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'wichcraft Bryant Park

s
sivyaleah Jan 23, 2006 03:11 PM

I didn't realize that 'wichcraft had a branch in Bryant Park. Website said it's opened yearly - is this so? It's a bit of a walk from my office but not so far as to make it impossible. Also, how's the food? The menu looks quite amazing and I'm in need of something new and different - been working/living in very adjacent neighborhood for far to long and am totally bored by everything at this point.

Thanks!
Laurie

  1. e
    ES Jan 23, 2006 03:15 PM

    They've been open since this past summer. I've only eaten from the sandwich kiosk. The few options at the salad/soup didn't do it for me and I've been meaning to try to Ice Creamery one, but something about a $5 milk shake keeps me away, even though I love the $4 shakes at Shake Shack. All the sandwiches are pretty pricey. About $5 for the grilled cheese and up to around $9 for the others. I've had the roast pork, grilled cheese and the turkey/avocado and all were great.

    1 Reply
    1. re: ES
      s
      sivyaleah Jan 23, 2006 03:20 PM

      I've gotten so used to those kind of prices from Chez Laurence in Murray Hill for lunch nearly every day for the last 10 years that they don't shock me LOL.

      I find it hard to get a decent semi-healthy lunch around this area without resorting to spending wads of cash. So, I've resigned myself to my $10 lunches daily. Rare is the day I can spend less. So, 'wichcraft would be a nice alternative to giving Chez L my hard earned money - may as well spread it around. I've probably put the owner's son through college already.

      Laurie

    2. n
      Nosher Jan 23, 2006 03:25 PM

      I have found the food to be OK and not much more than that. Plus they seem to run out of a lot of items, so it's a real crapshoot.

      Nosher

      Link: http://nycnosh.com

      2 Replies
      1. re: Nosher
        s
        sivyaleah Jan 23, 2006 03:30 PM

        Running out could be a problem - I don't usually go to lunch until around 2ish. Well, maybe I'll wait until a nice day and take a walk over and check it out - but no $5 milkshake for me.

        Laurie

        1. re: sivyaleah
          a
          apl222 Jan 23, 2006 03:35 PM

          I went recently after ice skating and had a goat cheese sandwich that was really fresh-tasting and good. Agree it's quite pricey - makes it seem more like a special occasion lunch than an everyday thing.

      2. p
        Pot Belly Jan 23, 2006 04:06 PM

        Their sandwiches have always been pricey, but very tasty!

        They also make a great cinnamon bun for breakfast.

        1. j
          Jeffrey Zurofsky Feb 8, 2006 11:20 AM

          They deliver to a really wide range in midtown 7 days a week.

          1. b
            Blumie Jul 10, 2006 03:51 PM

            Just want to bump this discussion to the top of the board. My office is at 47th and Broadway, and I'm trying to figure out if it's worth the walk for a 'Wichcraft sandwich. And what are the lines like during lunchtime?

            8 Replies
            1. re: Blumie
              l
              LJW Jul 10, 2006 04:20 PM

              The lines are not too long. The wait for hot sandwiches can be about 5-10 minutes, but the cold ones are usually ready to eat. I love the sicilian tuna. My mom (age 64) had one and declared it the best tuna sandwich she'd ever had.

              1. re: Blumie
                b
                Blumie Jul 10, 2006 05:01 PM

                Right after I typd my post, I decided not to wait for responses and just give it a try. I walked over to Bryant Park and arrived five or ten minutes after noon. There were only about half a dozen people in front of me in line, but the line moved slowly nonetheless (I later learned that the order taker is also the order passer-outer, requiring him to jump back and forth between his dual roles).

                I ordered a slow-roast pork sandwich with red cabbage, jalapenos and mustard on a ciabatta roll for $8.50. I then walked to the other side of the booth and waited for the order-taker to become the order passer-outer. It took a good 10-15 minutes to get my sandwich, which is not all that bad, but by the time I left, at about 12:25, the line was considerably longer, suggesting to me that the wait -- both to order and to get one's sandwich -- would be considerably longer, too. So unless they were just short staffed today, I do not think I would come during the height of the lunch hour.

