Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Southern New England >
Oct 22, 2008 12:18 PM

Pickles Deli, Glastonbury, CT

I read in the paper that Glastonbury will finally be getting a deli. There really are none in our area but there is a need for something other than the usual over-priced chic-chic, foo-foo places all over town. It is called Pickles and is located on Hebron Avenue across from Pazzos. My wife stopped in there today but it had not opened yet. She was told it would open on Monday. She got the menu and it looked pretty promising. She was very excited to see Beef Tongue on the menu. Also corned beef (I hope is is real and fresh made on site) and chopped liver. We will see if it lives up to a real New York deli like it says on its menu. Jay

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Well unfortunately I heard that they will not be selling deli meats as you would typically get from a deli by the pound etc. I am really hoping for a good NY style deli with great side dishes and Dill Pickles. It looks like they will be getting a daily bread delivery from NY, so that sounds promising

    21 Replies
    1. re: askeenan

      I actually don't think that daily bread delivery from NY is such a good thing. It would be better if they worked with a local bakery and had bread made for them locally. By definition, any bread that comes in from NY, even daily, is going to be "day old", or almost so, by the time you eat it. Hard to imagine that it can be cost effective, given the price of gas, to have bread made at 4:00 a.m. in NY arrive in Glastonbury by 10:00 a.m.. They'd have to have a special truck gassed and ready as soon as the bread was cool enough to touch. It would make more sense to contract with someone local.

      1. re: FoodieJim

        Totally agree here. Bread goes stale so quick. Why not contract with Crown in West Hartford who have their own in house bakery and make excellent rye and pumpernickel? This whole "Flown in from NYC" crap is just marketing hype

        1. re: FoodieJim

          That is a great point that I never really considered. Why Is Bread supposed to be so much better if it comes from NY? I am sure we can do just as well here.

          1. re: FoodieJim

            i think that they truck in a bunch of ny bread to the daily market over by airport rd and several businesses (italian delis, restaurants, etc.) buy it up. local bread is better, but the ny trucked in bread is usually still OK at lunch time.

            1. re: goodbyeohio

              I support local bakeries as well...but the drive up from NYC is less than two is really immaterial and many bread companies drive up every day...Arthur Avenue is a good example.

              Now there are good bread sources right here..but they are expensive and my own previous experience with some of the major local Italian bakeries...the products are inconsistent...not for quality or freshness but the sizes jump all over.

              The local grinder bakeries are OK but the white bread grinder roll has been passed over.

              Good frozen products are also now available...Pazzo's uses Wenner bakeries in Long Island for their foccaccio..and I would challenege anyone to find a better qulaity sandwich roll.

              I long for the days when Saul Berkmann and others like him in in the trade had a bakery in every town. The rye bread at the Parkade Bakery in Manchester was wonderful...

              1. re: sodagirl

                sodagirl - Thanks for the tip on the Parkcade Bakery. I have been looking for good rye bread in the area and have never found it. My family sends rye up from Fairfield County because there is nothing nearby here in Glastonbury that I have found. I wish this town had something decent for a bakery but it does not. Pretty sad. Thanks again for the tip. Now I just have to find it. Jay

                1. re: JayCT

                  Okay Sodagirl - I went online to find the address of the Parkade Bakery and only found it listed in Manchester's history. Is it still around. I could not find it listed anywhere. Please let me know if it is still around. Jay

                  1. re: JayCT

                    Well, I went and picked up a couple of sandwiches at Pickles today. The place was pretty busy and they did have a large staff for the first day opened. As you would expect for a new place, there were some kinks that need to be worked out. The sandwiches took over 20 minutes to get after ordering and I found them to be a little lacking for the prices being charged. Also my wife ordered tougue and it was nothing like real New York deli tougue. In fact she did not know what it was she was eating. I had corned beef which was okay but not great (a little tough) . Anyway, we are going to give them a couple of weeks before rendering judgement. My wife is already disappointed. We will see. Jay

                    1. re: JayCT

                      I've been waiting for this place to open for a few weeks now, and when I saw the open sings today, I stopped in around 11:30: a few diners and lots of staff standing around. But all in all, a decent space - not crammed in like Rein's. I ordered my personal deli benchmark: roast beef on rye w/ onions, swiss cheese and Russian dressing. $6.95 for half a sandwich plus $0.50 for cheese and $0.95(!) for onion seems a little steep ($8.95 for a whole). The rye was excellent, the beef okay - it was pretty rare and bland. I wish them well because I welcome the addition of a deli-like option (they have a brick oven which to me doesn't fit the deli paradigm) in Glastonbury, but I think they need to address the value issue.

                      1. re: 02sbxstr

                        In Old Wethersfield there's the Main Street Creamery. During lunch hours they serve corned beef and pastrami. The gentleman who does this used to own Ruby's on Main Street in Middletown. I believe they have the sandwiches Monday-Saturday. I used to love Ruby's, and thought it was the closest I could get after growing up in New Jersey.
                        Of course nothing beats the real thing!

                        As far as local bread, the elmwood bakery in the elmwood section of West Hartford, has a pretty decent Rye Bread.

                        1. re: 02sbxstr

                          My husband and I went to Pickles Deli this evening and had a wonderful meal. Corned beef was tender, delicious and flavorful - rye bread fantastic, cole slaw creamy and tasty. I went off the beaten path and had the skirt steak salad - absolutely perfect. Sweet potato fries were delicious. Lots of friendly staff - which I would rather have than no staff at all. Great service - did not have to wait very long for the food and everything was hot, presented very well. We will definitely return !

