Pickles Deli Takeaway. Count me out of this costly Cuban. Cuban scored 4.1/10, while Italian put up a 4.9/10. Tiny sandwiches at only 8.3 oz for $10.99 with 3.6 oz of meat. Pork was dry. Italian lacked cohesion. Pickles put me in a pickle with the quality of their pickles - boring sandwich style. Parking is hard in the Central West End, even for pickup. Service was timely, and the order was ready on time.
Pickles Deli Experience Summary
We went to Pickles for lunch after going to the History Museum because it was open and relatively close by in the Central West End.
The overall experience was not great.
The Cuban was a 4.1/10, and the Italian was a 5.1/10. The best sandwich was my four-year-old's bacon and grilled cheese sandwich - a solid 6.1/10 but disqualified from rankings because of bacon.
The sandwiches had two fatal flaws:
They were small.
They lacked flavor.
On the small side, we're talking about 3.6 ounces of meat and only 8.3 oz total for $10.99. For $12, you can get 24 oz at Gioia's.
On the Cuban flavor side, I'll go into more detail, but the pork was dry, and the ham didn't beat Boar's Head.
The Italian had better flavor but didn't gel well. Like the meats were less than the sum of their parts, it also needed more toppings than my eight-year-old can palette.
And because we're eating at Pickles, I'll add a quick pickle review. They were not good. Little sandwich round pickles with too much tang and a lack of crispiness.
On the service side, we ordered ahead, and the food was ready two minutes early. Parking was a pain in the Central West End, even to run in and grab a sandwich. A lady outside yelled at construction workers for taking up too much of the alley, which sums it up nicely.
Overall, I wouldn't come back to Pickles again. Walk a couple of more blocks to El Burro Loco if you're on this side of town.
The Food At Pickles Deli
I'll start with the pickle because we're at Pickles. I wouldn't pick this pickle from Petter Piper's peck.
You walk up to a place called Pickles and expect the deli to greet you with a large half-sour or full-dill deli pickle that makes you immediately want to call your papa to praise, but they stuck me with a pitiful petite pickle that had no perkiness.
The disappointment continued to the Cuban. This sandwich was so tiny that I audiblely gasped when I opened the plastic bag. I thought maybe I didn't get a complete order.
Coming in at 8.3 oz total with only 3.6 oz of meat, the meat would really need to carry the day to save the sandwich. A las, the pork was dry, and the ham, while solid, couldn't make up for the mess. The bread, mustard, and pickles added nothing to the conversation.
I've had some fantastic Cuban sandwiches from Cuban restaurants in New Jersey, and this shouldn't be in the same category.
Several reviews on Yelp say the Cuban was the best they've ever had. They must not get out much.
My son's Italian was a 4.9 on flavor but was also extremely small. He ranked it as the worst of the four Italian sandwiches he's had in his life, so take that as you will.
If we put Subway at the universal average of 3.5 stars out of 5, the price mixed with the quality of the food at Pickles brings the whole restaurant into the 2.9/5 star range.
Rounding out the food, my four-year-old got a grilled cheese sandwich with bacon. He ordered better than anyone thanks to the bacon, but that disqualifies it from ranking purposes - anything with bacon is an auto six minimum because bacon. I'd give it a 6.1, but it was still so small he was hungry after.
Pickles Deli Atmosphere And Miscellaneous
Service was fine as we ordered online and that worked perfectly well. I ordered from the Saint Louis History Museum's soccer exhibit. We finished up there and drove the five minutes to the Central West End Pickles location.
We went in two minutes early, and the sandwich bag was ready. They had maybe a half dozen tables inside for eating, and it had a non-descript deli feel.
Parking At Pickles Deli
Parking can be a little bit of a pain in the butt. You're in the central west end, so even a holiday Friday at noon took some effort to find a spot. We ended up parking across the street and running in to pick it up.
My son was freaking out that I didn't put any money in the meter for the 30 seconds it took to walk across the street and back, so maybe leave the kids at home for this. Or, you know, find the quarter in the bottom of your cup holder.
Pickles Deli Receipt
Sandwich Size Comparisons