There are plenty of edgy things happening at the Four Seasons Hotel besides Edge Steak & Bar. On the second floor is a hidden lunch gem with an owner just as edgy as the menu he puts out daily. Chef-owner William Hegemann is always in his chef whites, staying true to his Chaîne des Rôtisseurs stamp on the wall. Don't know what that means? Think of it as a culinary cult -- the illuminati of gastronomy. That's one reason to be afraid of Chef William. The other is that he'll scream at you as he's bagging your food. At Wee-Bag-It, food is customized for you. You just gotta know what you want, or it's the next guy's turn to order. Seriously, Chef William will skip you.
And it's tough to order here, because there are specials that change daily in addition to the already-diverse menu of soups, salads, gourmet sandwiches, traditional sandwiches, quesadillas, wraps, jumbo-chopp-chopps, baked potatoes, rice bowls, vegetarian dishes, and low-carb options. Committed to serving the dining needs of people "on the go" who still want to make healthful choices, the place also proffers freshly squeezed juices, all-natural shakes and smoothies, and other libations -- in case you're not looking for solids.
Chef William and his wife, Sirkka, have been in the restaurant industry for many years. He met her while doing an apprenticeship in Essen, the town from which his parents hail. A Miami native, he eventually returned to the Magic City to use the skills he acquired overseas to create something here. Wee-Bag-It opened as a deli at the Wachovia building downtown, where it resided for more than a decade. After a good run, the couple decided it was time for a change, so they moved to the Four Seasons a little more than two years ago.
Wee-Bag-It is over-the-counter service that's ready as fast as a bagged lunch but tastes way better. And like school lunch, you can choose to sit at the communal table and make some new friends. Take out and catering are other alternatives.
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"What's your best soup?" is the question I always hear asked in the line, to which Chef William always responds with "lentil." They're all-natural, homemade (like all their other offerings), and just plain delicious. My mother poured lentils over my head once when I was a child, so I can appreciate a good bowl, but I'll gladly opt for any of their other offerings, such as krab (yes, with a k) tomato, Thai chicken noodle, chunky sweet potato and tomato, or marinated garbanzo. There's a total of 17, and you can even get a 32-ounce quart for $8.50 (a cup is $3.50). Prices are more than fair. Everything ranges from $5 to $9.
And if there happens to be something you don't see on Wee-Bag-It's menu, simply ask. Chef William is more than happy to accommodate your needs, as long as you know what they are and aren't holding up the line. And if you know him well and are on a first-name basis, which most of Wee-Bag-It's patrons are, you'll let him decide for you.
Follow Carla on Twitter @ohcarlucha