                    2. re: JayCT

                      Hear, hear JayCT! I moved to Glastonbury 4 years ago and have been wishing someone would open a bakery in town ever since!

                2. re: FoodieJim

                  I actually think bread, bagels, pizza dough, etc... does taste better when it comes from NYC - its proven the water is different there (different pH levels, etc...) and it actually makes the dough taste different. Anyway! Has anyone ever gone to Villarina's Italian deli in Eric Town Square? They get their bread from Arthur Ave (Bronx) every day @ 4 a.m. I asked them how its not "day old" & they said its made by 1 a.m. & delivered fresh. They throw it out or make garlic bread from it every day (never left out for sale longer than one day, which is pretty cool). Also, they have a good deli selection & make sandwiches for you while you wait. They have a fresh food case you can make sandwiches from too (chicken & eggplant parm. , sausage & peppers, stuffed peppers, Sicilian olives, you name it - great homemade chicken salad too!) Tons of fresh pasta, ravioli & sauces to choose from. They have a pretty good selection of cheeses too. OK, enough advertising for them (LOL!)

                  1. re: GiGi3

                    i went there to buy a stuffed bread and was shocked at the pricetag ($14 IIRC for a broccoli and sausage bread). won't be returning.

                    1. re: goodbyeohio

                      Went to Pickles on first day they opening and was disappointed with the service and price for value - however I will return again. Can't judge a place by their first day. I really enjoy Villarina's as well. They are a bit pricey, but definitely are worth the value. If you want quality imported Italian foods to-go, Villarina's is the place - its really not a deli. I recently went there after work and had a glass of wine and some excellent imported cheese at their new outside tasting bar.

                      1. re: scarletangel

                        Re the reply on the parkade bakery...I was closed many years ago

                        1. re: sodagirl

                          I see this is an oldie, but wanted to mention the Colchester Bakery for those of you (Jay, for one) who probably wouldn't mind making the trip. Their pumpernickel bread is outstanding and am sure their rye would be just as tasty:

                          1. re: kattyeyes

                            Thanks Kattyeyes for the recommendation. I don't get out to Colchester a lot but will keep it in mind. It is interesting that a small town like Colchester has a bakery but a larger more affluent town like Glastonbury does not. Seems a bit strange to me. Jay

                            1. re: JayCT

                              Colchester Bakery is worth a special trip. Once there, you will see why it wouldn't "fit" in Glastonbury. They bake their enormous loaves of pumpernickel and rye breads in a wood-fired oven (which you cannot observe, trendily, from the store area) and they can be bought whole, in halves and sliced or unsliced. Depending on which slicing machine they choose to slice your loaf on, you can get a couple of pretty thick slices, since some blades are inoperative. The bread is simply superb.

                              1. re: kwbyrne

                                This is just the type of bakery I wish we did have here. I am not sure why you think it would not "fit" in Glastonbury. Not all of Glastonbury people are "trendy". I grew up in affluent Fairfield and there are several of these types of bakeries there and they thrive. Maybe some day someone will open one. Jay

                                1. re: JayCT

                                  Dropped into Pickles yesterday for lunch. Had a corned beef sandwich. It was good but a bit dry. Corned beef should be moist. So that was a bit disappointing. There were about 5 tables with people just after 1:00 PM. which for a Monday is good I guess. Not sure how busy it was earlier. Jay

              2. After visiting Pickles for the second time I feel compelled to write a little snippet regarding my two experiences. Upon my first visit I was initially fairly impressed. The ambiance is decent, nice tables and booths provide a decent eating area. The cooks preparing the sandwiches right in front of you with a wood burning oven in the background provide a visually appealing experience. However, aesthetics aside, lets get to the food. Not very good to say the least. It really pains me to say this being as that I so badly wanted a decent New York style deli in the Hartford area, but Pickles cannot provide that. My first visit I decided to try the New Yorker, a pastrami sandwich on grilled rye with a mayo sauce and swiss. It was OK despite the soggy bread and VERY greasy pastrami. And for $15.00 with a soda, come on, are you kidding? Upon the second visit, wanted to give them a chance to redeem themselves, I ordered the special, a cuban sandwich. WOW. It was served on a grilled hardroll, cubans are to be served on a crusty loaf of bread and pressed on a grill. Terrible bread selection aside, the roast pork that should have been there was essentially a pork chop that tasted like it was cooked in a microwave. Though it was tender, the taste was off, and you do not put a pork chop on a hardroll, pile on some ham and cheese, and call it a cuban. Disgusting. My overall take on Pickles, as much as I want to like it, is that I will not be returning a third time. WAY overpriced and the food is sub par. The service and atmosphere do add a few points though. Go to Reins.

                2 Replies
                1. re: kjazz06

                  $15 for a pastrami and a soda? For that kind of money, that better have been one huge sandwich

                  1. re: kjazz06

                    I’ve read these boards for a while, and after purchasing a sandwich from Pickles, I felt compelled to create an account so I could share my experience. I could not agree more with kjazz06. I had been meaning to try Pickles for quite a while and headed there for lunch last week. I order a pastrami and cheese on a hard roll and was stunned when the tally came to over $10. I was told the sandwiches were very big and I could order a half-sandwich instead. The hard roll was not available in a half-sandwich option, so I switched to toasted rye bread. It cost over $7 (for a HALF sandwich) and when I got back to my office, I was shocked to see how miniscule the sandwich was… I ate it in practically two bites and was still starving. It tasted ok, but I was completely unsatisfied and felt totally ripped off. I won’t be heading back.

                  2. Colchester Bakery has the best rye bread