Looking for good, quality meat? No, this is not the sex column. But, the search for a fine sandwich shop on campus presents a true challenge.

With an expanding hodgepodge of big sandwich shop names spread all over State Street, Jacobson Brothers Meat & Deli is a perfect escape, offering an array of tasteful sandwich alternatives to cure any lunchtime hunger.

A shop that will craft almost any sandwich desired or slice endless amounts of flavorful pastrami, Jacobson Brothers is a full-service establishment located off the beaten State Street path on East Mifflin Street near the Capital.

Inside, the store is exactly as a deli should be. Plentiful ingredient options to choose from coupled with a front window dine-in table to watch passersby while feasting on a sandwich creates a setting customers will want to return to. Moreover, Jacobson Brothers has an amazing selection of meat that is unparalleled by any other isthmus establishment.

The sandwich ingredient menu lists all possible meats, cheeses and ingredients. Luckily, these items are conveniently grouped by category. The main categories are “rail” and “call,” similar to drink menus at local watering holes.

Categories are often very misleading. Ordering a “call” item does not mean that it will taste better than a “rail” at Jacobson Brothers. Salami is the only item that can be ordered as a rail or a call because Jacobson’s offers Kosher Salami, which is more expensive.

Allowing endless bargain lunch sandwich creation possibilities, Jacobson Brothers offers a meal deal that is more like a lunchtime steal. This deal includes any bread with rail meat, cheese, unlimited condiments and vegetables, a pickle and a piece of fresh fruit for $4.98. Put that together with a drink and this lunch will only set a consumer back a mere six dollars.

The catch? Ordering an Italian sub is not an option at Jacobson Brothers because they do not operate a typical specialty sandwich shop like those on State Street. Be ready to get creative and build a quality concoction of a sandwich that is sure to please as long as you don’t order a jelly and turkey with extra mustard.

Inexpensive prices usually buy low-quality items, with certain retail outlets coming to mind. But, at Jacobson Brothers, the sandwich quality is outstanding. Compared to the prices of the individual menu items and the meal-deal special, the ingredients are excellent, placing any sandwich maker on State Street out of the same category both in price and quality.

The deli offers more than just meat and sandwiches. For a change of pace on a frigidly cold winter day, try one of the plentiful hot dishes for lunch or take it home for dinner. The deli offers a number of warm dishes, including homemade macaroni and cheese, mashed potatoes, shredded turkey, fresh vegetables and lasagna. Jacobson Brothers’ hot-dish menu changes daily, so call ahead to avoid any surprises.

Jacobson Brothers also offers a wide selection of Boars Head meats and cheeses. Not to be taken lightly, these products are minimally processed and have their own distinctive flavor.

The downtown Madison location is the eighth for Jacobson Brothers Meat & Deli in Wisconsin after 73 years in the business. The key to success is the appetizing selection of well-regarded meats available ever since the first store opened.

At a price of $4.98 for lunch, Jacobson Brothers Meat & Deli is well within anyone’s budget and provides a nice break from the academia grind.

Jacobson’s Meats & Deli is located at 112 E. Mifflin Street just east of Pinckney Street. For questions about their hot meals, call 608-268-1533.

Tom McGrath is a fifth-year senior majoring in journalism and mass communications, among other things. He likes to eat a good, quality sandwich for lunch every day. Tom can be reached at [email protected].