Food cart placement has just about settled in for the new season, which officially started April 15. Bonne Journee and Electric Earth Cafe have opened downtown, while the arrival of King of Falafel and Athens Gyros at Library Mall has sent two campus denizens, China Cottage and Thai's Cuisine, to the Square.
There has been some shuffling of spots at the Mall, too, but nothing that would cause anyone to not be able to find a cart.
Sabores Latinos and Athens Gyros are down near the clock tower. Athens, which was new last year, catapulted to second place in the cart rankings in 2009 even without any seniority points. This cart features carved figures on its "frieze," more or less, and the aromas from it are marvelous. On the menu: gyros, falafel, and spinach pie (all $5 each), with honey cake and baklava for dessert (each $2).
Comfort Food is the Library Mall's version of the LMNO'Pies cart. The former is located in front of University Bookstore, while the latter parks on Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., just off the Square. Their menus are similar, featuring pie bites and savory pasties, sandwiches and brats.
A relatively new feature for Madison's food carts is audio. Yes, you can groove to cuisine-related tunes at FIBs (Rat Pack croonage), Cafe Costa Rica (Caribbean) and the new King of Falafel cart (Middle Eastern).
But the King's soundtrack is louder than the rest, and while it may drown out Orange Guy's piccolo stylings from inside the cart, it creates an unpleasant audio mashup outside its window. "Noise pollution" would be a fair assessment.
But food carts are less about sound than taste, or should be.
The Daily Page's "Eats" database of restaurants is adding Madison's food carts and keeping up to date on their particulars. You can search for all of them by choosing the pulldown option "Food Cart" as a cuisine, or by individual cuisine. If you own a food cart and would like to add information, please contact us.