Perusing the pavement for palate pleasing portions? Searching the solar system for savory swallows? Why not wander west to Which Wich?, the new casual sandwich shop on the corner of Dowlen at Folsom where all of your decisions are in the bag?
In fact there are so many decisions to be made about which superior sandwich to select at Which Wich? that hostesses are on hand to guide you through the process.
“Our sandwiches are customized and there are 51 different Wiches so the first time you come, it’s a little confusing,” said Faisal Lalani, co-owner of this first Southeast Texas location. “I mean we have three different kinds of onions, 60 different toppings and seven cheeses for starters.”
To facilitate sandwich selecting, Which Wich? provides categorized brown paper bags that serve as “menus.” Bags come in ten different categories – Turkey, Ham & Pork, Beef, Chicken, Seafood, Vegetarian, Italian, Comforts, Classics or Breakfast, which is served all day. Bag selection dictates further choices identified on the bag/menu.
If “Seafood” is the chosen bag, a diner would then have to choose among tuna, crab salad, surf and turf, shrimp po’boy or buffalo shrimp. Patrons picking “Comforts” will pick among a list including egg salad, chicken salad, triple cheese please, Elvis Wich (peanut butter, honey, bacon and banana) or BBQ Pork & Slaw.
Bag and/or category selection seems significant; however, it’s just the beginning of the customizable flavor finding. Each bag, no matter the category, requires other selections including cheese, mustards, mayos, spreads and sauces, dressings, onions, veggies and oils and spices.If you want a spread or a sauce, there are 10 tantalizing tastes to choose from – A1, barbecue, buffalo, marinara, pesto, teriyaki, ketchup, salsa, hummus and tzatziki. You can have red, crispy strings or caramelized onions, and yellow, Dijon, honey or deli mustard. There are 13 veggies including sauerkraut, and seven oils and spices including oregano and garlic.
Whether you try the Which Wich signature sandwich “The Wicked” with five meats and three cheeses or the vegetarian Black Bean Patty, whichever Wich you get will be terrific to your taste buds because it will be your chosen chow.
Wiches are made on white or wheat bread, toasted or not, in 7, 10.5 and 14 inches, or in a bowl over lettuce. Selections are made on the bag with a red Sharpie or, for children but not limited to their use, red crayon, and signed. Wiches in waiting are announced by name for customer pick up and customers claim them in the bag.
“Ideally, wiches take three to four minutes to prepare,” said Lalani, a 2006 finance graduate of the University of Texas who with his business partner, Shalin Patel, plans to open more locations of Which Wich? in the area and the country. “But they (wiches) are all different. We’re not making 100 of the same thing here, so it may take a little longer sometimes, but we’re still fast.”
Which Wich? is fast and has some healthy choices, too. There are eight sandwiches that can be made to combine for less than 400 calories. In addition, ordering a “skinny” results in a wich made with hollowed out bread. Gluten-free breads will soon be available as well as a Coke bar, not exactly healthy but the first of its kind in the Southeast Texas.
“We want people to express themselves with their Wiches and soon with free-style Coke,” said Lalani, whose favorite Wich “right now” is the Buffalo Chicken. “People will be able to customize their Coke beverages with different flavors.”
Already, ice cream shakes and cookies, Rice Krispie treats and brownies are available for dessert. Wiches are also complemented by kettle-fried house potato chips or other chip selection and a soda, tea or water with crushed ice. Lalani says everyone loves their crushed ice.Which Wich? caters box lunches, platters and sides and sweets. Located at 3095 Dowlen Road, they are open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. Find them online at www.whichwich.com or call them at (409) 892-9424.