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Surco (cart)

Surco menuIn a word: Andes carts are pretty good too.

The specs: #0705  
Address, hours & details via Isthmus; reviews at Fearful Symmetries, Team Struckmeyer, Yelp, Madison Street Eats, Isthmus; official web site (warning: huh?), Facebook.

Latest Surco Peruvian news and reviews

JM ate the super lomo sandwich with an Inca Kola.
Nichole ate the quinotto.
The bill was $8/person, plus tip.
JM gave Surco a B+; Nichole gave Surco an A- (see our grading rubric).

Surco is a Peruvian cart which just goes to show, the more carts Madison has, the more access everyone has to ethnic cuisine.


JM described his lunch as a "sandwich in a bread bowl." The sourdough boule was crusty and good, holding up to the heavy, moist contents. The slices of steak were not really marinated but were tender mostly due to their thinness. The onions, described on the menu as caramelized, were more lightly fried, and retained a bit of crunch. The rest of the "bowl" was topped off with chopped lettuce, avocado (JM had asked them to hold it, but it was OK, Nichole picked it out and ate it), and a mild shredded white cheese. It came in a bag, which made it hard to handle - a clamshell box or tray of some sort would have been easier.

The "quinotto," described as a quinoa risotto, had no detectable cheese, unless we're entirely wrong about what we ate, which happens all the time. Peeled boiled potatoes added a lot of starch (frankly, we wouldn't have been surprised if the quinoa had been served over fries). And there was a ton of quinoa, brightened up with green onion and finely diced red pepper. Sliced avocado and a sprinkle of pecans added protein and fat. A couple spinach leaves were the bed for a basically undressed cabbage/carrot slaw; it was all very cool and refreshing for a hot day. At $7, the entree is a wee bit pricier than average cart fare but even if quinoa is cheap, pecans and red peppers aren't.

And the sauces! There are two; "most people like the green one better," Nichole was advised, but had gone ahead and squirted some of each on the potatoes. The red sauce is not kidding. It was almost painful, and the heat overpowered the flavor, at least on this taster's tongue. The green was tasty but still very spicy, and could be described as a hot chimichurri.

So we're glad we got an Inca Kola. It's true. It tastes exactly like Bazooka Joe.


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Quinoa is not cheap (at least not for a grain), but it is a protein!

Isn't it crazy how much that soda tastes like bubble gum? Karl loved that cart so much, I think he'd eat there every day if he could.

I love the green sauce! Next time I won't be shy about dousing my food with it.

The food was great! and the green sauce is addictive. :)

Very good indeed. Their rice and bean cake may be the best (healthy) vegetarian option on library mall. The steak sandwich is good, but for $7 I can eat at Dotty's or an assortment of other strong sit-down locales.

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Listen to The Corner Table podcast "Remembering Restaurants," aired December 24, 2020, where Chris and Lindsay talk with us "about the menus and memories left behind when restaurants go away."

Madison Food coverInfo about our book Madison Food: A History of Capital Cuisine is here, or read it for free thanks to the library - print & ebook.



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