Mr. Pickles

I’m not usually a fan of chain restaurants. And I know most of you hate them as well. But let’s not throw the baby out with the bathwater. Sometimes, occasionally, once in a blue moon, they really have some redeeming qualities. Mr. Pickles is one of them.

Now, understand that my universal hatred of chain sandwich shops is fairly legendary around these parts. I hate the slimy turkey, tasteless bread and mealy tomatoes that come out of most of these places. Ick.

The recently opened Mr. Pickles, which I just enjoy saying – a lot – has so far impressed. The ‘Hot T’, a warm ‘wich of turkey, cranberry sauce, melted pepperjack cheese, Baja sauce and garlic sauce (do ask for it) is a warm hug on a Dutch crunch bun. I’ve been back three times, mostly on rainy, gray days, which is almost unheard of in my book. There are too many other spots to eat.

Despite, or maybe because of the downward turn in the economy, the place has been packed with steaming bodies almost every day since opening. Maybe it’s the dancing pickle outside. Maybe it’s just the sandwiches (most under $7). The staff are friendly and fun, adding to the casual, easy vibe of the place.

Oddly enough, they don’t offer chips, instead you can bulk up on macaroni or potato salad. Or you know, bring your own. Otherwise, BiteClub is satisfied.

So okay–Mr. Pickles (which operates shops throughout California and Nevada) may not be a revelation or culinary masterwork, it does have some seriously redeeming qualities. The ‘Hot T’ for example. And the free cookies. And Mr. Pickle dancing outside on a rainy day.

Mr. Pickles, 621 4th Street Santa Rosa and 3100 Lakeville Hwy., Petaluma.