One of my favorite go to places for lunch, especially in the cold winter months, is 'wichcraft. With several locations throughout New York City (as well as Las Vegas and San Francisco), my preference is the one right down the block from Madison Square Park and the Flatiron Building at 11 East 20th Street between Broadway and 5th Avenue. Owned by Top Chef head judge, chef, and restauranteur of all the Craft enterprises (Craft, Craftbar, Craftsteak), Tom Colicchio's 'wichcraft is his casual dining soup and sandwich shop. Opened in 2003, Colicchio takes the soup and sandwich comfort foods that we love and cherish to a whole new level of delicious.
The menu features hot and cold sandwiches, soups, salads, pastries, and even breakfast items. Everything is made from scratch and Tom Colicchio is known for his use of high quality of ingredients. He uses greenmarket vegetables and sustainably raised meats whenever possible. It's his goal in opening 'wichcraft to give diners the opportunity to experience exceptional food in a casual atmosphere at an affordable price. After placing your order at the register, you can find a seat, relax, enjoy the free wi-fi, and wait for your meal to be brought to you (which takes about 10 minutes). Here's what I like to order...
The Roasted Turkey Sandwich is by far my favorite sandwich on the menu. I know, what is so great about a turkey sandwich? I thought that at first too, but then I tasted it. The turkey is slow roasted, making it very moist and flavorful. The creaminess of the avocado and aioli, the salty crunch of the bacon, the sweetness of the onion relish... they all play so nicely together in the sandbox. My mouth is literally watering just thinking about this sandwich.
I've tried several other sandwiches on the menu as well, such as the Free-Range Chicken Salad Sandwich and the Goat Cheese Sandwich. Both are delicious, but my money is still on the Roasted Turkey.
Although the 2 soup flavors offered daily do rotate, my favorite always seems to be on the menu. The Roasted Tomato Soup with Parmesan is just amazing. The tomato flavor he gets from the roasting process is so vivid and intense. The soup is well seasoned and is the ultimate in comfort food, especially on a cold winter day.
I tried the Tortilla Soup for the first time during my last visit. It was very good, with a touch of heat, and had some strips of tortillas within the soup. It was topped with either sour cream or creme fraiche, I can't remember which. A soup that is not pictured but that I also really enjoy is his Potato Leek Soup. The mild onion flavor of the leek works so well with the potato and the potato gives the soup a great creamy feel... so delicious!
Although I normally visit 'wichcraft in the winter months, there is good reason to go in the summer. During the summer months, they serve these huge ice cream sandwiches. I had one of those while I was in Las Vegas and it was so awesome. If you are visiting in the summer, don't skip it!