Top Five Tastes at ‘wichcraft (And a Few to Fix)

TOP TASTES

1) Slow roasted pork: Best ordered in the waning hours of the afternoon when the shreds and patches of pork peak after a long stew. Don’t worry, hot mustard, vinegared red cabbage and fresh jalapeños will wake up the meat and the meat-eater.

Additional kudos for not using gooey cheese as the simple solution to sandwich making. A Salamander need not exist exclusively for melting provolone!

2) Anchovy and soft-egg sandwich: A provocative combination, even with some salsa verde and ciabatta to buffer the unabashed anchovy flavor. Eggs are always good on this sandwich, but watch out for the undercooked breakfast egg, frisée and lardon combo. I loved my runny yolks but not the phlegm-soft, snot-textured whites.

Grilled gruyère with caramelized onion is a fun and funky alternative for the anchovy and ovum averse. Deep on the umami account, especially on warm rye bread. Relatively cheap and exceptionally satisfying.

3) La Colombe Coffee: Yes, they’re using this top-tier Philadelphia roaster’s beans in their hot drinks and in their exquisite iced coffee. Probably the fanciest thing on the menu. Best when paired in the morning with ham and cheddar grits.

4) Peanut brittle: Cheap, delicious and portable. Leaves you feeling gently hugged and not in the least bit screwed. In short, a bit of Gramercy Tavern in a fast-ish food chain.

5) Vanilla shake: Lustful luxury in a glass. Skip the Starbucks 5 dollars Crappuchino and order this ‘wichcraft concoction. You’re drinking dessert either way and might as well get something delicious.

A FEW FEATURES TO FIX

1) Colorless truffle sandwich. Bread is bland, dried out and adds nothing to the flavors of already mild truffle and fontina cheese. Truffles themselves are often gritty. Earthy flavors fine. Dirt, uncool. Total lack of garnish makes for a ruthlessly dull presentation, especially for ten dollars.

2) Unwelcoming interior: Perhaps if ‘wichcraft were always packed, I’d get over the sense of sterility, but at present the Barcelona plastic chic comes off as an empty Target store design module gone awry. Food porn on the walls is realistic representation of store offerings, but not warm enough to infuse soul into what remains an emotionally frigid takeout joint. Take your pleasure in a better place!

3) Water shortage: Almost impossible to get ice water without asking twice. When and if it comes, the portion is generous (no Dixie cups).

4) Chaos at the counter: People enter and exit from all directions and seem uncertain where to ask for and pick up food.

5) No liquor license: A few handcrafted beers and wines by the glass would go well at lunchtime and maybe even add a few covers in the evening hours.

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