555 Fifth Avenue at 46th Street
New York, NY 10017
(212) 780-0577

There are many things Midtown lacks, but somewhere to get a good sandwich ain't one of them. I've already written about a couple. What sets 'wichcraft apart, of course, is the "craft" part of the name. As in Craft, Craftbar, and Craftsteak, Tom Coliccio's trio of none-too-cheap fooderies that pepper the Chelsea/Flatiron parts o' town. Whether going here as opposed to Pax or Cosi or any other of a few thousand of other sandwich joints or delis is a matter of personal preference and brand appeal. I happen to really like 'wichcraft and when I've got the time to walk the extra distance and am willing to spend the $10 that each crafted 'wich will run me, I've yet to be disappointed.

The first time I ate at 'wichcraft, it was at the one in West Chelsea, buried in a renovated warehouse that had become home to small art and furniture galleries. I wandered around like an ass for half an hour until I realized that it was inside this vast echo chamber of a building. There was no sign. It was like one of those clubs where you had to know it existed to know it existed. The one on 46th Street between Fifth and Madison was far easier to find. And far easier to walk to from work.

'wichcraft has breakfast items, but never having had them, I can't say from personal experience whether they're very good. My guess is that one can use the Honda-Test. Since every Honda so far has been as reliable a car as one could imagine, there's no reason to think that the next version will be a lemon. And so I can assume that if the other food items I've had from 'wichcraft are any indication of the breakfast, I'm pretty sure you couldn't go wrong.

I have had, in recent memory (the last week) three sandwiches from 'wichcraft. Here they are, in no particular order. The Chicken Breast warm sandwich, served on grilled country bread with roasted peppers, mozzarella and pesto. This was delicious. The best of the three, easily. And that says something. The bread was toasted and buttery, like a panini, but not a panini. The chicken was far from the usual dry and bland breasts one expects to find in a lunch sandwich and the pesto was incredible. I very highly recommend this simply named sandwich.

Next I had the Grilled Gruyere sandwich, served with caramelized onions on rye bread. If you've ever had French onion soup, you've had this sandwich. The only thing that was missing was the broth. The Gruyere cheese, the bread, the onions, all parts of one of my all-time favorite French dishes. But it must be noted, this was a tangy-sweet sandwich. Almost too much so for me. But a little water will clear that right up. If you don't like onions, you won't be too thrilled with it, and if you need meat, you're out of luck.

Finally, I tried 'wichcraft's Slow-Roasted Pork sandwich. Pulled pork with red cabbage, jalapenos, and mustard on a ciabatta roll. They were out of jalapenos, so they substituted in some coppa and comped me a small coffee. The way I had it, which I don't imagine to be very far off the original mark, was delicious, but heavy, and very spicy. Nose running spicy. I like nose-running spicy, but some will undoubtedly be turned off by that.

As I said, there are a million bajillion kazillion other places to get sandwiches in New York. Some suck. Most don't. Sometimes you want a turkey and Swiss on rye, hold the mayo, or a BLT packed so high with B, L and T that you can't fit your mouth around it. But sometimes you want something a little more refined and different. Something you probably couldn't make at home the night before. And for that, 'wichcraft exists and is well worth the walk.

Other Addresses:
Chelsea: 269 11th Avenue
East Village: 397 Greenwich Street
SoHo: 568 Broadway
Flatiron: 11 East 20th Street
Herald Square: 34th and Broadway
Bryant Park: 11 West 40th Street
Murray Hill: 1 Park Avenue
East 40s: 245 Park Avenue
Rockefeller Center: 1 Rockefeller Plaza

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