Sacramento - Sandwiches-Deli - Mr. Pickles
Would you choose a restaurant for lunch called “Mr. Pickles?” I wouldn’t, but at a strip mall in Sacramento, I had the choice of dicey Mexican, fast-food, worse fast-food and Mr. Pickles Sandwich Shop. Boy am I glad I went into Mr. Pickles.
First off, it’s exactly what it says it is: sandwiches. Proclaimed in a 9 foot by 6 foot board behind the sandwich makers are a couple of dozen ready-made combinations with names like “Blat (a BLT with a wonderful sprout and avocado kicker)” and the “Big Easy (chicken salad with swiss cheese and avocado).” However, if you don’t see it, ask them to make it. The sandwich components are top-notch and that-day fresh. There are tons of varieties of meats, veggies and bread-types to choose from and many are heated up for you.
There is more room here than the other chains. In the two Mr. Pickles I’ve been there were high ceilings, fresh paint and plenty of places to sit. The restroom was immaculate.
The other key feature to both of the shops I was in were the employees. Remember the early days of Starbucks when everyone was happy to see you, treated you with respect and were detail-oriented? Same at Mr. Pickles. Either they are paying a living wage or they are putting something in the workers’ soft drinks, because it’s a pleasure to do business with them.
Mr. Pickles is the definition of a business run with pride by people that care. Ignore the funny name and the “Mr. Hanky” looking mascot and go in. You won’t be sorry.
1 = Bad, 10 = Outstanding
Food: 8.5 (Fresh ingredients, well proportioned and prepared)
Service: 9 (Enthusiastic and professional. They actually seem happy you showed up for lunch!)
Price: Varies by location, but my “BLAT” BLT was $6.50 in Sacramento
Ambiance: 8 (Clean, nice ambiance, open-feeling)
Locations and Menu:
Mr. Pickles is a great place to get a sandwich. Their unique sandwich names, great customer service skills, and fresh ingredients make a great food experience; one that will beat any tired chain sandwich. I love the L'Michelle, cranberry sauce on a poultry sandwich can't be beat. Also, the chicken salad is fresh with only a few basic ingredients: celery, onion, chicken, salt, pepper, and just enough mayo to bring it all together.
Plus at some of the stores they give out fresh baked chocolate chip cookies while you wait in line.
I know a lot of people that like Mr. Pickles. Unfortunately, their bread has always been so tough (at least the sourdough roll; it's been suggested by friends to try different bread) that it makes eating the sandwich impossible. I also find them to be excessively priced (even tho they do offer the cookie). I've tried the location on Cottage Way several times and would rather go to Boudin, Panera or even Togo's. I must agree, tho, the service is always very eager and enthusiastic. I think it helps that the owner works right along side his employees.
And for gmk1322, if you like cranberry sauce on your poultry sandwiches, I would highly recommend going to the Italian Deli on J St. (around 18th) for their turkey/cranberry sandwich.
re: Professor Salt
If you're going to the Mr Pickle's in Modesto (he owns both but I recommend the one on Oakdale Rd it's less busy), the owners name is Eric and he's an awesome guy, the service is excellent and I recommend the Hot T which has chipolte and cranberry sauce on it. A sandwich with chips and a drink at either Modesto location runs about $10.