Reader Feature: Now Serving
It’s a familiar feeling. That late-night, after-dark, rumble-in-your-tummy sensation that can be quieted by only one thing: junk food. (Or kale chips if you’re one of those types.) Stressed out during an all-nighter at College Library? Good thing you have A8 China on speed dial. Need a break while walking home after hanging out with friends? Ian’s sure looks nice at this time of night. In our quest to create the definitive list of the best late-night snacks on campus, we asked you — our wonderful readers — to think back those late nights.
Next Time …
Didn’t get to see your name in print this time around? Never fear! For each issue, we ask our readers to share memories. For the Fall 2016 issue, we’re cooking up something a little bit different.
Mark Esselman ’80
The Woodlands, Texas
In the Southeast dorm towers in the 1970s, a mad dash to “the Gritty” for stale popcorn and a beverage was a regular respite from academics!
Hugh Bell ’63, JD’66
In the 1960s, just off campus for a Nibble Nook hamburger.
Ellen Clark Deeb ’70
Santa Monica, California
My all-time favorite spot where I would assuage my late-night cravings after the Memorial Library had closed was The Plaza on North Henry. Even though I have since become a vegetarian, I used to love their Plazaburger with its incomparable sauce. I wonder if they would serve their veggie burger with that same sauce? Another fabulous place in the mid-sixties was The Pad on Gilman Street, which offered up the best submarine sandwiches I have ever tasted. Yet another favorite hangout was Brown’s Restaurant.
Barry Temkin ’70
After a few games of pinball at Burgerville on State Street, I would often hit the McDonald’s around the corner on Lake Street for a bag of fries and coffee. It had opened in 1968 as the country’s first sit-down McDonald’s and closed in 2006, later to become a post office.
Masashi Itano ’49
San Mateo, California
While attending the UW from 1945-49, my favorite snack was a bratwurst sandwich at the Log Cabin on State Street. I ate most of my meals at the Sigma Kappa Sorority where I washed dishes and waited on tables for four years, so what little cash I had was well spent at the Log Cabin. During the latter years in Madison, a beer was included.
Ronald Harris ’55
I had two favorites: the Brathaus and a lighter snack at the Toddle House.
Rudy Schmidt ’72
Loved those brats at the Brathaus.
Claudia Smith Cole ’66
A steak sandwich from the Brathaus. I can taste one now and feel the juices running down my chin!.
Rick Frederick ’66
After we took our dates back to their dorms or sorority houses (12 p.m. curfew in 1960), we loved to go to the Plaza bowling alley for Plazaburger or the Italian Village for greasy pizza. A real favorite was the Nibble Nook for five burgers and fries for a buck!
Pete Fowler ’68
A late night steak with cheese at the Brathaus (now State Street Brats) on State Street ended many a Thursday night with the gang. For a really late night when only breakfast was in order, the Aluminum Room at the Chez Toddle, better known as the Toddle House, was always fun. For a really, really late night that effectively went into the next day, a bloody or a screwdriver at Johnny Giblin’s just off State Street was the only answer. It was quite an eclectic crowd in there on a Saturday or Sunday morning. And, of course, a hot ham and cheese sub from The Pad was always in order on study nights.
Judy Hank Schwarz, ’70
I lived on Langdon Street from 1967 to 1971. Every Sunday night, “the Pad Man” visited houses on Langdon. He would walk through the front door and call out “Pad Man!” and we’d rush to buy The Pad’s delicious sub-like sandwiches. We also loved Paisan’s, the Plaza (best burgers!) or the Brathaus. I still visit these places when I am back in Madison.
David O’Donnell ’69
Saint George, Utah
How about the man from The Pad, yelling out at the front door, “Hamburgers, cheeseburgers, hot ham and cheese, and milk shakes!”
Thomas Patton ’71, MS’73, PhD’75
The Pad or George Webb’s.
Dan Raftery ’71
Really late, The Pad sub sandwich or breakfast at George Webb’s. If going out was not an option, Rennebohm fountain chili and Piasan’s Garabaldi sandwich could both be purchased frozen from those fine establishments. Heat-n-eat if you could wait that long.