                The sandwich itself was very good, but it could have been better. While the meat was not dry, it was dryer than it should have been. Also, although the sandwich was on the list of warm sandwiches, it had not been heated sufficiently: the meat itself clearly had been refrigerated and still was slightly cold. I also would have preferred more jalapenos, but that is a matter of personal preference. Other than the dryness and the temperature, the pork was tasty, and the roll was very good.

                I'll almost certainly give this place another shot, but it was not the wow-what-a-sandwich experience that I had hoped for.

                1. re: Blumie
                  Bob Martinez Jul 10, 2006 05:57 PM

                  Nice write up.

                  I had a similar experience at their downtown branch about a year ago. Even on a quiet Saturday afternoon they were not as well organized as I would have expected and the order took about 10 minutes. I was also less than thrilled with the sandwich. Though some of the ingredients were above average I remember annoying little notes like meat that was drier than it should have been. It was a smallish sandwich that cost about $2 more than comparable places.

                  Maybe my experience was atypical - I was never motivated to give them a 2nd try. Your report makes me think I had them right the first time.

                  1. re: Blumie
                    Nosher Jul 10, 2006 07:14 PM

                    Since that first response about 6 months ago, I've been back a few times and haven't seen the same shortage issues as before (a good thing), but the sandwiches still aren't quite as great as they ought to be, given the price and wait-time. Decent stuff, for sure, but worth waiting for? Maybe.

                    Nosher

                    NYCnosh: http://nycnosh.com

                    1. re: Nosher
                      l
                      Lucia Jul 10, 2006 07:17 PM

                      I agree w/your take on the sandwiches. For me they're worth waiting for at the Bryant Park location ONLY if it's a nice day out and you want to spend your lunch break outside.

                      1. re: Nosher
                        zGustibus Jul 11, 2006 02:17 PM

                        Nosher... you've been to Bouchon Bakery right? How did they compare to those sandwiches? (Considering the similiarities in price, etc.)

                        1. re: zGustibus
                          Nosher Jul 13, 2006 09:06 PM

                          Yes, we've been to Bouchon Bakery several times and, in general, like the BB sandwiches better than those at 'wichcraft. They're not orders of magnitude better, but they're at least a grade or two higher. That said, I'd rather sit and eat in Bryant Park than inside the Time-Warner Center.

                          Nosher

                          NYCnosh: http://nycnosh.com

                          1. re: zGustibus
                            rose water Jul 31, 2006 08:10 PM

                            i think 'wichcraft is much much better--their sandwiches haven't been soggifying in a display case all day (unlike BB), and have delicious and interesting flavor and textural contrasts. the tuna at 'wichcraft is amazing. and the cookies are great too.

                    2. j
                      jlean22 Jul 13, 2006 03:52 AM

                      their sandwich's awesome!!
                      wait line during lunch hour especially on summer?
                      try to go after lunch hour (1 or 2 ish) or else be prepared to wait at least 20 minutes

                      1. r
                        raybird Jul 13, 2006 02:08 PM

                        yeah - i agree about going when it's nice out due to the priciness and the anticipated wait during weekday lunch hours.

                        the sandwiches are quite good - the grilled gruyere, the sicilian tuna, the pastrami. their soups are usually pretty great, much less expensive, and come with tasty crisp breadsticks. they offer chilled soups now that it's summer and there's rarely ANY wait for the soup kiosk. they also have salads at the soup kiosk, which are good, esp the fennel. i dig their breakfast treats - awesome cinnamon rolls and breads and TDF oatmeal with brown-sugar butter and toasted nuts and dried fruit.

                        sometimes it's worth the wait just for the peanut butter creamwiches.

