One thing both national political conventions agreed on; we live in the greatest country in the history of the earth. And to prove it, I went out in the middle of the night to buy a deep-fried peanut butter and jelly sandwich from a man in a truck.
The truck, of course, is Fried and Fabulous, rapidly becoming a dining destination of choice for late-night downtown crawlers looking for a quick, decidedly unhealthy food fix.
The truck sets up shop at 400 N. Broom St. (just off State Street near 4 Star Video) from midnight to 3 a.m. Thursdays through Saturdays, and the location's becoming popular with the late-night crowd; another food truck selling sliders, called Slide, was parked next to the F&F truck.
Late-night business was slow over the summer, but with streets teeming with students, the food truck guys are happy. Last Friday at just after midnight, there were a few folks in line getting deep-fried Oreos, chocolate chip cookie dough, and the like.
I first sampled the Fried & Fabulous menu at the Dane County Fair, when their deep-fried Twinkie ruined me forever for raw Twinkies. (The food cart had my review laminated and affixed to the front of the cart, until, mystifyingly, somebody stole it. I don't know who it was, but if they're a fan of Yeah, I Ate That and Fried and Fabulous, they can't have gone far. Or fast.)
At the time, one of the truck guys urged me to come back for the deep-fried PB&J, and I was there to take his advice. As with everything else at the cart, the sandwich was dipped in funnel cake batter, deep-fried and then sprinkled with powdered sugar.
My blanket advice for deep-fried fare is to get something, like the Twinkie or the PB&J, with a gooey center. There's something about the contrast between the warm creamy center and the crunchy outer layer that is just fantastic.
To go back to the political convention analogy, the deep-fried peanut butter and jelly sandwich was like the perfect political speech, with stick-to-the-roof-of-your-mouth policy details intermingling with the sweet, fruity warmth of patriotism and broad vision. Encased in a crust of rhetorical strength, sprinkled with a little humor, and it was worthy of a standing ovation.
In addition to their regular menu, Fried and Fabulous keeps fans apprised of weekly specials via its Facebook page (last weekend was the Oatmeal Cream Pie), and even lets fans suggest new things to deep fry. In other words, it's not just deep fried dough. It's democracy in action.