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“A Big disappointment”
Review of Wichcraft - CLOSED

Wichcraft
Cuisines: American
Neighborhood: SoMa
Restaurant details
Neighborhood: SoMa
Santa Cruz, California
Level Contributor
76 reviews
40 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 112 helpful votes
“A Big disappointment”
Reviewed January 8, 2012

As a long-time fan of "Top Chef," I was really excited to try Tom Colicchio's fast-casual restaurant. Sadly, I came away with the impression that I could have walked one block in any direction and had a better lunch.

We should have suspected something when we noticed that the restaurant was mostly empty...an empty restaurant at noon in trendy SOMA on a sunny Saturday is definitely a red flag (and, in fact, when we left, we noticed that other eateries in the area were overflowing with customers).

As a vegetarian, I'm accustomed to not having a lot of choices on restaurant menus, but 'wichcraft's vegetarian selections are even sparser than most: basically, we had a choice of three sandwiches (two of which were PB&J and grilled cheese), one salad, and one soup. My husband and I decided to go for the most interesting-sounding sandwich choice: chopped chickpeas with roasted red peppers and arugula (rocket). We also got a bowl of the cheddar-potato soup to share. Our 19-year-old daughter, still a kid at heart, got the PB&J.

My husband and I both found our sandwiches to be extremely disappointing. For one thing, the bread was very dry, and was cut way too thick for the amount of filling on the sandwich. As someone accustomed to eating sandwiches on San Francisco's wonderfully assertive sourdough bread, we also found the bread a bit on the bland side.

The primary flavors detectable in the sandwich filling were salt and lemon. In fact, mine was so salty, I couldn't finish the sandwich (and I'm usually the person who ADDS salt to everything!). I really couldn't detect the roasted peppers or arugula unless I pulled them out and ate them alone, after sucking most of the salty/sour dressing off of them.

My husband also found the filling to be too oily for his tastes. It almost seemed that they were trying to compensate for not knowing how to deal with vegetarian ingredients by using a heavy hand with the oil and salt...very sad, when you consider just how flavorful these ingredients can be!

The soup was OK. It also had a slightly sour edge (I think it was made with sour cream), which I didn't mind, but my husband found off-putting. I also found it odd that, even though it was served in a meal-sized bowl (there was no option of just getting a cup of soup), it really wasn't a "meal" soup...there were no chunks of potato or other vegetables in it at all. I don't mind a bisque for an appetizer, but I'd have been terribly disappointed if I'd ordered the soup expecting to make a meal of it.

Our daughter did enjoy her PB&J. I had a taste of it, and again, the best I could say was "it's OK." As with our sandwiches, there was way more bread than the amount of filling called for (in fact, this sandwich had an extra slice of bread between the peanut butter and the jam...kind of like the third bun on a Big Mac!).

Another disappointment was the drinks selection. There are no fountain drinks at all. If you want a soft drink, you have to choose from a refrigerated case of juices, iced teas, and bottled waters (I ended up with a very overpriced bottle of Arrowhead sparkling water, which I could have gotten much more cheaply at a nearby Walgreen's). Looking at the counter, it would seem that wine was available, but there was no one staffing that part of the counter, and the menu didn't mention wine as an option.

In sum, in a city overflowing with outstanding restaurant choices, ranging from tiny ethnic "finds" to five-star cuisine, 'wichcraft is a real disappointment. If you're looking for a good sandwich in the city, you'd do better to go to one of the many Boudin's or La Boulanger locations. We won't be back.

  • Visited January 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank RedwolfCalifornia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

43 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    3
    24
    7
    8
    1
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
SF
Level Contributor
11 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Good for light meal”
Reviewed December 14, 2011

It is the type of place where you fall in line, you order and they deliver to your table. It is spacious with a second floor for those who want to be away from the crowd. That is where we went. The staff is nice and are patient with customers. If you sit on the first floor, just mind that the sun might be strong in a sunny afternoon through the glass walls, ie if you sit near the glass walls. Vegetarians have options too.

  • Visited November 2011
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank sudarshana
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oxford, Mississippi
Level Contributor
20 reviews
11 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Exactly what it purports to be...a very tasty sandwich”
Reviewed December 9, 2011

On the face of it, Wichcraft is very simple: line up at the counter, order your sandwich/soup/whatever, and they bring it to you when it's done. And, on deeper investigation, that's it, and the sandwich is just as delicious as it sounds on the menu. Mine was turkey, bacon and avocado, which is a divine combination anyway, but the roll on which it was served was obviously very fresh, and the balsamic-sauteed onions were a very nice and unexpected touch.

  • Visited December 2011
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank chetzer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Virginia, USA
Level Contributor
13 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Very disappointing for a Tom Colicchio venture”
Reviewed November 17, 2011

I walked by this on the way to my hotel and recognized that this was one of Tom Colicchio's places. Since I was travelling solo, I thought picking up a "gourmet" sandwich here and taking it back to my hotel would be a nice option.

I got the chicken salad sandwich. It came with chips and after tax was over $11.

I was hugely disappointed. The bread tasted like any bread that you buy at the supermarket. The chicken salad was quite bland. I expect gourmet sandwiches to be on bakery bread and be full of flavor. I wouldn't bother going back. There are far better choices in San Francisco.

  • Visited November 2011
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Stockholm28
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Martinez, California
Level Contributor
65 reviews
41 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“Decidedly different sandwiches”
Reviewed October 31, 2011

This restaurant is based on one in New York, I believe. They have many different sandwiched from standard fare and the menu varies by the day.

Excellent soups and salads as well. Nice environment for a respite during a busy convention.

Visited October 2011
Helpful?
Thank pthughes2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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