Steppin’ Out – Mr. Pickle’s

Mr_Pickles_Logo2“We looked at the Mr. Pickle’s company for some time before deciding to purchase a store,” said Claude Sutherland, new owner of the Mr. Pickle’s Sandwich Shop at 4601 Missouri Flat Road. “I first looked at one in Modesto, and when this one came available, we went for it. As far as I am concerned, their sandwiches are second to none.”

A couple of weeks ago I stopped by this very clean restaurant in the late afternoon and spent some time talking with Colleen Sutherland, who is the manager, operator and one of the owners of this family business.

She has a lot of prior experience in the restaurant business, both in the kitchen and in what the industry calls the “front of the house” and, on this day, was working a very long shift as she often does.

“When we got the business, a few months ago, there were four employees,” she told me, “we kept those that wanted to stay and now we have eleven.

“Before they work independently, they are tested on all of our products. They have to know all of the sandwiches by name and by number (there are over 20 of them) and how to make each of them correctly. We also teach them about the proper sanitary practices and that just putting on a new pair of gloves to make a sandwich is not enough. They have to wash their hands properly before putting on the gloves. I have watched people working in other restaurants and I want us to be the best.

“We bake all of the rolls for our sandwiches, make almost all of our dressings and bake all of the cookies that come with each sandwich. The bread we bake in small batches during the day to make sure what you get is fresh, while first thing each morning we bake 160 cookies and then more when needed.

“We only use top of the line ingredients like Jimmy Dean. We hand cut all of the meats here and make our tuna and chicken salads daily. We are very proud of our food.

“In addition to the 20 specialty sandwiches that all Mr. Pickle’s Sandwich Shops sell (there are 36 independently owned and operated franchises in California), we have three specialty sandwiches; The Reuben, the Snowboarder and the California Hottie. The last two I designed myself,” adding a smile.

“I should also add that since opening we have expanded the drink line and also added the Snapple products.”

I decided to try the Snowboarder and the California Hottie, and they were kind enough to make be a half of each one. They were both very good and quite different from each other.

The Snowboarder – hot turkey, bacon, melted Swiss cheese and avocado – was a great sandwich. The combination works really well together. The California Hottie – hot chicken, pepper jack cheese, Baja sauce and jalapeños – was my kind of sandwich. The chicken was in thick slices and, again, everything worked well together. Yes, it was a bit spicy, but, I love spicy. I ate both halves and the cookie, crumbs and all.

The sandwiches include the Golden Gate – chicken breast, teriyaki and jack cheese; Hang Loose – hot pastrami, bacon, cream cheese and avocado; Italian Stallion – ham, salami, pastrami, jack cheese and Italian dressing; Tom Turkey – turkey, bacon and Swiss cheese; The Manhattan – hot pastrami and Swiss cheese; House Combo – turkey, salami, ham and American cheese; The Hot ‘T’ – hot turkey, melted pepper jack cheese, Baja and cranberry sauce; The Club – turkey, ham, Cheddar & bacon on triple decker toast; Chicken Ranch – chicken breast with melted jack cheese and ranch dressing; Fast Eddy – hot roast beef with bbq sauce and melted Cheddar cheese; BLAT – triple-decker of bacon, lettuce, avocado and tomato; Reggie-Reggie – chicken breast, pepper jack cheese and Baja sauce; The Mr. Pickle – chicken breast, bacon, avocado, and jack cheese; Big Easy – chicken salad with Swiss cheese and avocado; Tuna Tuna  – tuna salad with Swiss cheese, avocado and cucumber; L’Michele – chicken breast, melted jack cheese and cranberry sauce; BBQ Melt – chicken breast, bbq sauce and melted cheddar; Got Beef – roast beef, pastrami and melted jack cheese; Very Vegi – choice of cheese, cucumbers and avocado and the Big Jake – turkey, cream cheese and avocado.

If that isn’t enough, you can create your own from quite a list of breads, meat, cheeses and extras.

Oh, you should also know they have a list of salads and sides and you can get most any sandwich on lettuce or as a wrap (several wrap flavors to choose from). And, of course, there is a kids menu.

“We are open later now, daily from 10 a.m. until 7 p.m, because we found there are a lot of people driving home looking to get some great sandwiches or salads for dinner,” added Colleen. “But, if you see the open sign is lit before that, come on in. If it is lit, our restaurant is open and our drive-through is open.

For more information give them a call at (530) 642-1677. Oh, you can also order online in advance at www.mrpicklesinc.com. Enjoy.

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