You may remember that after feasting on lunch at Craftbar I spied a 'Wichcraft down the street and for a split second, considered going in for seconds. Thankfully, I restrained myself and instead went with Shaun last week on his lunch hour.
With locations all over the city, as well as in Las Vegas and San Francisco, Tom Colicchio and partners have attempted to take the average sandwich shop to the next level. Still situated in a very casual environment, 'Wichcraft offers unique hot and cold sandwich options, as well as breakfast sandwiches, soups, and salads. Although it's something of a franchise (although still privately owned), 'Wichcraft boasts to make everything from scratch daily, in-house, with the finest, hand selected ingredients. With a description like this, I had pretty high expectations.
Now, I really love sandwiches, so trying to pick just one was a challenge. (I am, after all, the girl who made her gluten-intolerant friend accompany her on a walking tour of the 5 best sandwiches in Hell's Kitchen). In each category (cold sandwiches, warm sandwiches, and pressed sandwiches), there are about five options. I was torn between the warm Roasted Turkey sandwich with avocado, bacon, onion relish, and aioli on a ciabatta roll; the pressed Gruyere sandwich with caramelized onions on rye; or the warm Slow-Roasted Berkshire pork with red cabbage, jalepeno, and mustard on a ciabatta roll. Although the turkey sounded good (even though I don't love avocado), I ultimately went with the pork.
Let's deconstruct this from the top down. First, the bread. It was fresh, soft, and chewy, just like a ciabatta roll should be. It also made for a good-sized sandwich, big enough that I couldn't quite finish every bite, and small enough that I could also enjoy a little bag of chips. The spicy mustard was a nice touch, especially in combination with the pork, and the cabbage added a little moisture and crunch. The jalepenos were not very spicy, which was fine as I think they may have been overwhelming with the mustard. The pork itself was a little disappointing. It was a little dry and tough, like it had been cooked too long. And unlike most slow-roasted pork sandwiches I'm used to eating, this pork had no additional sauce mixed in to add flavor or moisture.
Shaun made the wise choice of ordering the pressed Blackened Flank Steak sandwich with grilled scallions, romesco, and cheddar on country bread. While my sandwich was served just slightly warm, his was almost hot and very juicy. I only tried one bite, but I really loved the grilled scallions, and the meat was nice and thinly sliced. Honestly, I may have enjoyed his just a little more than I enjoyed mine.
But perhaps my assessment is slightly flawed given that the second half of my sandwich was less enjoyable than the first. For some reason, when I bit into my second half, my sinuses were overwhelmed with horseradish from the mustard. I thought maybe it was just that bite, but my next bite proved to be just as unpleasant. The horseradish was so strong, my sinuses actually started to sting. I don't know if there was just more mustard on the second half or what, but as much as I wanted to finish the whole thing, I just couldn't.
Not that I didn't enjoy the overall experience, but I probably wouldn't go out of my way to visit again. However, if I was out and looking for a lunch place, and there was one not too far away, I'd probably stop in again and give the Roasted Turkey a shot. Or maybe the Meatloaf.