PROFILE: Midtown Lunch’er “Sisha Ortuzar” Plus ‘wichcraft Book Giveaway

Every Tuesday I turn over the site to a different Midtown Lunch’er for his or her recommendations for the best lunch in Midtown. This week, I’m pretty excited to welcome Sisha Ortuzar, the cofounder of ‘wichcraft, which has many Midtown locations. Whether or not you love or hate ‘wichcraft, Sisha is an amazing chef who has cooked in some of ML’s favorite cities- including Chile, New Orleans, and of course NYC (at Grammercy Tavern). And he co-wrote the brand new ‘wichcraft book (along with Tom Collichio). We actually have 5 copies to give away at the bottom of the profile.

Name: Sisha

Age: 36

Occupation: Restaurant owner, so it depends on the day (sometimes chef, sometimes designer, sometimes architect, sometimes marketer, sometimes dishwasher, etc.)

Where in Midtown do you Work?: ‘wichcraft (several locations in Manhattan, a lot of them in Midtown)

Favorite Kind of Food: I like almost everything; it really depends on the day. The food that I find most interesting tends to be spicy (Szechuanese, Korean, Indian) but I also like simple and straight forward food. One of my favorite things to eat is toast with butter.

Least Favorite Kind of Food: Puerto Rican food. It just seems very bland and one-note to me.

Favorite Place(s) to Eat Lunch in Midtown: Bar Zippeto (on 6th btw. 56+57th) for espresso. The halal meat cart on 6th Ave. and 49th for meat on a stick. A cheeseburger from the Burger Joint at the Parker Meridien (on 56th btw. 6+7th), and Yushi (on 47th btw. Park+Lex) for a healthy snack.

“Go-To” Lunch Place You and Your Coworkers Eat at Too Often? ‘wichcraft. It’s kind of convenient.

If you could work anywhere (just because of the lunch) where would it be and why? Singapore. Those hawker food centers look really good.

Is there anything you’d like to ask the Midtown Lunch readers? How can ‘wichcraft make you happier? (I know I’m setting myself up for abuse with this one.)

Well, unlike previous lunchers, at least he knows he’s in for some abuse! Alright… so here is how you win your own copy of the new ‘wichcraft book by Tom Colicchio and Sisha Ortuzar. Just comment below… a ‘wichcraft suggestion, or whatever, and you’re entered to win. 5 winners will be drawn at random on Friday (4/17) at Noon. Please be sure to include your email address so we can contact you if you win. (Don’t worry, it won’t show up on the site.)

I’ll start… make the sandwiches cheaper and/or larger! That way us fat guys won’t have to resort to “menu strategies” like this one.

And as always if you want to be next week’s Profiled: Midtown Lunch’er (or know somebody you’d like to nominate), email me at


  • I have to agree with Zach make the sandwiches cheaper! I would go to wichcraft more if it wasnt so expensive.

  • I love ‘wichcraft and have fond memories of the heirloom tomato BLT (in season) and other great , creative sandwiches I’d get from the Greenwich street location. Sadly I no longer work near a ‘wichcraft and it would delight me if they opened an outpost or even a truck (!!) and come down to Wall Street.

  • Daily sandwich specials. I go to wichcraft regularly but I get realllly sick of the menu which never changes. I think it would help to have weekly or daily featured sandwiches (like all the ones in the book that I have never tasted but want to)

  • I also agree with Zach and Ruth – I like wichcraft a lot, but it’s just too much to pay for a sandwich!

  • Ask for abuse and ye shall receive…in abundance

    I actually like the sandwiches as they are, but for the price, you should ‘throw in’ something as a freebee… maybe a chocolate or a homemade cookie or something. Hell, I’d even take some of those long crunchy breadsticks that come with the soup.

    Or how about a secret password like “ZACH RULES” to get Midtown Lunchers a free side?

    And lower the buy 12 get 1 free sandwich card limit to buy 6 or 8 and get one free.

    One more thing: Where’s your Midtown Lunch Challenge entry?

    Goddammit, who’s running things over there?!?! You obviously need me as a consultant… I accept my fee in sandwiches.

  • Would love to see a ‘wich with proscutto, grilled asparagus, some sort of cheese & notes of truffle (maybe through oil? Aoili?).

    Heaven. On bread.

    Also, maybe drop the price of the sandwiches $1, or throw in a small coffee or a small bag of chips.

    Cheers, Katie

  • Ditto the above. ‘wichcraft food looks good, but small portions and high prices keep me from going here as a lunch option. (And I happen to live right by a ‘wichcraft.) There is too much tasty food around at lower prices to spend about $10 for any of the ‘wichcraft meat sandwiches, which are not very filling.

  • The one in Rock Center has a coffee happy hour. Would be awesome if that was expanded to the one in Bryant Park.

  • Cheaper ‘wiches… Puerto Rican food bland??? Really? What have you eaten that was so bland?

  • I vote for a soup & sandwich combo that includes some of the other sandwiches. Also, a location in the east 50s would be great.

  • just took a look at a few recipes on SeriousEats: looks like this book could really class up my sandwich making.

  • i’m actually a big fan of some of the more moderately-priced sandwiches (grilled mozzarella & fontina and the grilled cheddar) so i can’t really complain about the cost. but i’m also a big “soup and sandwich” fan and i’ve been really underwhelmed by some of the ‘wichcraft soups i’ve tasted- especially the tomato one. and of course combo pricing would be nice too!

  • Offer discounted combos for regular customers.

  • sorry to be so unoriginal, but price is the main barrier to prevent me from visiting.

  • Cheaper, bigger and more variety. All covered already, but those are the keys.

  • i agree with east-sider – combo pricing on soup/sandwiches! any type of specials or deals.

  • How about mini sandwich samplers? So you can taste 2 or 3 different sandwiches during a meal!

  • I’m not going to say cheaper because you get what you pay for, but I kind of wish I got more of what I paid for. Bigger sammies are always appreciated.
    I’m also a fan of the special sandwich of the day concept. Give me a new reason to come back from time to time and shell out the extra bucks.

  • Is it time to add a banh mi to the menu?

  • ‘wichcraft needs to enter the midtown lunch sandwich challenge!

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