BY: BRITTA GARSOW
People everywhere agree that sandwiches are one of the most reliable foods. They are easily customized to fit your current cravings; they are readily available at all hours of the day, and there is a sandwich for every budget. You can go to the nearest McDonald’s and load up on dollar McChicken’s on your lunch break, or head over to your local delicatessen for dinner and get a nice, big Monte Cristo. The possibilities are endless.
According to whichwich.com, Which Wich? Superior Sandwiches, first opened its doors in Dallas Texas in 2003. Founder Jeff Sinelli grew tired of all the existing sandwich chains. He wanted consumers to be able to get a great sandwich at a fast food restaurant. Then came the brilliant idea behind Which Wich: having your own customizable menu.
The chain’s innovative way of ordering centers around an assortment of choices printed on an oblong, paper bag. The customer first chooses a sandwich bag from their desired category. Categories include turkey, ham and pork, beef, chicken, seafood, vegetarian, italian, classics and breakfast. Each bag is adorned with pre-designed sandwich combinations, or the customer can completely customize their own. The patron then uses the red sharpie provided to check off their choice of bread, size, cheese, spreads, sauces, vegetables, spices and extras— and it’s rare to find a place that doesn’t charge extra for avocado.
Feel free to flip the bag over when you’re done and draw a picture, silly or serious. After you come up with your perfect “Wich” you bring your bag to the cashier to pay, and they take it from there. No waiting in an assembly line with other hungry people, shouting your topping choices to the sandwich artist.
“It’s a fun, very original way to order a sandwich. I like the fact that it gets you involved,” says Patrick Schmidt.
Schmidt is one of many that enjoy customizing their food. People all over the country have jumped on the self-serve frozen yogurt craze for just that reason. Which Wich offers over 50 combinations, which means there truly is something for everybody. Schmidt says his favorite “Wich” is the gyro, located on bag #9-classics, which is made up of gyro meat and tzatziki sauce.
“I like to keep the gyro simple, and just add lettuce and onion,” says Schmidt.
Dieting? They’ve got you covered with the “Lettucewich,” in which your sandwich is wrapped in a lettuce wrap. Or you can “skinny-my-Wich,” meaning that a portion of the inner part of the bread is removed. They also have options for Vegetarians, like the black bean patty. For those calorie counters, you can find all of their nutritional information on their website, whichwich.com.
Aside from sandwiches Which Wich has plenty of side and dessert options. They make their own house chips that you can purchase for $1.25, or you can get them on your “Wich” for some added crunch. Which Wich also offer three different kinds of cookies, fresh out of the oven; and six different flavors of hand-dipped milkshakes, including Oreo. Milkshakes are priced from three to five dollars, depending on the size. Brownies and krispies cost $1.50, and cookies are $1.25.
The Which Wich atmosphere was created by Sinelli himself. All Which Wich locations are adorned with five black and white “Vibes” hanging on their walls. The five original “Vibes” are the heart, smiley face, globe, musical note, and peace sign. Since Which Wich focuses on individuality, all of these Vibes are meant to be interpreted differently by each customer. Sinelli hoped this would create a positive atmosphere for people to enjoy their sandwiches, along with the bright yellow walls and aluminum accents.
“The environment is very fun, and an experience in itself. It makes you want to come back again, says self-proclaimed foodie Alyssa Lesatz. “I love Which Wich, it’s my favorite sandwich spot. My favorite is the turkeywich, which includes coleslaw and 1000 island dressing. It sounds weird, but it’s a delicious combination,” says Lesatz.
Which Wich is all about bringing together a community. That is why it offers free Wi-Fi, as well as local music and newspaper stations at each location. Guests are welcome to display their sandwich bag masterpieces on the community wall when they are finished.
Customers can sign up for the Which Wich Vibe Club, which gives members exclusive emails about what’s new at Which Wich, and special offers. Members get a free “Wich” just for signing up. You are also invited to follow Which Wich on Facebook, Twitter, Flick, and Vimeo to be a part of their social media family, and see what other fans of the sandwich chain are up to. Which Wich aims to bring people together, one sandwich at a time.
The closest Which Wich to Cal State Long Beach is located at 1623 W. Katella Avenue, Suite 101 in Orange, Calif. Which Wich sandwiches range from $5.75 to $11.50, depending on the size. Bowlwich’s are $6.75, and Lettucewich’s cost $5.75.