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.
On a tip from Bozho reader Ben (thanks Ben!) I headed over to Alimentari, an Italian deli from the folks at A Pig in a Fur Coat that opened this past summer next to Burrito Drive. The space feels like an old school deli or butcher shop with white tile and fluorescent lights. My sister and I browsed some of their shelves of homemade pasta and sauces before we stepped to the counter to order our sandwiches: Italian beef for her, and the spicy soppressata salami with capicola, smoked muenster, relish, lettuce and ’nduja mayo for me.
The sandwich came on a huge hero roll. The bread was fresh and soft inside and had a good crunch on the outside, without being too hard to dig into. Nothing spectacular but a good, solid base for the fillings.
This sandwich really put the “spicy” in spicy soppressata. Besides the salami, the ’nduja (a spreadable salumi made with hot peppers) mayo had bite as well. I like some kick in my food, and I had to take some pauses while working my way through. It was hot, but not overpowering. The thinly-sliced capicola paired well with the relish, while the muenster’s creaminess balanced some of the heat and brought it all together.
The size and style of the roll did most of the work from an architecture standpoint. You could easily dig into this sandwich with one hand while you walk down the street. The relish formed the base, followed by the meats, cheese, lettuce and ’nduja mayo on the top half of the roll. None of the generous makings escaped as I worked my through. Exemplary construction.
Even at $11, the value is great for the size of the sandwich. You could easily halve it and save some for later or split it between two people. My sister’s Italian beef was huge as well and also a solid value for $12.
I may have found my new go-to everyday sandwich shop. The staff was super friendly and encouraging as we considered the menu and even after we made our choices. I was sold on the old fashioned deli feel and the old school sandwiches wrapped in brown butcher’s paper. The sandwiches seem to be simple, solid fare and I think I could go back almost every day and not get tired of anything on the menu.