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Good Food (cart)

In a word: Apt.

The specs: #0685  
Address, hours & details via Isthmus; reviews at Isthmus, Madison Street Eats, Yelp, Healthy Dairyland; Twitter, Good Food (Mobile food cart) on Urbanspoon

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Darby ordered the Strawberry Love wrap and ate the turkey club wrap with baked BBQ chips and a water.
Dave ate the Strawberry Love wrap.
JM ate the turkey club wrap with baked BBQ chips and an orange juice.
Nichole ordered the Greek salad and ate the Greek wrap with a raspberry kombucha.
The bill was about $7/person, plus tip.
JM and Nichole gave Good Food a B+ (see our grading rubric).

Good Food is a snazzy red cart that (as far as we know) debuted last summer at Johnson & Mills, where it helped Java Den at 1022 fill the food void. We found it at Main & Pinckney, where Blowin' Smoke, Wei's Food to Go and brick-and-mortar options are plentiful.

The menu is straightforward and combinatoric. Customers pick one of two to four sets of ingredients and have them served up as a tidy wrap or as a salad. Sides of fresh fruit and baked chips are available. (That's up to 32 possible meals for those keeping track.)

We joked that Good Food probably knew what we needed more than we did, since we didn't exactly get what we ordered. The place was hopping, though, and we have to commend them for a decent turnaround time at rush hour.

As we waited we sipped OJ, fizzy water and locally-made raspberry kombucha from Nessalla. This last was refreshing, with a whiff of vinegar heralding each lightly sweet, berry-fresh sip, and the cart even took the returnable bottle back for us.

We didn't get to see what a salad looked like, but in the end this was fine. The wraps were more satisfying than a comparable amount of salad would have been. The wheat tortillas were tasty and served to suck up the odd dressing leak. Plus, they're eminently portable and use less packaging than we imagine a salad would have.


A turkey club with bacon, lettuce, tomato, onion and choice of mustard, mayo or ranch dressing was the most conventional option. There was also a Greek choice with spinach, sliced black olives, feta, tomatoes, red onions, and a light vinaigrette.

On special was a springlike and playful Strawberry Love melange of greens, strawberries, almonds, balsamic vinegar, and optional turkey. As it turns out Darby preferred the turkey club to the bite of the Strawberry Love that she sampled, but both were fresh and yummy. Dave just called it good; thanks to his mode of transport for the day (running) he did, however, finish hungry enough to get a smoked turkey sandwich for dessert, saying, "on a more sedentary day, the wrap would have sufficed."

Bottom line: Good Food is very Pollaneqsue in its wholesome and earnest simplicity.


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How were the baked chips???
Also do they make them or is it a commercial brand?

Second "didn't get what was ordered" entry in a row. Maybe I've been incredibly unlucky but that's my number one Madison restaurant peeve.

And to be fair, I do a lot more carryout than sit-down dining, which ups the opportunities for confusion when everything is boxed/bagged up, but I would say I get what I asked for about 60% of the time. It's gotten to the point where I just don't order food anymore because it's not worth the hassle.

Have you guys had that happen with any frequency or were the last two reviews outliers?

@Ken: The chips were all Lay's brand, but only the baked varieties.

@Jason: Wow, that's a lot of messups. These two back-to-back is probably a fluke. It looks like in the last year, about 10% of our orders have arrived incorrect. (My Madison retail pet peeve? Open signs lit 24/7.)

I wonder - does the culture here lack disincentives for flaky behavior?

@Nichole: You mean Rubin's on Monona isn't actually open at 1 AM?

@Jason: My two cents, if you're interested: I'm not sure I could come up with a dozen times since 2003 that my order was served/delivered wrong. Certainly under 20, if I were to be really conservative. I may be an outlier on the lucky side, but I think you're on the other extreme of the bell curve. That sucks; you have my sympathies.

Most of the messups have been minor, even trivial, but I took note because of the frequency and the occasional, truly notable mistakes that ruined entire meals. Certainly not intolerable, but I'm kind of high strung so I avoid putting myself in situations that I know are going to irritate me.

I've always wondered if the relatively low unemployment rate for a city this size has led to more tolerance for mistakes by employees in general. Hard to fire a person for messing up when you know there's not a huge labor force waiting to fill that spot (or at least hard to ensure you'll be getting an upgrade in that scenario).

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