An Open Letter to Tom Colicchio

Dear Mr. Colicchio,

Recently, my boyfriend and I had lunch at ‘wichcraft (868 Mission Street). We’d been shopping all day — rather, I’d been shopping and he’d been dutifully nodding in assent as I proffered cookwares and eyeshadows and knit tees for his approval — when honger struck. Unenthusiastic about our standard foray to the food court*, Hook suggested that we try ‘wichcraft, which was just a hop, skip and a jump from Bloomingdale’s.

Beet and fennel salad with a side of toast.

Always game to try new eateries, I agreed. For the most part, I’m glad I did.

Your Mission Street location earned one strike against it for the total, unmasked lack of enthusiasm displayed by your register staff. My bf and I waited for a good minute while our cashier, her eyelids coated in glitter-shadow, her focus directed at a male coworker, finished her conversation and deigned to take our order. I know, Mr. Colicchio, that you were not responsible for hiring this lass, and so I don’t hold this crappy service against you. I well know that finding quality peeps to fill counter staff positions is a real challenge. But, having worked (during my high school and college years) as a cashier at various restaurants, I also appreciate good service — when I get it.

On to your menu! I was pleased with the number of options offered, the division of sandwiches (“wiches”) into hot and cold categories (to increase ease of ordering), the availability of breakfast items well into the afternoon. Had I not had breakfast that morning, I’d have ordered the grits with smoked ham and cheddar. Alas, I’d breakfasted and was in the mood for lunch fare. I ordered your roasted beet salad (with a side of baguette). Hook, who had not eaten breakfast, got the oatmeal with cinnamon brown sugar butter, nuts, and fruit.

As one who orders a beet salad whenever I can, I was impressed with ‘wichcraft’s reimagining of the dish. Together, the arugula and fennel had a pleasant bite, offset by the sweetness of the candied walnuts, the creaminess of the goat cheese, and the tanginess of the beets. Kudos, too on the inclusion of so many beets in the salad — so often, the beet salads that I order are light on the title ingredient, a condition that never fails to disappoint me.

Hook was similarly pleased with his oatmeal (most especially the cinnamon brown sugar butter). H. did feel that the amount of toppings was too great given the portion of oatmeal, but then, he’s not as much a fan of toppings as the average customer. (Note: I was totally on board with the amount of candied nuts and CBSB served with the oats. Bring on the sugar, baby!) On the whole, we were satisfied with the quality of the food, with the plating and portion sizes and flavor combinations.

Before signing off, I do have one gripe, and my gripe is this: your beverages are hella overpriced. When H. and I had finished our meal and were readying to leave, preparing to re-enter the Mall of Wonders (or maybe just the Ben Sherman store — I don’t recall, at this point), I looked over my receipt. I was aggrieved to discover that I’d been charged $2.25 for my Diet Coke.

$2.25 for a Diet Coke? You’re out of your fucking mind.

Cheer & goodwill,



*Which, for those of you who have never been to Westfield, is pretty damn good, for a food court.


One response to “An Open Letter to Tom Colicchio

  1. Pingback: Also, just because I don’t talk enough about myself, here’s the 2010 summary of “I Eat.” | I Eat.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s