Thursday, March 29, 2012

Wedge + Fig

160 North 3rd Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106
(267) 603-3090

Wedge + Fig (or is it Wedge and Fig?) is a small BYO bistro in Old City, and I desperately wanted to like it. But I didn't.

When you walk in the front door, there is a small shop and counter, backed by a wide-open kitchen - you can see straight through to the rear windows, all the way to their ivy'd fence. There was an incredibly awkward server/host there to make things confusing, mumbling about seating and stumbling around, but the space itself is fantastic. After a brief pause that seemed like an eternity, he managed to garble that there is a backyard-courtyard with additional seating.

You then walk back around the front of the store and back this tiny easement to a magical little oasis behind the store front and far off of the bustle of Third St. I was impressed. Mostly I was relieved he was not following me down this tiny alley.

The courtyard is great, it really has a relaxing vibe to it. Which might be a prelude to the service.

They were offering a Mad Men/March Madness(?) themed menu, so I had to bite on the specials.

After my dining partner and I were the first arrivals to the courtyard, we were instantly ignored for the next table - a group of touristy German girls sitting right next to us. We had no choice but to listen to him attempt to coax them to come to some karaoke night with him. It was a feeble attempt. This guy was like a poor man's Eddie Austin, minus the charm. Anyway, after we ordered a Lance Pryce (the character's name is actually "Lane," which should have been a sign of the errors to come), a Joan Harris and a Weaver's Way Pickle, we experienced a twenty-five minute hiatus. Things kept accelerating in the awkward and frustrating manner I had grown accustomed to. When the sandwiches came out, the Joan Harris was nicely grilled. However the Lan(c)e Pryce had a long hair sticking out of the chicken salad. I am pretty sure I spotted it before it even hit the table. Hair in chicken salad is one of my ultimate turn-offs. Something about mayo and human hair having been thoroughly mixed and set, that strikes the wrong chord. I quickly called the server back from space and alerted him. He replied "oh" and took it back. An apology would have gone a long way in this situation. Much longer than barely acknowledging the fact that there was someone's locks in my sandwich. Not these lox, but these. I tried to watch the kitchen, through the enormous back windows, intently from this point on, because I wanted to make sure they did not just pull the offending stray and "return to sender." However, it was put off for another five minutes. Luckily I could (cautiously) eat half of the other sandwich.

The brioche was nicely toasted, and filled with gorgonzola dolce, Sriracha glazed chicken, and caramelized onions. It was a good sandwich. But I was already pretty disgusted at this point.

When we had finished eating the other sandwich in its entirety, the Lan(c)e Pryce made an appearance. It was at least five minutes later. Which was kind of mystifying, as it was just chicken salad. Here's the other thing. It was good. Pretty tasty. But at this point, it would take more than Farmhouse cheddar, maharaja curry, apricots, and almonds to please me. Also, this sandwich was sort of like an illusion.

It looks good right?

Check out the bread ratio.

Even better view below.

A bread sandwich with a side of chicken salad. Yum. Besides the incompetent service, the health code violation, and the fact that both the pickle I never received and the hairy chicken salad were still on the bill (paid for the sandwich not the pickle), I really might have liked Wedge + Fig. The atmosphere is quite nice, and the ingredients are locally sourced and carefully thought out. However the execution is not there.


playonplaya said...

chill with the easments talk! sending me shivering into a hole in flashbacks of the bar exam man

Sherm said...

Sounds like you hit them on a (very?) off day. It's a damn shame, too, because it looks like they have a lot of potential to be a cool little hang-out spot. Restaurant owners/managers need to realize that in a city with this many dining options, one bad experience can do you in. Especially in this age of blogging, yelping and even simple word-of-mouth (be it IRL or on social networking sites).

Kirk at Wedge + Fig said...

I apologize for the bad experience you had at Wedge + Fig. As captain and owner of this small enterprise, I take responsibility for all mistakes. This is one of them. A big one. The poor service concerns me most. It's not how I want my business to run. It's not the experience I want my customers to have. I can only promise that we will correct the problems you describe and do better from here on.

We hope you will be kind enough to try us again. Humbly yours, Kirk Nelson

Jamie said...

hairs in food is my worst nightmare.

food-ie mike said...

This is nothing like my many experiences here. The thing about reviewing places is you should always aim to try it more than once before writing anything. This place is the most consistently pleasurable spots for lunch in old city, in my opinion.

Anonymous said...

Weekend brunch here has always been very good in my experience, too, so maybe another try is in order?

On the hair issue: Certainly, no one likes to be served hair in their food. But, really, is it a tsunami-level disaster? Hardly. What is with people these days and their insane paranoia about germs? I work with a guy who uses half a roll of toilet paper making a seat for himself! There are far more disgusting, and potentially hazardous, things that can come in your food, and most of these things you can't see. Again, no one wants to be served this, but I really don't think it's worthy of mentioning in a restaurant review.