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Friday, December 26, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 36.0° F  Overcast
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Underground Butcher opens with charcuterie, focused lunch sandwich menu
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Credit:Linda Falkenstein

The proliferation of the Underground Food Collective continues as its latest arm, Underground Butcher, opened at 811 Williamson St. on Wednesday.

While the meats arm of the operation has had its charcuterie for sale at various outlets around town (Fromagination, the Eastside and Hilldale farmers' markets), the butcher shop will make it possible to find all the meats available, in one location. The butcher case will be an outlet for locally-raised, grass-fed and organic cuts of pork, beef, lamb and poultry as well as the Collective's fresh housemade sausages.

The rest of the shop carefully curates familiar locally produced artisanal goods (Quince & Apple preserves and syrups, Potter's Crackers), select cheeses (Rush Creek, limburger), and some elements of a farmers' market (for instance, a bushel of brightly-colored potatoes at $3/lb.).

The new access point here is a handful of fresh, made-to-order sandwiches for carryout, served for lunch (11 a.m.-3 p.m.). Four daily selections at the now pretty-much-standard Madison lunch sandwich price point of $8 were designated on a chalkboard. Inaugural offerings were a hot dog with kimchi and mustard; smoked whitefish, aioli, and herbs, on a Madison Sourdough miche; "porchetta, bbq and greens"; and pickled beets, hard-boiled egg, chevre, greens and spicy aioli. There's no indoor seating, but eaters have already colonized the front stone wall as an impromptu lunching space -- good while the weather holds.

The Collective has come back from the June 2011 fire that destroyed its first brick-and-mortar restaurant, Underground Kitchen, before it was quite a year old, with two businesses, Forequarter and the butcher shop, with apparent plans to open yet another restaurant next door to the butcher space.

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