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


  • Pros: Wichcraft (46 & Fifth) is my go-to place and I come in at least once a week for the turkey sandwich or the grilled cheddar—I guess I’m a regular since the counter gal knows my last name. Price/size of sandwiches is fine by me. I appreciate the reasonable $1 price for the chips and cookie. I like reading a magazine as I wait. Your counter people are pleasant. Free #13 sandwich is great and I think fair. Thanks.

    Cons: Your soups need help. Lentil is bland, texture on potato cheddar is strange, watercress and potato is odd and those flavored oils don’t help any of your soups, sorry. I’ve sometimes felt that the free stick crackers are the best part of the soup…so I’m giving up on your soup and now I go to Dishes for soup (addicted to the peanut soup there). Can you add in a chicken soup for like $6? Please expedite for the people waiting in-person, because when I’m behind a seamless web order I’ve waited 20 minutes. The sides (potato salad and chickepeas, etc) are all meh. I mentioned to a coworker that it is dumb to put the book out on the counter because it is a catalog of all the sandwiches you CAN’T get, so rotate some of them in. If you can get a combo deal (say sandwich, cookie or small side and lemonade/iced tea) to a flat $10.50 that sounds good to me. Finally, you’re not fooling anyone by saying that those are greenmarket apples when there is a PLU sticker on them!

  • how about a wichcraft version of a value meal that’ll change periodically; like a sandwich meal of the week that’s under $10.

  • Wichcraft ah? I’d definitely try it if there was one here in CA.

  • I agree that they should have a Midtown Lunch Sandwich Challenge entry. I’d LOVE some sort of french dip sandwich with au jus dipping sauce. Or maybe a fondue-ish dipping sauce. :)

  • i LOVE wichcraft! i need the recipe for those creamwiches!

  • My main issue is the variety on the menu. If there were daily specials or more variety, then I’d go more often. To be fair, I’ve only been to the Bryant Park kiosk and it’s been about a year since I’ve last been, but I had the same thought when I walked by one in Vegas.

    With that said…the shill has worked and maybe I’ll try out another location today. I hate myself for that.

  • Offer a greater variety of breakfast items. I love the coffee and would like to have a selection of yogurts and fruit to buy along with it.

  • This is a great profile. I love his toast with butter comment. And the Zibetto espresso bar truly does rock! As for Wichcraft, of course it would be great if they lowered the prices. Or made the sandwiches bigger. Or had weekly or daily specials. That chickpea sandwich is off the hook. Who knew that chickpeas could taste that good? And why not treat New Yorkers to the skirt steak, fried eggs and oyster mushrooms on a roll that you serve in Vegas?

  • Bigger Bigger Bigger!…YESSSS…the wait time is pretty atrocious, even when you pre-order online. That’s one of the things stopping me from going to ‘wichcraft more often. When you want to spend your short lunch break at the park, you definitely don’t want to waste it on line.

  • Better hours! I crave wichcraft when I get off work, but the one near me (47th btwn lex and park) is always closed by then. I also love the sullivan st baking items. Please get the cream filled bomboloni in addition to the jelly filled one!

  • I agree, sandwich special would be gerat.
    And I think Puerto Rician food is one-note as well.

  • I have worked around Bryant Park for 4 years and have never heard anything positive about Wishcraft that would make me want to go there. I can get small portions of expensive anywhere. Perhaps your a bit too big for your britches Wishcraft. Celebrity only sells tourists.

  • More vegetarian options

  • This is a travesty. No more “dudes” on Tuesday ML’ers. This section should be reserved for hot asian and latina chicks with predilections for “creative” food ideas.

  • I think the quality of your turkey could be better and your soups leave a lot to be desired.

  • I don’t think they are that expensive. I go to the one in Bryant Park, and not every day, so it’s fine, and much better than going to Subway every day and eating their plastic bread!

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