Sometimes I scare myself when I can walk or drive by a block in many areas of downtown Manhattan and know that something is brand new. I can't remember a persons name but I can pick out the latest restaurant or store front on a random block. Weird how the mind works.
Today I happened to be in Chelsea. I walked down 8th Avenue and saw a new food front called Swich. Walked in and asked the obvious question, "how long have you been open"? Answer, "since Thursday". So, I decided to have lunch.
Great space. Very clever website. I love when you click on location and it takes you immediately to Google Maps. Also, when you click on "the story" the story is told by a funny cartoon which I really liked. A possible food entrepreneur in the making.
The menu is simple. A variety of pressed sandwiches or if you would prefer a decompressed meaning salad instead of bread. It reminds me of Chop't. They stick to what they do, pressed sandwiches and they don't stray from it with soups and a variety of other options. Chop't does the same. Salads chopped, that's it. I like that. You are better focusing on one thing then trying to be everything for everybody.
The place is clean, simple and well done. A long bar where you order on the right and pick up on the left. A big communal table in front of the bar.
I had the Karate Chicken Decompressed. All fresh. Greens in a plastic container to go with freshly sliced cherry tomatoes, pieces of mandarin orange, pieces of roast chicken and thin slices of carrots and sliced almonds. Dressing comes in a small plastic container. Good dressing. A really light well balanced salad, not too heavy. My guess is the sandwiches are really good but as always, I opt for the salad. What can I say?
I ended up meeting with the owner John. He has never been in the restaurant biz. His last career was a copy writer. Got to give him a huge amount of credit for opening a new place with no experience. He couldn't be nicer - I think his idol is Danny Meyer.
This is a clever made to order fast fresh food restaurant. My bets are on success and that you will soon seen one coming to a neighborhood near you. I believe Chop't is the process of expanding their brand too. Young guys as well. Could be a trend...