Steve Lobeck ’68
West Salem, Wisconsin
The good old Pad sub for $0.69 couldn’t be beat in the sixites. That price was good even for delivery all over campus. Why can’t there be a Pad sub available today for all of us to enjoy? By the way, if someone knows of a sub that’s as good, let us know. Thanks!
Gary ’69 and Barb Pedian ’71 Schneider
East Falmouth, Massachusetts
The Pad for a Pad sandwich; or to the Plaza or the Amber Grid for a great burger; or Jingles for Pretzels and mustard while playing pinball or for a grilled salami, cheese and onion sandwich! Those were the late-night go-to places in the late sixties and early seventies.
Robert Newlin ’73
West Chester, Pennsylvania
Living on Langdon Street 1970-73, the absolute best and most satisfying was a sandwich or dill pickle bought from The Pad. I think they were located on Gilman near State Street. Around 10:30 at night, the “Pad Man” would roam fraternity and sorority houses selling Pad food from his box of food. His loud call of, “Pad Man here!” would announce the opportunity to cure cravings. It was so convenient buying from the Pad Man. Think my love affair with dill pickles was elevated from eating late night pickles from The Pad!
Wendy Fegenhols ’70
This goes back a way, but we had the Pad Man who came around a night with sub sandwiches; steak sandwiches at the Brathaus on State Street; and plazaburgers and grilled tuna and cheese at the Plaza, a bowling alley and tavern.
Carolyn Griffin Stiles ’64
I lived in Ann Emory hall — no longer a girl’s dorm. Our favorite late-night snack came from the sub man. I have no idea who he was or where the subs were made, but they were great. My husband (Trent Stiles ’65) who lived in the SAE house also remembers how good they were.
Su Hilty ’69
New York, New York
During the sixties, we had The Pad! There were many times, while living at the AXO house on Langdon, when we would order and have them deliver what we could afford — oftentimes sharing a sandwich and a pickle with many, many sisters. I distinctly remember hearing that familiar call up the stairwell: “Pad Man here!” We would rush down the stairs, get our delivery, chow down, and then hit the books once again.
Nick Topitzes ’66
Melissa Rach ’95
During the summer of 1994, I took a summer study abroad course with Professor Barry Powell in Greece. One day I was walking across a park in Athens, wearing a windbreaker with Bucky on the back. Suddenly, a Greek man came running after me, yelling, “Bucky The Badger!” Turns out, he was a relative of the owner of Parthenon Gyros. He wrote me a note in Greek and told me to take it to Parthenon when I got back to Madison. When I got home and showed the note to Parthenon’s owner, he laughed and said, “My brother wants you to have free gyros for life.” I graduated soon after, but my last few months on campus were full of tasty gyros — day and night.
Michael Brophy ’81
Gyro at the Parthenon.
Jim Nelson ’85
Eau Claire, WI
Parthenon. The alpha and omega. Drop mike.
Wendy Bear ’85
It was the gyro, of course! Best food in the world after bar time!
Peter Rusch ’07
I think my favorite evening treat was a gyro from the Parthenon. Of course, since I was in engineering, which was quite a walk. If it was a weeknight, there was usually some meeting ending in Engineering Hall or the [Engineering Centers Building] that had leftover food. I know a lot of random engineers would appear at the end of American Nuclear Society (ANS) meetings and try to help themselves to a plate of food. It was the non-members that tried to take a whole pizza that we would stop. Besides ANS, I heard the Society of Women Engineers and biomedical engineering always had good food at meetings, not that I ever crashed their meetings…
Bill Monfre ’85
Green Bay, Wisconsin
Gyros and fries at the Parthenon. Nothing can, or ever will, beat it.
Jeff Byers ’78
Even though it was a long haul from the lakeshore dorms, gyros from the Parthenon on State Street was the ultimate after-closing-time munchies option 40 years ago. If my visit a few years ago was any indication, it still is.
