I have been called a sandwich snob. That accusation is false. However, I do believe in something called sandwich theory. This is my quest to find the greatest sandwiches in Madison. Send me your sandwich recommendations by email or on Twitter or Instagram.
I decided to brave some of the summer construction around Atwood Avenue and hit up Alchemy. It’s a funky spot with a raised bar and a warm feeling from all the wood tones. I wanted something light to beat the heat, so I went with the Matilda sandwich: grilled butternut squash on a roll with Swiss cheese, red onion, tomato, leaf lettuce, fresh basil, and gorgonzola herb dressing.
The roll was fresh, light, and soft as a cloud. It stood out for one particular reason: It did a fantastic job of soaking up some of the juices/dressings of the makings, giving every bite the flavor balance of the entire sandwich.
The balance and blending of flavors and textures was incredible. After a soft bite into the buttery roll, there’s a crisp follow up with lettuce and tomato before hitting the Swiss-topped grilled squash, and ending with the onion and dressing on the bottom. The squash was simple and starchy, but melded together well with the cheese for a savory finish to each bite.
There was dressing on both the top and bottom of the roll so I didn’t get any ingredient slippage. (This is why I’m a big fan of a sandwich that is a little saucier; sometimes it acts like glue.) The round slices of squash were grilled to where each bite still had integrity without becoming mush. The sandwich held together as I worked my way through, leaving one final poppable bite.
I chose this as a lighter option, yet the makings were still rich. At $11 you get your choice of side included — I went with salad. The portion size was good. I left plenty satisfied, and given the heat I didn’t feel overstuffed. But I also knew I would be ready for dinner later that evening.
One of my goals for this quest is to hunt for new and different sandwich options. Constantly hitting the same, or similar, combinations gets repetitive and boring. Suffice to say, I’m happy I mixed it up with Alchemy’s Matilda. That buttery finish to each bite was a perfect sandwich option for a hot summer day.