Every sandwich shop has its hook. A gimmick, a jingle — call it what you please, but every sub franchise has one, whether it be Subway’s “five dollar foot-long” or “freaky fast delivery” (I’m looking at you, Jimmy John’s). Which Wich, Kercheval’s newest carbo-loaded addition, possesses its own gimmick, although it’s not jazzed up in alliteration or sign language that customers are used to. Which Wich does not promise speedy delivery or obscene portions — it grants control.
When I walked into Which Wich, I was overtaken by the amount of power I had over my sandwich. You start from scratch, picking the type of meat, bread and sauces that you want. From there, your options are nearly limitless and almost always free. The additions that cost money are eggs, bacon, extra cheese and meat and fresh avocado. The other add-ons — and there are plenty — are completely free. This practice centers around the shop’s idea of complete sandwich customization without the consumer having to sacrifice taste for a budget.
The atmosphere is “DIY chic,” as the customer puts pen to paper in the name of a tasty meal. I had to stroll around the tables with their spinning numbered dispensaries in search of the right bag for my sandwich. Here’s how it works: each meat offered has a number and a corresponding dispensary. When you grab the bag from whichever number/meat type you select, you grab a colorful sharpie and get to work. You are the sandwich inventor, your mad-scientist creativity is allowed to run rampant about the toppings, veggies, bread and mustards offered. You work through the list, checking off your heat preference (coldwich or hotwich), size (7, 10.5 and 14 inch), and finally “work your wich,” which is where the fun toppings come in. When you have breathed life into your masterpiece, you sign the bottom of the bag and pay for the sandwich. Then in typical deli style, you wait until your name is called, and you finally get to sink you’re teeth into your sandwich.
The idea of the order checklist eliminates the much-hated sub shop wait. Indecision festers right around the time you need to have a sandwich in your hand, and in a business that is centered around satisfaction — well let’s just say that few people feel satisfied waiting behind Mr. What Kind of Meat Do You Have.
The service at Kercheval’s Which Wich was prompt and friendly, and I was almost immediately approached by a worker offering me a walk-through tour of the process. The whole place had the minimalistic feel of Chipotle but with an added splash of happiness. The color scheme had sunny pops of yellow, and the shop also provided newspapers for customers to read. Customers are encouraged to decorate their sandwich bags and display them on the wall opposite the counter, giving the entire place a more family-friendly vibe.
While my sandwich wasn’t mind-blowing, it was pretty darn good. My seven inch reuben was a mere five dollars, and it was more than enough for one person. What it lacked in size to a five-dollar footlong it made up for in taste. All of the meat used in my sandwich was lean and tasty, and the meal left me satisfied while also not leaving me broke, which is always a bonus.
Which Wich also boasts hand-dipped milkshakes, cookies, chips and it also caters. It is a budget-friendly alternative to other sub shops like Jimmy John’s that also gives people a new sandwich experience. Which Wich is a new flavor to the Grosse Pointe food scene that should be here to stay.