Friday, June 14, 2013

Episode XIII: Which Wich (ATL)

Friday at the office means getting away from my desk and going out to lunch. On this day it was Which Wich to try the No Rye Reuben.  My boss had told me about it, and even sent me a picture, but it was time for me to try it for myself. 

Appearance – (3.2/5.0)       
 As you Which Wich fans out there know, everything comes in a brown paper bag. The picture below is me helping them out a bit by taking it out and splitting it.  (On a side note, I noticed this week that all of the pictures on my phone are either of Reubens or babies.  Not sure what that says about me.) Once I got a good view of it, I realized that being a roll and not sliced bread really does change the look. It really does change the whole make-up of the sandwich or maybe it was just the way they made it.  The 1000 Island dressing was on the bottom and the sauerkraut was piled on the top, so they don’t really touch one another.  There was no overflow and don’t let that yellow spot on the foil fool you. It is not melted cheese or extra dressing; it is just the reflection of the yellow letters on the wrapper. This should all be expected, so no surprises here.

Quality Of Ingredients – (3.6/5.0)     
I was disappointed with  the ingredients.  I am a Which Wich fan and they have good ingredients, but the Reuben is its own monster.  The corned beef was mediocre.  This is a cold cuts shop, and I love cold cuts, but a really good Reuben has tender warm corned beef.  There was nothing special about the sauerkraut. It tasted like it was out of a jar and also not very hot.  The 1000 Island was probably the most disappointing.  That stuff out of a jar can taste good, but this tasted like it was out of a can and was just so-so.  The best ingredient was the wheat (no rye) bread.  It was toasty and hearty.
Price – (4.3/5.0)      
Can’t complain here. The regular 7” sub is under $6.  It is always great to see the price of a sandwich start with a 5.
Je Ne Sais Quoi – (2.2/5.0)   
 There is so little unknown about this sandwich that I don’t even know what to write here.  This sandwich is strictly the combination of ingredients and nothing more. They do not magically come together to create complex layers of flavors.  It was one 1000 Island bite then one sauerkraut bite.
Taste – (6.1/10.0)                                                  
I think the most frustrating thing about the taste of this No Rye Reuben is that it was not nearly as good as other sandwiches I have had at Which Wich. I will repeat, I am a Which Wich fan, but the No Rye Reuben is not their best effort. I mean I ate it, but I would not recommend it given so many other great options at this place.

Overall – (19.4/30.0)
Pretty low score for this one.
It seems to me that the folks at Which Wich were looking down at the sandwich bar one day and realized they almost had everything to make a Reuben.  Some summer intern probably floated the name No Rye Reuben and it stuck. I guarantee you he worked the rest of the summer, unpaid, and never saw a dime in royalties.
Reubens don’t work that way folks.  There has to be a purpose.  Arby’s had the same idea but put effort into it and did it well (See Episode X).  Which Wich needs to try harder or take the Reuben off the menu. It is disrespectful to Reubens everywhere to suggest that a Reuben can somehow be more than the sum of a few of its misinterpreted parts.
As an ambassador for the Reuben to the culinary world, I am embarrassed. If you have never had a Reuben, please do not let this be your first.  Plenty of great cold cut choices at Which Wich.  I would suggest going with one of those.

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