As I adjust to working at my fabulous job up in the City, the ever exciting task of choosing a lunch spot continues. Today I decided that I would check out 'whichcraft by one of my favorite TV chef's, a Mr. Tom Colicchio. Chef Colicchio is know for his restaurants Craft and Craftsteak in NYC and Las Vegas respectively along with being a judge/critic on one of my favorite shows, Top Chef. He has now opened 'whichcraft with other locations in NYC and Vegas. 'whichcraft is a typical breakfast/lunch stop that the FiDi already has tons of, but their aiming to recreate the ubiquitous with a different twist . The restaurant prides itself on hand preparing breakfast items, salads and sandwiches while you wait and relax in their open eating area. The size of the windows are impressive, you have a great view of Mission Street but after reading the yelp.com reviews I had to concur with their statement of feeling like you were sitting at a Ivy League Cafeteria. There are some personal tables but you can't help but notice the two large long tables (aka: family style seating) that takes up the majority of the seating space, mimicking a slight cafeteria feel. The space itself is nice, high ceilings, 2 levels and an open viewing of the kitchen space and bar while also being light and airy. But that's enough about the space, lets get onto the FOOD!
I walked the 4 long San Francisco blocks to the sandwich shop which is known for mixing interesting ingredients and putting them in a sandwich or salad. As my quest for the perfect sandwich continues I was hoping that this lunchtime adventure would cease and desist my pilgrimage. I was a tad bit disappointed though. I had "yelped" 'whichcraft and knew what to expect, but I was hoping that I could create my own opinion of this place. I'm sad to say that the reviews on Yelp were similar to mine. I ordered the Warm Turkey Sandwich which came with roasted turkey breast (not a deli slice by any means, you knew it really came from a roasted breast), avocado, bacon, onion relish, and aioli on a cibatta roll. The turkey breast was okay, a little dry and for me missing a nice crust you get when roasting protein, but it went well with the creamy avocado. The bacon slices were obviously cooked previously and just rewarmed upon plating so I missed the crunch from a nice slab of pork product. The aioli was more like a mayonnaise (maybe that's what they were aiming for?) and so I would have personally enjoyed a romesco or pesto to go with it in place for the aioli. However the onion relish was extremely tasty. It was almost a caramelized onion relish but had a hint of vinegar, I'm guessing either apple cider vinegar or red wine vinegar, but also had some sweetness (either from sugar or the onion itself) to balance out that tartness. The cibatta roll was nice, a lot of bread but held all of my ingredients together properly and not once did my sandwich components fall out in the distance it had to travel from the plate to my mouth.
For me the onion relish and avocado were the standouts in the sandwich. Maybe it would have been better with roast beef. It isn't my favorite place but definitely has potential for a sandwich shop. Maybe next time I'll try a salad.
Tom: I had high expectations, that happens when you're on TV critiquing others food. I know you're a sandwich lover, just wish you tweaked your recipes ever so slightly. They have potential, just need to put some more time into them.
As for me, my pursuit for the perfect sandwich continues. I hope I'll have good luck, and get to eat some really yummy things along the way.
868 Mission Street
San Francisco, CA