Which Wich? has a flavor for everyone



• WHAT: Which Wich?

• WHERE: 1125 Patterson Road

• HOURS: 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., Monday through Saturday; 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sundays

• CONTACT: 424-5480; fax, 424-5481

• WEBSITE: http://www.whichwich.com

Ever play those “what-if” games at parties? The question when I was younger was “What if someone paid you a million dollars to chop off your left pinky … would you do it? It’s amazing what some people say they would do for money.

The “what-if” question of late has been “If you were stranded on a desert island, what ONE food would you choose to eat for the rest of your life?” This is assuming that some magic genie would show up and grant your wish.

The minimalists at a recent gathering answered with simple requests like potatoes, Merlot and lobster. Honestly, though, if you were going to pick lobster, wouldn’t you ask the genie for some drawn butter to go with it?

Fish and coconuts might have sounded pretty good until you watched the Tom Hanks movie “Cast Away.” They didn’t exactly fatten him up.

Being greedy, I think I’d pick sandwiches. I don’t know if the magic genie would consider that ONE food, but I’m sticking with my answer. Think of the possibilities.

Grinders, PB&J, Caprese, cheesesteak, reubens, hummus, crab salad, shrimp po’ boys.

And that’s what you’ll find at the just-opened Which Wich? sandwich shop on Patterson Road. Which Wich is a franchise chain devised by Jeff Sinelli, founder and former CEO of Genghis Grill. The franchise has spread to about 20 states and has a couple of handfuls of outlets in Colorado.

When a hungry customer walks into the bright, modernish d&233;cor of Which Wich, he fills out his own order on a brown paper sack with a red Sharpie pen, or, for the kids’ menu, a red crayon. The choices are in 10 categories, ranging from turkey and beef to vegetarian and comfort. Many choices await you, even before you start selecting bread, sauces, cheese and veggies.

I don’t know if Which Wich has counted the possible permutations of sandwich varieties, and I certainly wouldn’t attempt to do so, but it’s got to be astronomical. Any bored theoretical statisticians out there?

There are too many options to mention here, so I’ll just say that beyond the standard fixings, here are some of the more interesting ingredients: crispy onion strings, pesto, Cheese Whiz (a whopping 276 calories), four kinds of mustard, buffalo sauce, peperoncini, grape jelly, tzaziki sauce and bananas.

I, personally, have had three wiches at WW, all classics, and they were pretty darn good: the gyro, the Cuban and the muffuletta. The muffuletta wasn’t a perfect replica of what you’d get at Central Grocery in New Orleans, but nonetheless my favorite. Spread olive salad on anything and it gets my vote.

Which Wich is not a destination for wafflers or the undecided. But if you need some time to contemplate your next meal, you won’t be in the line holding up everyone else.

The choose-your-own poison system and assembly line delivery speeds up the process and seems to work pretty well.

Sandwiches are all $5.25 except the signature, Wicked Wich — choice of five meats and three cheeses — for $6.25. Children’s size sandwich meal, $3.25.

If the genie grants my sandwich wish, I think I’ll gain weight on that desert island.

BURGER MONTH: May is National Burger Month and Smashburger, 115 W. Grand Ave., is celebrating with a month full of giveaways and promotions. The “fast-casual better burger” spot is giving away free burgers, fries and Cokes, but you’ll have to do a little computer registry for your reward. The Smashburger fan who creates a winning video uploaded to YouTube.com can win free burgers for a year. Other giveaways include free fries, Cokes, food for kids and gift certificates. For details and to register, go to http://www.smashburger.com

HISTORY FOR GEEKS: The German city of Hamburg claims the distinction of creating the first version of the hamburger, although others argue that its first incarnation dates to Genghis Khan and his steak tartar-eating hordes. The etymology certainly favors the Hamburg claim.

The cheeseburger reportedly was created in Pasadena, Calif., and trademarked in Denver in 1935 by Louis Ballast for his Humpty-Dumpty Drive-In.

The sandwich is named for John Montagu, Fourth Earl of Sandwich. The 18th-century English aristocrat ordered a servant to bring him meat tucked between two pieces of bread so he could eat while continuing to play cards and cribbage.

ON THE MENU: $13 for growlers of microbrew beer at Kannah Creek Brewing Co., 1960 N. 12th St.; just the bottle, $5; refills, $8; refill of hand-crafted soda, $5. Root beer float with a half-liter of the homemade concoction and two scoops of Dryer’s vanilla ice cream, $5.95.

QUOTE:  “I brought you a tuna sandwich. They say it’s brain food. I guess because there’s so much dolphin in it, and you know how smart they are”

— Marge Simpson, “The Simpsons”

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