More than a month ago, my sister called me from the Outer Banks to tell me I had to go have an Elsie’s pickle sandwich. A deli right in my backyard was apparently all the rage. Who knew.
I had doubts. I like pickles. I like sandwiches. But the ratio of pickle to sandwich has always been a big old sandwich with some itty bitty pickles. Would I like it if the universe became unbalanced in a way with which my tastebuds were unfamiliar? We’d have to find out.
I waited a while for the buzz to die down. I figured once Michael Strahan from Good Morning America visited, people would flock to this little corner deli. But more than a month has passed, so I ventured over, just minutes past the 11 AM opening time, figuring we’d saunter in, grab our sandwiches, and go.
It was packed – both inside and out. People were happily munching pickle sandwiches in chairs outside the shop, and the walls inside were lined with people. A super friendly woman greeted us outside, and she asked if we had already ordered. We had not. She escorted us into the shop and led us right to the register, handed us menus, and told us to place our order when we were ready. The actual menu is rather small. There are a few standards – an Italian, an homage to Katz Deli, and a couple of other things – but from there you customize. https://www.peacelovepickles.com/menus
We opted to make it easy and go with three Italians – one with lettuce, tomatoes, and onions, the other two with just lettuce and chips. You can get all the typical sandwich toppings and condiments, but my mind kept thinking a pickle sandwich is slippery enough on it’s own, so it might not be a good idea to add other slippery toppings.
The sandwich is tasty. At first thought, it seems the pickle would be too much, and overwhelm everything else. Perhaps this would be more true with a turkey sandwich, but the spicy Italian meat held up just fine with the pickle “bun.” I enjoyed the flavors very much.
The challenge for me was that slippery factor. The struggle was real, my friends. I could not, no matter how I tried, keep the meat on the pickle. Several valiant attempts were made, but in the end, I was eating more of a pickle chef’s salad. Not that there’s anything wrong with that – because it was delicious. Perhaps a more coordinated person would know a trick or two to better maneuver with this sandwich, but I enjoyed it regardless.
A great alternative, which we will be trying in a couple of weeks, is the pickle rolls. Much like a sushi roll in appearance, it’s all your favorite deli meats wrapped in a thinly sliced layer of pickle. You could also get this with plain cucumber. That seems like the way to go for those of us that are pickle sandwich challenged.