Louie Mingione ’06
We lived off of Regent and Randal in 2005 and our go-to place for late-night food was Taco John’s. We could all eat like kings for just a few bucks. The six-pack-and-a-pound (six soft shell tacos and a huge side of Potato Olés) was popular. But my favorite was the Super Potato Olés, the crispy tater tot–like little circles covered with all the toppings you would normally find on nachos. They were messy and probably about 2,000 calories, but they were delicious! Makes me hungry just thinking about them.
Thomas Turner JD’85
Between 1982 and 1985, I was a student at the law school. This meant a lot of nights of studying from the end of classes in the afternoon until the law library closed. I had a “short” meal contract at the Union, but could not always get there in time. Then came the great grease game: my apartment on Johnson and Frances was across an alley from the Black Bear bar. A somewhat unsavory and never apparently hygienic venue that kept its grill open late, sold cheap, really awful Mexican food to-go, and was perfect to use as a sort of soporific when winding down from a demanding day of counter-intuitive torts and property law. It was spicy, but more so it was greasy and grubby. One was down for the night within 10 minutes of consuming a burrito. It was doubtless awful for me from a clinical point of view. I miss it terribly.
There was something special about La Bamba after bar time. Super Combination burrito with sour cream and no tomato. It felt like a brick carrying it back to my apartment. It was even more special when I woke up the next morning only to realize I had some left over for breakfast.
Peter Stanko ’94
Green Bay, Wisconsin
By far the best: La Bamba off of State Street. Nothing beats burrito as big as your head!
Judy Kramer ’86
New Palestine, Indiana
Taco Grande — best burritos ever!
Greg Oppel ’95
I am not a drinker but I was a late-night owl: after a night of studying late, seeing a movie at the Majestic or the Orpheum, or meeting friends who had been out drinking themselves. Regardless of the reason I was out, the must-have late-night snack was a burrito from La Bamba on State Street. The line was always outside the door and you always met “interesting” inebriated people. The wait was worth it. The interior was painted with burrito-headed Badger and Gopher hockey players. My burrito was filled with chorizo and avocado. I went to La Bamba at times other than late night, but the late-night atmosphere was an experience.
Eric Deutsch ’97
Brooklyn, New York
I still fondly remember the old IHOP that was where University Avenue meets Gorham Street. For our late-night cravings, we would fill up on the appetizer sampler platters, which allowed us to choose three of their lovely, greasy, filling concoctions — onion rings, mozzarella sticks, chicken strips, French fries, plus a few other options. It closed when I still was a student, but the pleasing aroma lives on in my memory.
Jim Eisenmann ’95
My go-to was the IHOP that used to be on the corner of University and Bassett. I can’t even count the stacks of pancakes my friends and I ate there after the bars closed, or after studying into the wee hours during finals week. I’m glad to see that Short Stack on State Street is giving today’s students that same opportunity to experience pancakes at 2 a.m. like we did.
Dorothy Jensen Hughes ’63, MA’71, MA’73, JD’02
After a long night of studying, reading, or a game of bridge in the Rathskeller, nothing beat adjourning to the Pancake House on State Street for an order of chocolate chip pancakes topped with whipped cream and washed down with hot apple cider stirred with a cinnamon stick. Yum! (Alas, the State Street Pancake House was no more when I returned to campus for degrees two through four.)
Bill Haight ’65
Toddle House on State Street. Waffles and bacon at 2 a.m.
Allen Koenig ’73
Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin
In early 1972, a late-night doughnut factory opened in a garage behind a building off of Regent, near the Kentucky Fried Theater. It was in short walking distance from many of the State Street bars, including the original Kollege Klub. I do not believe this “establishment” had ever earned a permit from either Madison’s health or zoning departments, and OSHA was thought of only as a small town in northern Wisconsin. Nonetheless, around “bar time” on State Street, clusters of students would find their way to this palace of trans fat. We were allowed to wander among the cooling racks of freshly fried donuts, paper bag in hand, to select our midnight snacks in this self-service nirvana. It was not unusual if one or more donuts were consumed on their way from the cooling rack into the paper bag, to be justified as an in-line quality test. No one seemed to notice, or care. Payment was based on the honor system; a bag of no less than 12 donuts could be counted as four with the bill not exceeding $2. The real cost came later, however; the next morning, when it was realized each of us had devoured up to one dozen donuts the night before, usually within aperiod of 30 minutes. Forty-four years later, it could be argued, my need to take a daily statin pill could have had its beginning at this time. To this day, though, I still cannot pass a Cinnabon counter without fondly recalling our late night doughnut runs.
