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Nov 3, 2006 04:20 PM

'Wichcraft and Burrata

'Wichcraft and Burrata
I was working in the City yesterday, so I decided to give 'Wichcraft a go. At the suggestion of the staff (I have to stop asking these questions!) I ordered the tomato soup with parmesan and 1/2 sandwich. It was rainy and soup just seemed like the right thing to have.
Wrong! It was both the consistency and flavor of canned soup. The sandwich I ordered was tuna. You can't get 1/2 a hot sandwich with soup. I would swear this was preprepared, as it arrived immediately and the baguette and plate it was on were as icy cold as the tuna itself. It was visually very unappealing. The lemon in the sandwich was in thickish slices on the bread and if there was any aioli, as promised, it was in very short supply. Mostly just mashed tuna, capers, the lemon and a tiny slice of fennel. Very "tuna" and not much else. I left 3/4 of the food behind...
And moved on to Bristol Farms to see what LA is sending our way. I had an idea that they might sell the Gioia Burrata as it comes from S Cal, and I was right! The price is great- 9.99 for a container. It was all fresh and I have some for dinner tonight. An exciting find to offset my lunch.

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  1. Thanks for the tip on Gioia Burrata. Anything else good to buy at Bristol Farms?

    1. The soggy Tuna wiches are plentiful at Wichcraft as it was the first sandwich I ever had there at the kiosks in Bryant park. I inquired with a worker about how old the tuna sandwiches were and I was told that they are prepped in the morning because it is impossible to make them fresh on the spot---(too many ingredients- etc). I did find that if you make a custom modification to the tuna fish sandwich that they will make it fresh but it does apopear to throw the whole peration into a tissy.

      Give it a try but definately cxustomizing is the way to go!


      1. Has anyone tried any of the breakfast items there or the pies? Do they have pies yet in SF? Can you buy a piece because at $22 for a pie, not likely I'll buy one unless I hear good things.

        Breakfast-wise the stone-ground grits with smoked ham and cheddar at least sounds good and at $4 one of their least expensive items. Looking at the website it seems they will have delivery soon.

        The Chron did a review that was colder than some of the tepid hot sandwiches served at Wichcraft.

        They did like the 'deconstructed' rueben and the cookies. Seems like the owner was around at opening when the Chron thought the quality was better and wasn't so good once he left.

        As mentioned in this thread ... not happy with the tuna.

        Previous Chowhound mentions on Wichcraft.

        1. Went to 'WichCraft twice this last week, not very impressed for what they are charging.
          First time, I got the tuna sandwich, and as instructed, modified my order by asking for the aioli on the side. A few minutes later, they brought a nicely filled sandwich to my table with a generous side of aioli. Seems like they are trying to improve, the tuna was well seasoned and studded with capers, the lemon slices were nice and thin and there was a generous layer of paper thin fennel bulb and a bit of the dark green top too. This added a nice crunch. The baguette it came on was a bit boring, although the plate was warm, and so the bottom of the sandwich was too, which was nice.
          This was good but not amazing or anything, with a small Calistoga it ran me about $11.
          Next visit, I split a turkey, avocado and onion relish with my sister, and also shared a side of chickpeas.
          Here again, we modified the sandwich by asking for whole wheat bread and no bacon. It came out in a reasonable amount of time for a Suday at 2pm. They were about 2/3 full, I'd say, although still no access to the upstairs dining area.
          Sandwich had nice ingredients, it was good roasted turkey, very moist, freshly sliced avocado and a delicious onion relish, the problem was there weren't enough of any of these things. If they had simply upped the amount of everything so that you got an even layer on top of the bread it would have been great, as it was we were left scratching our heads at the stingyness. It's a turkey sandwich, not a foie gras app, why so stingy???
          The chickpeas were okay, but were delivered to the table in the same plastic pint container they sell it in for To Go orders, and it was refrigerator cold, not such a good thing. As it warmed up during the meal it got better, but nothing to run back for.
          The bottled water they are selling, by the way, is just gross, and this is coming from someone who actually has gotten to like Evian. It has a salty flavor that reminds me of water fom the tap of a motorhome that been sitting around all summer.
          Service is spotty, dirty tables lay unattended too long, and on both occasions plastic tableware was delivered instead of real silverware, which I saw in the dirty dish tubs, so they use it sometimes...
          All in all, they don't seem to have the presence of someone who knows what they are doing and cares that it is consistently done right. There are too many young faces standing around without a clue, they clearly could use some direction from a motivated manager.
          I hope they are able to get it together, it's a fun concept and if they keep changing up the menu, I'd go if I were stuck in that hood again.
          But if it remains as mediocre as it is now, with relatively high prices for what you are getting? I'm sorry 'Wich Craft, pack your knives and go.

          6 Replies
          1. re: rabaja

            "a salty flavor that reminds me of water fom the tap of a motorhome that been sitting around all summer"

            Haven't been there to commiserate with you, but gotta say that's an evocative descriptor.

            1. re: rabaja

              Hee! I find all these negative comments about a restaurant owned by Mr. "fix the problem" "don't serve it if you aren't proud of it" Colicchio amusingly ironic.

              1. re: Ruth Lafler

                I get the sense Tom is expanding his empire too quickly and quality has suffered as a result.

                1. re: a_and_w

                  Well, he doesn't tolerate excuses on Top Chef, so why should we allow him any? If you put yourself in the position of judging others, then you should make sure your own house is in order.

              2. re: rabaja

                Which brand of bottled water do they serve?

                1. re: rabaja

                  Love the Top Chef/Colicchio reference! I'm not in any hurry to try this place until they get their management/staffing issues worked out...

                2. I'm really not such a fan of wichcraft with the possible exception of the corned beef sandwich.