis featuring Nutella, strawberries, caramel, chocolate and bananas.

Menu at Toast. Build your own or ask for good combinations. (But better than Subway)

Menu at Toast. Build your own or ask for good combinations. (But better than Subway)

I ordered the panini that was featured as the free sample of the day: pastrami, chicken, pesto, garlic mayo, red pepper mayo, onions, tomato and provolone cheese. They were also pushing samples of homemade lemonade, yummy but not worth the extra cost. The panini with cup of pickles was $7.50 and they do take credit cards.

Perfect Panini

Perfect Panini

Side note for those interested: it’s worth noting the sandwich-extraordinaires are quite attractive. Pull up a chair at the outdoor “seating area” on the side of the cart for a good view of the makers in action.

Seating area at Toast

Seating area at Toast

The panini was perfectly grilled and very filling for lunch . The ingredients seemed fresh and I appreciated that the wait time was short even though this was a make-your-own process.  The only complaint is the lack of choices for veggies: there are only a grand total of four options (onions, black and green olives and tomatoes) and two are olives. Suggestions for extra vegetables suitable for panini-making: mushrooms, broccoli, green or red peppers or yum, avocado. Or can we get some falafel here for the vegetarians?!

The only thing confusing about this delicious cart is the name. Is it Toast? Is it Gili’s Paninis? Why are there no many vowels in panini? (just a general question, not a cart question) Turns out, the cart is Toast-Gili’s Paninis for right now but they will be gradually moving to just Toast.

Deliciousness: 5/5 plates
Price: 3/5 plates
Speed: 4/5 plates
Authenticity/Originality: 5/5 plates
OVERALL: 4.5/5 plates

Toast Twitter: https://twitter.com/gilispaninis
Toast Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/gilispaninis

Other Toast Reviews:
What Isthmus had to say


Filed under Sandwiches

FIB’s Fine Italian Beef and Sausage

A Sausage Serenade
Location: Capitol Square on Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. (by Starbucks)
By: Anna

Let me start this by saying, I have no allegiances to Chicago. Actually, I hate the Cubs — but not as much as I hate the Bears (although pity might be a better word for both teams). That being said, I love a good dog.

Yeah, I said it. And yeah, FIBs array of cheap, delicious Chicago-style dogs and sandwiches truly deliver. (Okay, not literally.)

FIB's Food Cart

Serving up Chicago style lunch that is quick and delicious.

Two laundry list menus of various hot dogs and sandwiches flank the little cart. Each of the items has a cutesy Chicago name. The “Al Capone,” “The Bill Murray,” etc. The cart is decorated like a brick wall and  framed photos of old-time celebs dot the cart’s interior.  There’s even music playing so you can enjoy some tunes while you wait. And prices are low in terms of food cart fare. My lunch companion was jealous that I shelled out a mere five dollars for a chicken sausage piled high with sweet and hot peppers, marinara and a plump, golden bun. The owner was even sporting a Cubs hat when he handed over my lunch.

Chicken Sausage with hot and sweet peppers

My chicken dog in all of it’s Capitol lawn lunch break glory.

After finding a half sunny spot on the Capitol lawn, Kailey and I sprawled out in anticipation of our cart lunches. (She tried the Bayou, more on that later). Not that it was a competition, but I totally won. My chicken sausage was a great mix of spicy and sweet and the large bun assured my stomach that I was, in fact, not going to have to eat again until at least 3pm. (Groundbreaking.)

One downfall was the casing of the sausage was a little hard to break and because there were so many toppings, it was pretty messy. Luckily, Kailey and I are pretty close friends — she can tolerate my messy eating habits. But if you’re on a work lunch, or worse, a lunch date — probably don’t go for FIBs. Plus, the hot dog metaphor is probably a little much for those contexts.

Other than that, for speed, taste and PRICE, FIBs is on my lists of places to return.

Deliciousness: 4/5 plates
Price: 5/5 plates
Speed: 4/5 plates
Authenticity/Originality: 4/5 plates
OVERALL: 4.5/5 plates

Other FIB’s Reviews:
What Eating in Madison A to Z said
What Isthmus said

1 Comment

Filed under American, Sandwiches

Monty’s Blue Plate Diner

Delectable Diner 
Location: Corner of State and Mifflin Capitol Square / Library Mall alternately
By: Matthew Straub, Guest Streeteater

Editor’s Note: Matthew is an avid blog reader who discovered Madison Street Eats during his daily online blog perusing. Since Matthew is an experienced writer, who does freelance work for a daily deals site and formally wrote for the Badger Herald and a travel blog, we were eager to receive his polished submission. Enjoy Matthew’s post on yummy diner food and check out his Twitter page for more about our lovely guest Streeteater! -Kailey

In my mind, there are few staples of our nation’s culture more satisfying and archetypically American than the diner. You choose to eat at a diner or greasy spoon café and you’re rewarded with generous portions from a menu that is generally quite familiar. You sit amongst friendly, down-home type fellow customers, and when you’re finished filling yourself you gaze glossy-eyed and stuffed at greasy plate residue – the likes of which aren’t often seen outside of a bacon-filled frying pan. Usually, you disembark with a tab that’s alarmingly cheap. Quite simply, diners are almost always delicious, and there is an inherent cultural nostalgia in them that makes them very special tome.

So you can imagine my excitement when the Food Fight Group opened a Monty’s Blue Plate Diner food cart which is alternately located at the top of State Street on the Square or on Library Mall.

Monty's Blue Plate Diner food cart

The menu is small, and focused around lunch sandwiches more than typical diner fare, but as I visited on a Farmers’ Market morning I opted for a hot coffee (a requisite diner beverage, 80+ degree weather or not) and a breakfast sandwich, which was vaguely described as featuring “cheese and apples.” While I waited for my intriguingly mysterious sandwich to be freshly prepared, I sipped my steaming cup of extraordinarily delicious and local Just Coffee Cooperative coffee. Five minutes later, I sat down with sandwich in hand. The total price came in at a pleasantly cheap $6.10, and a third of that was just for the coffee.

Experiences at countless diners had me presuming the sandwich to be egg-based, but what I was given instead was two enormous slices of toasted sourdough bread holding thin slices of tart apple with what appeared to be a large slice of provolone cheese atop fresh spinach, all smothered with a hidden layer of gooey, creamy, delicious cheese that I have assumed to be chèvre (Editor’s note: chèvre is goat cheese and when it is served hot, as it is on this sandwich, it is called chèvre chaud).

Cheese and Apple sandwich

The sandwich was decidedly unlike anything you would find in an actual diner, but you know what else? It was fantastic. So simple as to be humble, modestly proportioned, slightly crunchy, a little tangy and a little sweet, Monty’s breakfast sandwich left me perfectly satisfied with my brunch choice. My only complaint is that the fare from this cart is not well aligned with the “diner” aspect of the Atwood Avenue restaurant.

Then, in the bottom of my little white paper take-out bag I noticed a donut. Whether this was included with the sandwich or a friendly gesture from the food cart maiden I cannot be sure, but it must be said that this hidden treat was a delightful surprise; sugary, sweet, light and still with a bit of crisp. None of that soggy old donut crap lesser establishments might pass your way.

bonus donut!

I walked away content, if not a bit too warm from all that coffee and humidity. I now find myself with a tantalizing curiosity about those other, non-breakfast sandwiches, diner name be damned.

Deliciousness: 4/5 plates

Price: 5/5 plates

Speed: 4/5 plates

Authenticity/Originality: 3/5 plates

Overall: 4/5 plates

If you want to be a guest streeteater, email us at madisonstreeteaters@gmail.com


Filed under American