Tony Singleton ’73
Lawrenceville, New Jersey
I was a newly married graduate student in the Center for Development (which is now part of the La Follette School). Our honeymoon was driving from Boston to Madison in record-breaking heat. I had enough money for one semester and about $50 in cash, so finding the best value was important. We used to go to a doughnut factory on Friday night that allowed people to buy fresh chocolate doughnuts right from the bakery rack. I don’t remember the name, but to this date we remember the doughnuts as the best we have ever had. We have had 45 years trying to find an equal!
Warren Solochek ’78
The Donut Factory on Regent Street. Plus the conversations you would have at 2 a.m. were memorable.
David Barnes ’73
Eau Claire, Wisconsin
For my roommates and me, the best late-night snack was an after-midnight trip to the Donut Factory on Regent Street. I still have that smell and taste in my memory bank.
Terrence Nayes ’73, ’79
Eden Prairie, Minnesota
The all-night Donut Factory on Regent Street! Walk right in and get them hot off the metal racks.
Carol Fenster ’74, MS’75
Miami Beach, Florida
The Donut Factory and The Pad!
Chris (Christine) Pochert-Putwen ’80
Buffalo Grove, Illinois
Who can forget the Parthenon on State Street after a night out! I remember going to a donut shop in the late 1970s, but can’t remember the exact name or location. We would go late at night and if you went to the back door, you could get warm, freshly made donuts — the grease soaking through the brown paper bag! It was a delicious diversion from studying, especially during finals!
Steve Weber ’75
A dozen freshly baked donuts from the Donut Factory.
Jeff Usem ’85
Without a doubt, the most satisfying late-night, craving place was Dunk or Dine on Regent Street for doughnuts (where Greenbush Bakery is now). They made them fresh and hot in the early morning hours — before we had ever heard of Krispy Kreme. Plus, they had a walk-up serving window. There was also a café attached during more regular hours. For something more substantial and closer to the bustle of State Street, the overwhelming choice was a gyro at either Parthenon or Zorba’s (in those days, they were located directly across the street from each other). Some people had a strong preference for one or the other, but whichever had a shorter line after bar-time usually got the business (so they stayed pretty even).
(Elizabeth) Ann Campbell ’73
I remember the Spudnut shop on State Street, at the foot of Frances Street. In the summer of 1965, I lived in the French House. When we got an attack of the munchies at night, we would run down to Spudnuts and get some donuts to satisfy our craving for starch and sugar.
Greg Pause ’73
Prescott Valley, Arizona
There was a Donut Factory on Regent Street and Randall that started making donuts early in the morning and the first donuts were ready to eat between 1 and 2 a.m. If we were up late, we could smell the donuts at our apartment on Randall and Spring Street.
Sharon Port King ’78
Our favorite late-night snacks were fresh, hot donuts picked up at the Donut Factory on Regent Street on the way back to the lakeshore dorms after a night spent dancing at The Stone Hearth. We also loved going for pizza late night at Gargono’s. Many nights, we were the last people out while they were putting chairs up on tables around us!
Diana Longfield ’78
Oh my — nothing could beat that greasy sweetness also known as the Donut Factory on Regent Street. Those glazed donuts tasted great after a pitcher … or two of beer after bar-time!
Bob Hume ’80
This goes back many years and I don’t know if the company is still there but, without the slightest of doubts, the absolute favorite and addicting late-late-night snack was at a company, I think, that was called the Donut Factory. The key was to get there after 2 a.m. and go to the back door to buy glazed donuts that came right off the rack and were so warm they would just melt in your mouth. It spoiled me and I have rarely had a donut since which, of course, is probably a good thing since I’m more driven to eat healthy these days compared to back then with little cares. Thanks, my mouth is watering just thinking about it.
