Lunch In @ Wicked-wich

Wicked-wich has been getting some solid food blog love since it opened recently (here here, etc.), and after a couple of visits myself, I am happily jumping on the bandwagon.  In a brisk 15 minutes I can arrive at freshly cut deli meats and a wide array of pre-designed sandwich combos coupled with interesting sides.  And if you're ever feeling frisky, you can always create your own.

The Food:  Let me quickly mention that I didn't take photos of my first visit (work-related meeting), and while I do have a photo from today, it's not much to look at.  When Sarah's on break shortly I'm sure we'll get down there with the good camera and take some solid pics to share.

On my maiden voyage to Wicked-wich, I steered clear of the Reuben, noting to my lunch companion that I typically just stick with Izzy's for this classic.  But, after having a chicken barbecue sandwich that was quite tasty, and after reading such solid reviews, I gave them a chance.  And I was not disappointed!  For someone whose most frequent gripe is that things don't have enough salt (I don't yearn for health problems, I just want all the flavor brought out), I was particularly smitten by the salty salt rye bread.  Inside was Emmentaler swiss, a zesty thousand island dressing, and a generous helping of very tasty corned beef.  Simply put, this was a fantastic sandwich!  I'll have to go over to Izzy's real soon so my taste buds can compare, but I think Wicked-wich may be on top.

For a side this time around I got garlic couscous - which is cold, large, pearly Israeli couscous with chopped celery, parsley, and red onion.  On my last visit I had the curried egg salad.  They aren't afraid of bold flavors at Wicked-wich, one of the main reasons I am quickly becoming a big fan.

The Ingredients:  While there's nothing on their menu that notes being sourced locally or using organic ingredients, Wicked-wich does step up its deli game with its "covenant" (see page 2 of the menu).  It's great to see them cutting the meat right there in front of you.  Hopefully as they settle in and learn how to run a great operation they'll take their clear caring for ingredients and customers to the next level by cutting down on the carbon footprint of what's being served.  I'll try to get in one day at an odd hour when they're not so busy and talk to a manager about this as well.

The Story, Setting, & Service:  They must have about 10 people behind the deli counter, so while the lines get long, they move pretty quickly through things at the lunch hour.  The man who took my order has helped me choose two great menu items, and I'll trust his judgment moving forward as well.  Unfortunately, I've asked a couple of employees that are further down the assembly line what they recommend to put on the sandwiches (or even what is on them to start), and they just look back with blank stares or tell you to look at the menu board.  They're clearly not up to speed on all the ins and outs just yet and/or true sandwich aficionados all around.  I think we can forgive this small transgression so early in the game.

Parking on Sycamore between 4th and 5th can be a bit of a pain, but there's usually a meter open if you circle a few times.  So, factor in a few minutes for that part of the trip.

Quick side note:  Wicked-wich is right next door to a Skyline Chili.  I'd eaten at something that was in the W-w space before, and while I couldn't remember it got my co-eater and I wondering - has a Skyline Chili ever closed?  I mean, I assume one has to have, but where?  As a non-native Cincinnatian, this phenomenon never ceases to amaze me.  It's like LaRosa's pizza, I just don't understand how anyone really, truly likes it.

This is definitely going into steady rotation on my lunch circuit.  It's worth it to set aside time for a walk, or figure out the parking, to get such a great meal in the middle of a long day.  As full as it's been on my trips too, it looks like Wicked-wich is off to quite a nice start.

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D R E W said...

i'm excited to try wicked 'wich if even just for the unique name.

i'm not a native either and it took me almost 7 years living here before i tried "chili." i'll eat it, but it's not one of my favorite things.

Gavin DeVore Leonard said...

Definitely worth a visit D R E W.

I eat chili every now and then too, mostly because I think that after a million advertisements for just about anything, I end up trying it (many jokes could follow). And then nearly every time I go, I wish I wouldn't have later in the day.

Ryan Ostrander said...

This may not really count - but there used to be a Skyline on the beach in Clearwater, FL. No longer. I'm sure others have shuttered over the years but it's the only example that I'm aware of.
I'm not a native Cincinnatian either, but can't say I dislike the stuff.

Gavin DeVore Leonard said...

Clearwater, FL! I'm not sure that counts. :)