Food cart satisfies with unconventional tuna salad

The mark of a great summer day in Madison includes a stop at the food carts on Library Mall. So, on one of my quieter days last week I made a stop at the food carts on the way home from taking pictures around campus. There are a couple new food carts this year so I figured I should probably try something new instead of my traditional stop at the Buraka cart for some amazing Ethiopian Food and I settled on the Electric Earth Cafe food cart. I had never seen their cart before or eaten at the actual restaurant located on W. Wash so I stopped to look at the menu. The menu included standard sandwich and salad options at reasonable prices so I decided to try the tuna because I tend to judge a restaurant/food cart on the quality of their tuna salad sandwich or tuna melt.

Lunch from Electric Earth Cafe Food Cart

The price was a little over $6 which included the sandwich, a bag of chips and a small cup of noodle salad (which was extremely good and I wish I could buy just a big bowl of that! Ingredients: artichoke hearts, sundried tomatoes and some other tasty ingredients that were so few and far between in the tiny portion that I couldn’t tell what they were!). And the tuna salad, which came on sturdy slices of whole wheat bread (the cart had a couple other bread options as well), was amazingly unconventional. Normally, tuna salad has celery in it and an over abundance of mayo. This tuna was light (I’m not even sure if it had mayo in it) and had shredded carrots and raisins in it! When I first noticed the raisins I was very apprehensive but they were a very interesting flavor and texture addition that I am happy to say I will be returning to the cart for again (hopefully I will be able to get a large container of the noodle salad as well!). I was surprisingly happy with the amount of tomato, onion and crisp lettuce too!

Tuna salad with raisins from Electric Earth Cafe food cart

Bottom line: this food cart passed the “tuna” test with flying colors by offering amazing sides as a compliment to an tasty, albeit unconventional, sandwich! I will return for this sandwich and others while begging for large portions of the noodle salad.

Disappointing 2nd meal at Green Owl Cafe

Finals, graduation festivities and finding a big-person job have kept me from posting for a while but I am going to job back in with a second review of the Green Owl Cafe. The first time I went to The Green Owl I was a little disappointed in the quality of ingredients but the flavor of the dish was decent. This time we went for dinner so the bill was a little pricier and we got to sit outside but I still didn’t get the ingredients and flavor I was expecting.

Garlic tomato soup at The Green Owl Cafe

All dinners come with either a salad or cup of soup so I decided to get their soup because one of their soups of the day was garlic tomato. The soup was fine, a lot less garlic than I was expecting for a recipe with garlic in the name.

"Un-chicken parmesan" from The Green Owl Cafe

I ordered the “un-chicken Parmesan” that was supposed to be their version of chicken Parmesan. The “chicken” part of the dish was a breaded soy patty that was chewy and tasted sort of like new plastic containers smell. The breading was tasteless and just fell off the soy patty when I tried cutting it. The spaghetti sauce was fine, nothing exceptional and it was served on white noodles. The noodles really baffle me because whole wheat noodles would be both healthier and more filling, which I think vegetarians/vegans probably want! The highlight of the meal were the four little garlic toast pieces. They were the perfect balance of garlic, butter, salt, crunch and soft bread on the inside.

Bottom Line: Neither the lunch or dinner options impressed me. I expect more flavor and healthier ingredients from a vegetarian/began restaurant, especially for the prices.