Bill Piernot ’77
New Berlin, Wisconsin
My all-time late-night favorite was the fresh baked donuts at the donut factories that use to line Regent Street across from what is now Greenbush Bakery. They started baking late evening for delivery early morning, but always left their doors open for late night revelers to buy a snack. We could buy a baker’s dozen for very little money, picking them out ourselves from the cooling racks, right on the factory floor. Food safety standards were significantly different back then. I ate 12 on my way back to lakeshore dorms, leaving the 13th for my morning pick-me-up on my way to breakfast.
Jerilyn (Ja-Ja) Howe ’72
In the late sixties and early seventies, you couldn’t do much better than getting donuts very late at night on Regent Street. It must have been the Greenbush Bakery. Or, you could wander over to George Webb’s on Park Street for a greasy-spoon comfort meal.
Robert Goldschmidt ’73, MD’77
Fresh, hot donuts picked directly from racks in the bakery (would not be permitted today) at 2 a.m. at Spudnuts on Regent Street close to Regency Apartments.
Margaret Lewis ’76
A trip to the Donut Factory on Regent Street was always a late-night favorite. There was nothing like fresh baked and filled donuts … still warm and melt-in-your-mouth, but still they had substance. Not like Krispy Kremes that, although best hot, would just disintegrate into sugar and leave you unsatisfied in the end.
Dean Cimpl ’78
Dean Cimpl ’78
I believe there used to be a donut shop on Regent Street (Donut Factory?) that was a popular place at a bar-time. Donuts were hot out of the fryers.
Philip ’83 and Cheryl Nault ’84 Burley
A chunk of aged cheddar from Babcock was always our favorite midnight snack!
Jenny Pilling ’90, MA’92
Brooklyn, New York
Jack Kaufman ’54
From 1950 to 1954, there were no fast-food restaurants, no computers, and no speed dial. Between 10:00-11:00 at night, a truck rolled down Langdon Street and stopped at fraternity, sorority, and approved boarding houses. The driver’s name was Max and his slogan was, “Why pay less when you can pay more?” He carried sandwiches, snacks, candy, and fruit at hefty prices. Perhaps the only restaurant open late was the Toddle House on lower State Street. What wonderful memories.
Don Meier ’63
Summer sausage slices on Ritz crackers.
Keith Haugen ’94
Suzy Q’s and Mountain Dew kept me going all night!
Annie Masters ’85
I have one word: cheese. There were two sources for my cheesy late-late-night cheesy fix. The first was Dominos Pizza. The franchise came to Mad Town in the fall of 1983. Now, pizza could be ordered and delivered to your door quickly at all hours. And, the best thing about Dominos was that they took checks. No cash, no problem. The second was the 7/11 on (I think) Johnson Street. They were open late night and a variety of cheesy snacks could be purchased there. My favorite was O-Ke-Doke’s cheese popcorn. Very bad for you, but very, very good.
David Moya ’08
My go-to late-night snack while studying at Wendt Library or the old Union South, especially during my junior year, was a Whatchamacallit candy bar and a No Fear–brand energy drink that I would get from the little convenience store in Union South. I’m somehow still living.
Melanie Maguire Kuzmanovic ’85
Without a doubt my favorite nighttime snack was Babcock yogurt with granola and I had a wonderful friend who would run to Gordon Commons before they closed to get it (shout-out to Brian Lepak ’84, JD’87!) Pizza Pit was a close second! The procurer and financier was whoever lost cribbage. Good times.
Dan Brooks ’09
Jins Chicken and Catfish. Gone, but certainly not forgotten.
Danielle D’Agostino ’10
San Diego, California
I loved finding Jin’s Chicken late at night. On our last night in Madison before our leases expired, we all devoured our chicken sandwiches after a late night on State Street. I never wanted that happy, tasty feeling to end, so I snuck away from my friends to get in line for round two. They found me a couple of minutes later as I was happily munching on my second, and final, spicy chicken sandwich.
