The closing of a small sandwich shop in the back of a huge casino might not mean much to you, but I’m in mourning. Anguished mourning.
Yes, ‘Wichcraft was an offshoot of celeb chef Tom Colicchio’s New York sandwich shops—there’s one in San Francisco, too—and yes, it was something of a throwaway venue, lost in the sprawl of the MGM Grand. (It arrived in July 2004, around the same time as Colicchio’s Craftsteak.) Most times when I braved the Strip trip and this labyrinthine casino for a stellar ham and cheese melt or crisp, buttery roasted pork panini, I felt sure I was the only one there who wasn’t a casino guest on the way to the pool or a convention meeting. I must have been the only local regular at ‘Wichcraft. But it’s not my fault that one of our greatest-ever neighborhood sandwich shops just happened to be planted on the Strip.
‘Wichcraft shuttered for good on March 3, sneaking away silently and taking with it so many spectacular bites. One of my last visits brought about a chewy ciabatta layered with thick slabs of roasted turkey, country-style ham and salty coppa, white cheddar, dijon aioli and briny olive-pepper-onion relish. Heavenly. They took the meatloaf sandwich off the menu a while back, but it was legendary, with bacon, cheddar and a bold tomato sauce. The fried egg-bacon-gorgonzola-frisée masterpiece was my favorite breakfast sandwich in the city.
No word yet from MGM on what will take the place of ‘Wichcraft, not that I care. Tomorrow, I’ll start looking for a new lunch.