The plate: Tear open the butcher paper that wraps up Fraboni’s Italian sub, and you’ll find more than a quarter-pound of meat and cheese — Genoa salami, Capicola ham and mild provolone.
On top of that is what co-owner Steve Fraboni calls the ever-important “L-T-S”: lettuce, tomato, sub sauce. That sauce is Fraboni’s original vinaigrette, made with a secret recipe but also available for separate purchase. A Madison wholesaler, Colonial Bakery, provides the bread, which Fraboni said doesn’t disintegrate while wrapped up with moist ingredients.
The whole thing costs $5.99, and if you want to pump up the sub, add onions and peppers for 50 cents each.
The restaurant’s original, and most popular sandwich has been around since the Fraboni brothers — Gary and Steve — opened the place in 1971. Since then, the quality of the ingredients has never changed, Steve Fraboni said.
Why it defines Madison: The Italian restaurant is in the heart of the old Greenbush neighborhood, which was home to many Italian and Eastern European immigrants.
Fraboni said he loves talking to his customers, who represent as many as four generations.
— Cassidy McDonald