Sliced Deli

In a word: Arby's Not Arby's.

The specs: #01052  
601 South Gammon Rd., 53719
Details at Yelp, official web site, Twitter

Latest Sliced Deli news and reviews

JM ate the French dip and a soda.
Nichole ate the Cuban with a soda.
We split some curly fries.
The bill was $15, or $7ish/person.
JM gave Sliced Deli a B+; Nichole gave Sliced Deli an A- (see our grading rubric).

Walking into Sliced is about six kinds of surreal.  First of all, it is in the old Arby's off of Gammon and it is still basically the same restaurant.  The big brass bell for good service is still there by the door, and on the hutch where once Arby's and Horsey Sauces were now lie sachets of various similar condiments.  The menu, too, is mostly the same kind of thing (sammiches), only with a lot more panache.

Sliced lunch tray

But the counter staff, instead of the usual dead eyes or oversharing, was truly friendly and helpful, excited even, for the opportunity to share the food with you.  And so we were.

Nichole got the Cuban sandwich, which was nicely salty with very moist ham.  She felt the sandwich was nicely balanced and a good value.  The same could be said for JM's French dip (at one point in his life, this was JM's go-to because he jus couldn't get enough) which was the special that night.  While it didn't excel, it was right in line with his expectations and, being the $5 special, it felt like he was stealing from someone.

You can even get curly fries, which we did.  These were standard, but the whole feel of the place is standard Arby's, just with some life and verve and none of the corporate crap.  If you need a quick sandwich or just the Arby's experience remixed with a local bent, give Sliced a try.  They do good things.

Sizzling Hut

In a word: Hut or not.

The specs: #01051  
404 N. Main St., DeForest, WI 53532
Details at Yelp, official web site, Facebook

Latest Sizzling Hut news and reviews

JM ate the General Tso's chicken with a soda.
Nichole ate the cashew shrimp.
We split an order of crab rangoon and got a free packet of almond cookies.
The bill was $14, or $7/person, plus tip.
JM gave Sizzling Hut a B; Nichole gave Sizzling Hut a B+ (see our grading rubric).

Tucked away in a forgotten strip mall just minutes from the DeForest Norske Nook is Sizzling Hut.  We got a fairly standard afternoon set of late lunchy eatables and have to report: it is just fine.

Crab Rangoon

Sizzling Hut is De Forest's Chinese restaurant in a box.  They seem to be going for more deals than the standard, with daily lunch specials that migrate from good value to 'are you paying us to eat here?' territory.  One of the key awesome things was the guy behind the counter, who served our food, might have cooked it, and was identified on our receipt as "boss." He was avuncular and genial, despite the respite of no diners in the mid afternoon that we interrupted. He was never too close or too far away.  The food arrived not too soon but not too late either; for openers, the crab rangoon were simple, hot and crabby.

General Tso's chicken

As for the entrees, JM's General Tso's was not really spicy (related aside: there seem to be too kinds of restaurants, those that warn that anything sharper than Minute Maid is spicy, while the others have spiciness scales where anything above a "1" is guaranteed to melt your face into a tiny puddle. Do we need an international Scoville-to-star rubric?) but tasty and filling.  There was just enough rice, but a vegetable or two more wouldn't have killed JM. Would it, JM? 

Cashew chicken

Nichole's cashew shrimp was very salty, but packed with vegetables. The fried rice had bits of egg in it, a plus. And on the way out, Boss gave Nichole two packets of almond cookies just because.

There's not much to add. We are so infrequently in DeForest that needing a Chinese place there is the least of our concerns (getting from Madison to the Nook for a weeknight dinner before it closes is a different story). But you can do a lot worse, and perhaps Sun Prairie denizens might find the down-homeiness of this place superior to their current East Asian options.

NEWS

Madison Food coverOur book Madison Food: A History of Capital Cuisine is out. More about it here. Read it for free thanks to the library - print & ebook, or read an excerpt on Carson Gulley and some bonus bits on Porchlight, Argus, Sunshine Supper, and Babcock.


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