Isabel Erichsen Hubbard ’57, MS’79
Living at the Chi Omega house in the late fifties, my roommate and I were able to design the menu selections for the week. This meant giving the housemother our dinner menu ideas that were within reason. We selected corned beef hash during an exam period and it was our favorite, although other sisters didn’t agree with our choice. We defended the selection because it reminded us of previous meals at home before we came to the university campus. I’m sure other sororities did the same thing.
Michael Leibfried ’81
Rocky Rococo pizza by the slice. We lived on this food from 1976 to 1980.
Mike Bormett ’87
In the mid-eighties it was Uncle Jim’s pizza. Cheap and good enough for late-night-hungry undergrads!
Art Barmash ’82
Agoura Hills, California
Freshman year, I always studied at Helen C. White and stayed until closing time at 11:45 p.m. On my way home, I’d stop at Rocky Rococo Pizza on State Street and get a slice of pepperoni pizza and a fruit punch. (I did this several times a week.) I brought it back to my room to eat. It was heaven and a great way to end another day at the UW.
Bill Kurtz ’73
South Milwaukee, Wisconsin
In the early seventies, the place for me and other residents of Noyes House, Adams Hall, was Gargano’s Pizza on State Street. The pizza was good; they won a Daily Cardinal poll for best pizza on campus. One guy in our dorm referred to pizzas (and spicy foods generally) as gutbombs. Many of us adopted the term, or just bomb for short. Many times I heard the call late at night, “Hey, anybody want to call up Gargano’s for a bomb?” Years later, when I lived in Ohio, coworkers I mentioned this to would ask if one could still get a “Gargano gutbomb.” I think they were gone by the time I returned to Wisconsin in the early eighties.
John Larson ’72, MD’76
Garibaldi with hot peppers from Paisan’s.
Lynn Lang ’69
Saint Cloud, Minnesota
Garibaldi sandwiches from Porta Bella.
William Holmberg ’89
Maple Grove, Minnesota
In the dorms (lakeshore), personal pizza from the Shed and, off-campus, pizza from Uncle Jims.
Nancy Gillick Stelianou ’55
Tonawanda, New York
My favorite snack back in the early 1950s was a grilled danish at the “Pharm” on State Street near Langdon Hall where I lived for a couple years. So good!
Don Tacke ’58
R.D. Zesto delivered milkshakes to fraternity houses around 10-11 p.m.
Joanne Kahme Howard ’62, MBA’63
When the library closed, stop off at Rennebohm’s for a hot fudge sundae with mint ice cream.
Kristine Voss McLain ’69
Fond du Lac, Wisconsin
Ice cream from the dairy out on Park or from the Union. Best reward for an evening of dedicated study. Didn’t happen often.
Harry Paston ’49
Las Vegas, Nevada
Those of us still around who were at Madison during and after the World War 2 years probably don’t recall many places for late night snacking. Rennenbohm’s Pharmacy had a soda fountain, if I remember, and that was one place to satisfy late-night hungers. But that was a different era; going to school while waiting to be drafted, and then returning after WWII service to work hard to get a degree and make up for the lost years. Any “snacking” that I recall was confined to dorm rooms, which certainly doesn’t make the list of favorite places.
Joanne Coon Johnson ’58
I lived in Anderson House, a co-op house for 17 girls — one block from the chemistry building on Charter Street — for three-and-a-half years. We had such wonderful meals, complete with desserts, so snacking late at night wasn’t really necessary. However, my first semester of the 1954-55 school year, I lived off-campus. I have to ‘fess up to the fact that one could find me indulging in the Union’s brownies at almost any time of day. Those brownies from the Union were so fabulous! They were perfect for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and of course, late-night snacking.
Karen Palcic Kolb ’75
Guerrilla cookies! Wish I knew how to make them…
Marilyn Carbon Schilling ’51
Lorna Doone shortbread cookies were my undoing 65 years ago! I had to lose the dreaded freshman-fifteen over and over.