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 returned to my roots for this entry and ventured to campus to check out one of its many food trucks. El Wiscorican serves Puerto Rican cuisine for weekday lunch in front of the Atmospheric & Oceanic Sciences building, where I worked during my undergrad days. (Shout out to Instagram user @supersizedsumo for the tip.) I walked up to the counter of the bright red cart with the “SAN JUAN” vanity plate to order the tripleta El Wiscorican: a mix of pork, chicken, and beef garnished with potato sticks, “mayoketchup,” cheese, and what the proprietor called a homemade chimichurri sauce, all snuggled into a freshly baked bun.
The bread, called pan sobao, is baked fresh every morning, and boy can you tell. You know how bread right out of the oven has that squishy feel and texture? This bun had all of that. It had a hint of sweetness and reminded me of Cuban bread. It served as a perfect wrapper, keeping all the makings together for each bite.
The star of the makings was the homemade chimichurri sauce. It added a necessary bit of acidity to help cut the richness of the meat and cheese, while the mayoketchup added some tangy sweetness and the potato sticks brought crunch. I would’ve liked a little more seasoning on the meat, but otherwise it was a balanced sandwich.
That perfect, fresh bun did its job tremendously. A few pieces of meat tried to escape the back end of the sandwich, but only in the final few bites. The chimichurri was spread on the top half of the bun next to the potato sticks, the cheese and mayoketchup held down the bottom of the bun, and the meat was sandwiched between. The bun stayed soft and held everything together.
At $8.50, you get a generously (and I mean generous) sized sandwich and your choice of soda or water. Many food trucks around campus try to up-sell you on soda and water, so this was superb value in my opinion. I got there about 11:45 a.m. and it was quite busy, but I still had my sandwich in hand and eaten by noon.
I don’t think I’ve ever had a sandwich experience like the tripleta El Wiscorican, and I rated this as one of the best sandwiches I’ve had along my quest. I’ve had next to zero experience with Puerto Rican food, but the tripleta had a unique and hearty flavor, was a great value, and came out fast with friendly service. Make sure you check out El Wiscorican the next time you’re around the campus area.