“That’s not something you see everyday,” my wise 3-year-old-going-on-18 Grandson proclaimed as we passed a huge dancing pickle on the sidewalk. We were driving to Cuesta College where he has school. He talked about the dancing gherkin all the way there and all the way back. We had to return after his precollege to find out why a cornichon would be dancing on the street. Into Mr. Pickles Sandwich Shop we went and a friendly hello greeted us and they handed us a warm cookie as we perused the menu. The kid was impressed and we were off to a great start.
Our sandwich master was Eric, who is also one of the general managers. The boy got a Kids Meal that included applesauce, juice box -but we substituted it for water as this boy is not allowed to drink juice or soda. The chocolate chip cookie and spinning toy was the frosting on the cake for the PB&J on wheat bread that he loved (though not in the shape of a dinosaur like his mom does).
I asked Eric to surprise me using only turkey as a requirement. I can’t remember the last time I felt like this while dining at a sub shop, as the experience was so customized. He suggested the Italian with the garlic sauce like a traditional Italian sandwich. I wanted to try the sauce, so he gave me some on a piece of bread. The bread is imported from a San Francisco bakery every day and it had that unique flavor only SF bread does. He explained that one of their secrets to a great ‘which is that they squirt garlic sauce on the inside of most sandwiches and it was pretty amazing. Then he added some sriracha sauce and salami for me to try, I gave thumbs up and he made it on a Dutch Crunch roll that was delicious. He called it an Italian Stallion. I took a to-go order of the Hang Loose, a pastrami, bacon and cream cheese with avocado for Mr. Bayus. It was piled high with quality lean meat and wrapped in a thick traditional with marble rye. He was pleased, but upset he didn’t get the cookie, so we returned.
We came back to try the Ruben as Gary swears he hasn’t had a good one in California. This was an impressive tower of 1/3 pound of pastrami, sauerkraut, Swiss cheese and their homemade thousand island dressing on that wonderful marbled rye all heated to precision. While we were waiting for our sands, they handed Gary a cookie. He looked at it funny and asked why not a pickle? The irony was not lost on me. They do have giant pickles for sale, but found that most people preferred a free cookie. I had the Big Jake on a Dutch crunch roll with turkey, avocado and cream cheese. It was piled high and that garlic sauce really makes the flavors shine. I am now a fan of these sandwiches, they are superb.
General Manager Eric Ebeling told me that Mr. Pickle’s Sandwich Shop sandwiches are made with high quality meats served on delicious San Francisco style freshly baked breads. They have 23 specialty sandwiches, three are made just for this area (The Ruben, The Mustang, and the Cal Poly) or you can build it yourself. They offer a choice of five different cheeses and also include “everything” which includes mayonnaise, mustard, their special recipe garlic sauce, lettuce, tomato, pickles, peppers and onions all on that wonderful bread. They also have freshly made specialty salads or you can turn your favorite sandwich into a salad.
He explained that Mr. Pickle’s serves the growing fast casual market where customers demand more than fast food; they want quality without a huge price tag.
When you walk in and smell the fresh baked bread, and are handed a warm cookie then have a big bite of their made to order sandwich prepared with the addictive garlic sauce, how can you not love Mr. Pickle’s. Plus they have that dancing giant gherkin!
They do deliveries and you can order online for delivery or pick up at www.mrpicklesinc.com where you can also find six pages of pickle gear. Mr. Pickles Sandwich Shop is located at 1075 Olive Street (at Santa Rosa and Olive Street) in San Luis Obispo. You can call them at (805) 545-9909; they are open Monday through Saturday from 10:00am to 8:00pm and Sunday’s from 10:00am to 6:00pm.