In a word: Darned tasty.
JM ate the ham and cheese.
Nichole ate the roast beef with mushrooms, onions, hot pepper relish, and tomato.
We split a bag of chips and a chocolate shake.
The bill was $13, or $6.50/person, plus tip.
JM and Nichole both gave Potbelly an A- (see our grading rubric).
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Not much entices us to go to a mall three days before Christmas. The season was the reason it was more trouble to find parking at WestTowne than it would have been on State Street. Having been to two of the three Madison Potbellys, Nichole can't say she prefers one over the other (but she would like to belatedly thank Katie and the Girl Scout troop who invited her to lunch last summer. Bet your Guide to Madison turned out great!).
Hassle was quickly forgotten as we went through the assembly line. It was sorta fun, a la Octopus Car Wash, to see our sandwiches roll through the broiler before we requested our veggie toppings. The only hitch is that the counter is four feet high (going on eight) - absurdly lofty even for tall people. We saw and appreciated the shake-maker at work, using 2% milk and hand-dipped ice cream to blend a sippable, not-too-thick shake for us. That the size wasn't gluttonous was also a plus. Potbelly gets bonus points from Nichole for having Coke Zero.
The sandwiches were hot and tasty. The bread was good and didn't cut your mouth to ribbons, and the topping options plentiful. Especially nice were the hot peppers, which were sweet-hot and juicy. Potbelly gives other sub chains a run for their money, particularly on a cold winter's night.