Thursday, August 21, 2008

Madison's New Late-Night Food

Insomnia Cookies is one of the most recent entrants to Madison's late-night food scene. Founder Seth Berkowitz began baking and delivering cookies to the late night crowd at UPenn as a college junior. His goal was, and still is, dependable late night delivery to hungry college students, without the grease and heaviness that oftentimes accompanies late night foods. Business continued to grow, and after graduating in 2004, Berkowitz began to develop a commercial plan for expansion.

Insomnia Cookies has since expanded to 17 college campuses, including Cornell, Indiana University, NYU, Ohio State, University of Illinois, and Wisconsin. At Wisconsin, Insomnia operates out of a big van, pictured left, from 8pm-2:15am, and can usually be found on Library Mall or Francis Street (strategically located across from the Red Shed). In addition, Insomnia offers delivery within 3 miles of campus. There’s a $6 minimum delivery, and wait time runs ~25-30 minutes. Offerings include 8 classic cookies like sugar, chocolate chunk, and peanut butter ($1 each). There’s also cookies a la mode, the menage a trois “this cookie give new meaning to the word ‘threesome” ($6), jumbo deluxe cookies ($2.50), and “14 cookie cakes ($18).

In other late night food news, Pelmeni, the small store front on State Street that offered amazing Rusisan dumplings has closed its doors, and Ian's Pizza has expanded to Chicago's Wrigleyville neighborhood and also expanded hours at Madison's State Street location until 2:30am. There has also been much controversey surrounding Jeff Okafo, owner Jin's Chicken and Fish, a classic late night food cart on Langdon Street. Jin's has always had issues with the city, but this time he's truly in hot water. Apparently, Jin's received 23 parking tickets in 12 months, and Okafo has been driving without a license since 2004. As a result, in July, the city's Vending Oversight Committee recommmended that city council members suspend Okafo's vending license for six months. Council members will decide his fate on September 2.

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