Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Lunch review: Wicked-wich

Last Friday I was hungry and feeling cheap, so I decided to use a Groupon for Wicked-wich that I had purchased a while back. I've been putting it off for awhile because it's on the other side of Downtown from my office and the place always seems crazy packed.

Located on the 400 block of Sycamore, Wicked-wich is perfectly situated to take advantage of the mass of P&G lunchers and soon the mass of Great American Tower lunchers. It is, as the name would imply, a witch-themed sandwich place, which is one of the odder themes I can can think of for a restaurant. Clearly they are fans of puns.

Wicked-wich's claim to fame in the CBD lunch scene is that they make and slice all of their lunch meat in house. I don't know any other lunch place that does this downtown on the scale that WW does, so they clearly fit a niche. They also claim to make their soups and salad dressings in-house. WW offers breakfast, too, if you are so inclined. The menu lists omelettes, quiche, and other goodies.

WW is your typical sandwich place, ordering-wise. You walk in, get in the usually long line, place your order, pay, and they'll call your name when your food is done. There is a decent amount of space for dining in, but it was completely full when I went, plus about 80 degrees. I opted for take out.

I got up to the front of the line, placed an order the Southwestern Chicken with a side of curried egg salad (one side included with sandwiches). Just because I was feeling particularly gluttonous that day, I also got a bag of kettle chips. I paid and snapped a few pictures.

Hard at work

Odd witch-themed mural and dining space

Sandwich station

Five minutes later my name was called and I escaped the body heat-fest back to the office, sat down, unpacked my lunch and got to work on it.

As usual, my pictures don't do the food justice. The Southwestern Chicken, per the menu description, is "spice-rubbed chicken, roasted peppers and red onions, sharp cheddar, chipotle mayo ... (on a) butter toasted sourdough baguette". It was as good as it sounds. There was a lot, flavor and texture-wise, going on, but it never got ridiculous. The star of the show, as would be expected, was the meat. It was extremely flavorful and, since it was just sliced, juicy. This is real meat, not any of that reconstituted, sodium and whatnot pumped stuff you see on sale at the grocery store (and at Subway).

This sandwich was MESSY. Between the onions and peppers, mayo, and juice from the fresh-sliced meat, it was easily one of the messier sandwiches I've ever eaten. It certainly requires more than one napkin. At first I questioned the choice of a baguette as a bread choice, but in hindsight it's probably the only kind of bread that wouldn't completely disintegrate under the stress of the ingredients.

The curried egg salad was good, but didn't blow me away. It was pretty much your typical egg salad with a bit of curry powder mixed in. The curry flavor wasn't overwhelming, but it's a nice departure from plain 'ol egg salad. The chips and Diet Coke were chips and Diet Coke. Nothing to report there.

Verdict? Wicked-wich serves great sandwiches with some of the best meat in the city. The prices, at around $10.00, are about as high as I'd pay for a sandwich combo at a casual restaurant in Cincinnati. I will certainly be back due to the number of sandwiches on the menu that I had difficulty choosing between. If they can make boring chicken breast a star, I'd love to try their roast or corned beef. It won't be a regular place for me due to the location and crowdedness, but if I want a sandwich a step above most, I know where to go.

Wicked-wich on Urbanspoon