Dine and Dish: The Pickled Deli in northeast Fresno

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Friday, June 7, 2024
Dine and Dish: The Pickled Deli in northeast Fresno
Reaching a consensus on where to eat can leave families "in a pickle," but we always try to help.

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- This was not a sandwich-eating contest.

Nick Huerta just wanted to give us an idea of what the Pickled Deli at 1st and Nees in northeast Fresno has to offer.

"Honestly, when you come in here, you're going to feel mom-and-pop," he said.

"I like their fresh bread, that's what I personally like," says Angela Ruiz. "Tuna is good, too. It doesn't have any onions in it."

A good sandwich starts with fresh bread.

"We use Basque Bakery bread exclusively," Huerta said. "Our white, wheat, sourdough and Dutch comes from them. They've been around since 1963."

Customers know Nick is a hands-on owner.

"It's very welcoming," says Cosette Harper. "Anytime you walk in, Nick's always like 'Hey, how it's going?'"

We had to try the hot pastrami - Nick's favorite.

"It's more like a Reuben," he said. "Thousand Island and sauerkraut, but people like to argue what a Reuben is. This is just my version."

The turkey avocado is the biggest seller.

"Can't go wrong," Huerta said. "That's why it's number one in our favorites menu. It's our turkey avocado sprouts with cream cheese. The sprouts give us that little grainy taste. That's really good."

Huerta served 20 years in the US Army and was deployed to Iraq. You feel the patriotism in the deli.

"The 20 was definitely a blessing for me and my family, so my next journey was opening a deli," he said.

Here, they serve deep-fried pickles. Sometimes, diners dress like pickles.

Nick even hands out "support pickles" to friends.

Huerta also supports area schools. Clovis West baseball players dropped by for lunch.

"It's about me giving back," Huerta said. "I continue my service in that fashion."

The deli's name was inspired by an animated TV character.

"I really like Pickle Rick, so the Pickle Rick animated theme really got me going," Huerta said. "I like Pickle Rick. It's hilarious."

Now, some folks refer to him as "Pickle Nick."

This is the kind of place where you enter as a stranger but leave as a friend.

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