                        1. t
                          Tubby Jul 13, 2006 07:37 PM

                          'Wichcraft can be pricey, but I think it's definitely worth it. The turkey sandwich with avocado, bacon, and onions is the only thing I've ever gotten there, and it's AMAZING.

                          1. d
                            debra1234 Jul 13, 2006 08:00 PM

                            I'm surprised there is so much debate here. I love 'wichcraft sandwiches and have always had pretty good staff experiences there. I used to go mainly to the U. Square location, but had also tried the Tribeca one. This past weekend I went to the Bryant Park site and loved it -- yummy sandwiches plus great location. My favorite sandwich is the warm fontina and mushroom one. I also love their cookies and the creamwiches.

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: debra1234
                              Bob Martinez Jul 13, 2006 08:50 PM

                              "I'm surprised there is so much debate here."

                              There's debate because not everyone agrees. That's pretty much standard procedure here.

                              1. re: debra1234
                                zGustibus Jul 31, 2006 03:52 AM

                                We had the Grilled Fontina the other day but didn't love it. Do the mushrooms change with the season? Ours came with Black Trumpets. Is that the one you love?

                              2. d
                                debra1234 Jul 13, 2006 08:56 PM

                                I didn't intend to discourage debate, so let me rephrase: I'm surprised that several people had disappointing experiences, since I've always loved 'wichcraft so much.

                                1. d
                                  DJecho23 Jul 31, 2006 02:23 PM

                                  I have noticed that the lines at the Bryant Park location can be long during lunch. Luckily, a new 'wichcraft opened up last week in the area on 46th street between 5th Ave and Madison (closer to 5th Ave around the corner from Barnes and Noble). The lines are considerably shorter (for now).

                                  555 Fifth Ave, on 46th St.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: DJecho23
                                    zGustibus Jul 31, 2006 04:01 PM

                                    For those who would rather eat in the park, the Bryant Park location has ordering online... super quick and easy, and you totally bypass the line. I tried it last week and wrote about it today... check out the pics @ http://midtownlunch.wordpress.com/200...

                                    Online ordering is not available for the one on 46th yet.

                                  2. f
                                    Fallon Jul 31, 2006 05:36 PM

                                    I saw this thread earlier & couldn't resist the sudden urge to eat a pork sandwich in Bryant Park. Wandered down there from my office around 12noon. No line-there are 3 kiosks; 1 for sandwiches, 1 for breakfast items & 1 for ice cream. The sandwich experience was very good. As I said, no line-took 5 minutes to heat up my pork & the bread was crunchy-it cost a little under $10. The ice cream kiosk was not open yet-the worker in there said by 12:30pmish. Need to return & try the BLT and for b'fast try the cinammon roll. My first wichcraft experience...in fact I've never eaten at Craft or Craftbar... Need to check them out.

                                    1. s
                                      slynnkiino Aug 28, 2006 09:16 PM

                                      Speaking for the 8th street branch (I'm assuming they have the same menu?) I go for one reason--there's no other place where I can get a marinated anchovy/poached egg sandwich (which is always soaked through and falling apart by the time I get back to the office, but I love it anyway). A little voice in my head always tells me I'm paying way too much, but on the other hand, I guess they can charge what they want because they offer combinations you won't find at any other sandwich shop.

                                      I have noticed that service at the 8th street store can be surprisingly slow, given that there are usually very few customers in there. I just chalked it up to it being fairly new . . .

                                      http://www.avenuefood.blogspot.com

                                      1. f
                                        FriedSnickersBar Nov 9, 2007 10:51 PM

                                        I once again need to emphasize that ordering a custom sandwich at any wichcraft is the only way to go---fresh - custom and made on the spot to my specifications. I was in Bryant Park the other day and cstomized my BLT with extra Meat and it was free. Thanks again Tom I think the free extra meat on request really makes it a real value-- what a great idea free meat on request! I'll be back for my double meat Coppa when it cools off so get ready guys I am back!

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