Which Wich? How About One that's a Better Value?

March 23, 2009

We were out in the far northwest reaches of the Woodlands last Sunday, and had an hour to kill. We headed out to the newish center at the intersection of 1488 and 2978.

This area used to literally be BFE, because the map shows the town of Egypt at that intersection. It's amazing how it has grown up in the past few years.

Searching around, we saw a Which Wich shop, and we'd never visited one, so our choice was made.

Upon entering, we were faced with a display filled with hundreds of small paper bags, and a wall explaining everything. The Which Wich concept is different: Pick the bag that corresponds to the category of sandwich you want, then customize by ticking off the appropriate boxes on the bag. Hand it over, and in a few minutes, you get it back, filled with a sandwich build to your specs.

The choices looked interesting; we were in the mood for something Italian, so we went with their Muffuletta. It's a mixture of salami, ham, and their olive salad. We added a bit of garlic and provolone cheese, and handed over our bag.

Part of the concept is that almost all the sandwiches cost the same - about $5.50. Adding chips and a drink bring the total to around $8; not cheap, but not outrageous either.

On this slow Sunday, we waited and waited. Unlike Subway or the other sandwich shops we've visited, Which Wich has one person making sandwiches, which slows things down considerably. The sandwiches are also made behind a tall counter, so you can't observe the work or the ingredients.

Our name was called, and we retrieved our sandwich. In an era of huge portions and too much food on the plate, Which Wich was a surprise... the sandwich was small, perhaps 5" long, and it wasn't exactly overstuffed with ingredients. The flavor was OK; a little too much olive salad, not enough meat and cheese.

All in all, we were disappointed. The place has promise, but the value side of the equation is off. When the market leader is offering a footlong sandwich stuffed with ingredients for $5, paying more for a sandwich that's less than half the size and with skimpy ingredients just doesn't make sense.

Which Wich: 6619 FM 1488, Magnolia, Texas 77354, 832-934-3034

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