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Bad experience at 'wichcraft--aberration?

Stopped by the 'wichcraft in The Cube the other week, my first and only visit to any 'wichcraft; based on my experience, I won't be going back.

It was partly my own fault, based on a faulty expectation. I ordered the "pole-caught tuna"; I don't know that I was exactly expecting a tuna steak (not for $9), but what I got was basically just a tuna salad made from canned tuna. Why do they call the chicken salad sandwich chicken *salad" but they don't mention that in the tuna sandwich's description?

So, disappointment from the get-go. But I could have written that off as my needing to have verified what it was, except that the tuna was really fishy tasting, as in "hey, how long was this sitting around?" If I hadn't been in a hurry to get back where I needed to be I'd have brought it back--instead, I tossed it after a couple of bites. As it was, I picked up a pack of mints to get that horrid taste from my mouth (as well as water to rinse with), which I presumed was also a reek that would have been noticeable to anyone I spoke to.

I can't imagine this is an average experience with a place this seemingly successful... anyone else here have this sandwich there?

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  1. I went to a Witchcraft once (on Greenwich St., I think) and my sandwich was inedible. It was a grilled veg sandwich but the eggplant was nearly raw. I've never been back.

    5 Replies
    1. re: alc

      I agree. I was so excited to eat at wichcraft since I had the book and found many delIcious and innovative recipes and tips throughout the book. We went to witchcraft and shared 4 sandwiches between our group. They were all horrible - edible but not much better. The flavours were not good, the meat was not good, and the bread was hard and stale tasting.

      It was empty in the large restaurant other than our small group - now I know why.

      I'm not saying pret a manger is better but I've never had a horrible experience there - their food is good every time.

      1. re: quddous

        Yeah, I've never really thought 'witchcraft was anything special. But I'm also not a fan of Craft so not sure if there's some connection there.

        I also always find pret a manger a satisfying experience.

        1. re: uwsgrazer

          yea, they're both Colicchio's

        2. re: quddous

          So you would not say the place where the food is always good is better than the place you ate where the food was barely edible. Why not?

          1. re: FrankJBN

            The food at pret is just good basic food, but not too much about the flavours are innovative or different. I usually get the Christmas lunch (maybe that one is innovative?)

            The ideas behind witchcraft are quite impressive. I cook a great deal and have a massive collection of cookbooks and the witchcraft cookbook is one of my favourite books. It has a many interesting ideas and variations on recipes which are well thought out and make perfect sense. The problem I had with wichcraft wasn't the ideas themselves but the execution of those ideas on that particular day. I've only been to witchcraft once and though I won't go back for a very long time, I may end up going back someday and liking it.

      2. I've had great breakfast sandwiches (the one with the balsamic) at the Flatiron location, but in general, the quality of these shops is declining rapidly. I've also noticed an attitude with the staffing, who don't seem to be able to execute the sandwiches. Some locations are better for certain things than others.

        Even their coffee happy hours are a letdown with coffee that has a strange chemical taste (maybe from the ice?), no matter what the location, or kiosk.

        2 Replies
        1. re: sugartoof

          I agree with sugartoof, I used to get the breakfast sandwiches at the Flatiron and thought they were the most heavenly combination with the egg over easy, frisee, blue cheese and a gorgeous ciabatta. Then they raised the prices, then they switched bakery. It was awful. Not worth it. No longer go there.

          1. re: ny.frenchfry

            Similar experience when the Witchcraft opened on 8th St west of Broadway. The sandwich was like a mini sandwich, the tomato soup was pretty good, but not hot enough. For what the bill was, I could've had a lunch special anywhere in the neighborhood and gotten a meal instead of a snack. Rip off, pure & simple.

        2. I should add: as far as cost goes, I'd have far preferred a third the amount of fresh tuna compared to even top-quality canned (let alone that stinky tuna salad they served).