A Textured Take on a Culinary Classic

Regardless of owning reached near-common consensus as a trustworthy culinary vintage, the sandwich is by definition a schismatic snack, its richly flavored ranks and tasty divisions able of clashing in gustatory ecstasy or, if badly made, bitter conflict. 

Indeed, the sandwich pendulum slices both of those approaches, with quite a few an inferior giving populating the liminal area separating Katz’s Delicatessen from a Blimpie Sub Shop. To wit: on the small-conclusion of the scale, visualize a smear of Dijon, a solitary leaf of wilted romaine, a pad of frigid butter, and a pallid slice of poultry pressed concerning two slices of Wonderbread. This does not a delightful sandwich make.

On the reverse side of the spectrum, enter Orion and Ellie Heyman, the married pair behind The Wich Haus cafe in Whitefish. The Heymans have been difficult at do the job redefining the sandwich, drawing a finer difference between disappointment and divinity without the need of sacrificing the tasty template that has produced the sandwich this kind of an enduring organization.

Fresh loaves of bread baked at The Wich Haus in Whitefish on Feb. 3, 2022. Hunter D’Antuono | Flathead Beacon

Classically experienced in the culinary arts with a resume spanning kitchens and dining rooms from Napa Valley to New York City, the Heymans purchased The Wich Haus from its former house owners in 2019. Situated at the prominent but unassuming corner of Wisconsin Avenue and Woodland Location, the few has developed the gourmand sandwich shop in equally type and stature given that using the reins, refining its menu, expanding its eating areas and adding a beer and wine license.

They’ve also reworked a historic carriage house adjacent to the restaurant into a entirely performing microbakery, advertising wholesale bread to other restaurants and marketplaces, like The Farmers’ Stand, which is co-owned by the proprietors of Wicked Good Generate, in which the Heymans procure the domestically milled grains they use to bake their bread.

“Pretty significantly anything on our menu goes concerning two items of bread, so we wanted to make that 1st chunk particular,” Ellie mentioned.

A rotating menu characteristics seasonal ingredients and imaginative twists on common sandwich staples, with each sandwich created making use of a bread that’s tailor-baked for the substances it is housing, no matter if that means employing a housemade sourdough, a sweet-potato bun or a semolina hoagie roll.

“Our bakers test to match what is taking place on the outside of the sandwich with what’s occurring inside of,” Ellie mentioned. “We’re so blessed to have a crew that is dedicated to their craft.”

People team customers incorporate Ryan DeAngelis, who learned the essentials of bread as a passion baker prior to honing his techniques less than Ellie’s tutelage, and Clay Weiss, who cut his chops in the foods and beverage business during a 6.5-calendar year stint in Portland ahead of signing up for The Wich Haus, in which he’s now in demand of sourcing an eclectic beer-and-wine menu from community and regional breweries and wineries from about the world.

“We’re very privileged to have the people doing work with us that we do, due to the fact without the need of their really hard function our expertise would not quantity to a lot,” Orion mentioned. “We’re also fortunate to are living in a local community that has sustainable farms, which we really like to help.”

For instance, take into consideration the latest A-checklist sandwich on The Wich Haus menu — the fried chicken thigh sandwich. Consisting of buttermilk fried Montana Hutterite rooster sourced by the Western Montana Growers Coop from the Elk Creek Hutterite colony near Augusta, the chicken thigh is extensively deemed the most tasty portion of the hen, thanks in large aspect to the quantity of blood circulating as a result of the leg for the duration of a chicken’s lifetime. For this Wich Haus typical, the thighs are brined in salt and brown sugar right away, then dredged in a resolution of buttermilk and potato starch. The rooster is then fried and topped with a pickled pepper jelly, frisee, shaved Wicked Very good cippolini onion, and toasted garlic mayonnaise, served amongst a sliced fresh new-baked bun.

Fried Rooster Thigh sandwich from The Wich Haus in Whitefish on Feb. 3, 2022. Hunter D’Antuono | Flathead Beacon

The sandwich not only showcases the high quality of locally accessible substances in Montana, but also the artistic thrives that a team of really competent cooks can imbue in a sandwich.

Orion and Ellie met in 2011 at the Culinary Arts Institute in Napa Valley, California. After graduating in 2012, the few stayed in California for a little bit prior to heading east to New York City, exactly where they worked for a few years. Though New York’s rapid-paced culinary scene gave the pair invaluable encounter, it was also exhausting, so they left and spent time south of the border, cooking in some of Mexico City’s greatest dining places for knowledge, ahead of moving to Missoula to be closer to Orion’s family. 

In Missoula, the couple started off a catering small business that they ran for a yr ahead of heading to Chicago for an additional yr to attain extra working experience. But the Heymans ended up after once more pulled again west, this time to Whitefish, a local community that they experienced developed to like when running the catering company in Missoula. 

Although Orion quickly admits that he by no means imagined himself as the operator of a sandwich shop, it is afforded him a exclusive possibility to flex his creative culinary muscle tissues when hewing nearer to the salt-of-the-earth segment of the population with which he far more carefully identifies.

“What I like finest about the sandwich is that it’s approachable. It’s the meals of the men and women. It is unpretentious,” Orion claimed not too long ago. “I cherished doing the job in good dining, but the meals remaining organized at the top rated places to eat in the earth are typically inaccessible and underappreciated. There’s a extraordinary class disparity involving the people earning the foods and the individuals ingesting it, which defeats the essential goal of cooking and consuming.”

“Good food stuff need to be obtainable to everybody,” he added. 

For menu updates and several hours, abide by @thewichhaus on Instagram or check out out its website listed here.

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