Season's eatings! The weather may be getting colder, but Dining Month at OnMilwaukee is just cooking up, dishing out your winning picks in this year's Best of Dining poll. Dining Month is brought to you by Fein Brothers, your premier food service equipment and supply dealer in Wisconsin since 1929. Congratulations to all of the winners, and happy eating for all those who voted!
Looking for satisfying meals that leave you with a full belly and a full wallet? You've come to the right place. Welcome to Cheap Eats, a new OnMilwaukee food series where we shine a spotlight on Milwaukee restaurants serving up tasty dishes for less than $10.
Capriotti's Sandwich Shop
111 E. Wisconsin Ave. #130
Dish: The Bobbie sandwich
Total cost: $8.99 plus tax
Eight years ago, national fast-casual restaurant chain Capriotti’s Sandwich Shop opened its first franchise in the Midwest on the ground floor of the Chase Tower, bringing its proudly proclaimed love of turkey and famous sandwiches to Milwaukee.
The Chase Tower location’s hours (Monday-Friday, 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.; Saturday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.) make clear its intentions: appeal to the Downtown lunch crowd, especially those in the offices above. But you don’t need to be a bank executive to enjoy one of Capriotti’s mouthwatering, hand-crafted, submarine-style sandwiches. They’re all around $7 for a 9-inch sub, and $9 for a 12-incher. Don’t even start to compare these sandwiches to anything from Subway; the footlongs at Capriotti’s mean business.
I ventured in around lunchtime recently, starving and excited to reacquaint myself with The Bobbie, the "nationally acclaimed bestseller," according to Capriotti’s, which I hadn’t eaten in about five years. Here’s all you need to know about The Bobbie: it’s a humongous, delicious Thanksgiving sandwich. It’s overflowing with homemade white and dark turkey meat, cranberry sauce, stuffing and mayonnaise on a soft bun – and as someone who looks forward as much to the post-Thanksgiving leftover turkey sandwiches as the actual holiday feast, I felt like The Bobbie really understood me, both gastronomically and spiritually.
I got the 12-inch sub, which was $8.99 (the 9-inch is $7.29, and the 20-inch – bless you, Capriotti’s, for even making this an option – is $14.99). Certainly, the 12-incher would be enough for two meals, if you were so inclined, but I was famished and it was amazing, so I finished the whole thing contentedly. The turkey and stuffing were savory, the cranberry sauce sweet, the mayonnaise bound everything together indulgently. All the ingredients were high-quality and tasted fresh. And, again, the thing was huge. That can't be overstated.
Capriotti’s Sandwich Shop, which started in the Little Italy neighborhood of Wilmington, Del., in 1976, now has more than 100 franchises all over the country. In 2010, a second Wisconsin location opened on Regent Street in Madison. On its website, Capriotti’s touts the many awards it’s won for its sandwiches, especially The Bobbie. And after my recent visit, it definitely earned my OnMilwaukee Cheap Eats award for best sandwich under $10.
Pro tip: Capriotti’s opens at 10 a.m. and the lunch rush doesn’t flood in until around 11:30, so go a little earlier than you normally would to avoid a line and receive the best service (and perhaps even more loving attention on your sandwich). Also, the Chase Tower location has a great "Capture 2" special, which allows you to select from a half-sub and salad, half-sub and cup of soup or a cup of soup and salad.
Born in Milwaukee but a product of Shorewood High School (go ‘Hounds!) and Northwestern University (go ‘Cats!), Jimmy never knew the schoolboy bliss of cheering for a winning football, basketball or baseball team. So he ditched being a fan in order to cover sports professionally - occasionally objectively, always passionately. He's lived in Chicago, New York and Dallas, but now resides again in his beloved Brew City and is an ardent attacker of the notorious Milwaukee Inferiority Complex.
After interning at print publications like Birds and Blooms (official motto: "America's #1 backyard birding and gardening magazine!"), Sports Illustrated (unofficial motto: "Subscribe and save up to 90% off the cover price!") and The Dallas Morning News (a newspaper!), Jimmy worked for web outlets like CBSSports.com, where he was a Packers beat reporter, and FOX Sports Wisconsin, where he managed digital content. He's a proponent and frequent user of em dashes, parenthetical asides, descriptive appositives and, really, anything that makes his sentences longer and more needlessly complex.
Jimmy appreciates references to late '90s Brewers and Bucks players and is the curator of the unofficial John Jaha Hall of Fame. He also enjoys running, biking and soccer, but isn't too annoying about them. He writes about sports - both mainstream and unconventional - and non-sports, including history, music, food, art and even golf (just kidding!), and welcomes reader suggestions for off-the-beaten-path story ideas.