Located in the Paseo Nuevo shopping center in downtown Santa Barbara along State Street lies Pickles & Swiss. It’s a quaint little shop with friendly faces working there. The employees care about their customers and are just happy to be there.
My favorite thing about this place is the fact that it’s friendly to picky eaters such as myself. Some food joints don’t let customers modify recipes because it’s a hassle, but you don’t have to worry about that here. The employees are more than happy to accommodate your personal preferences.
I highly suggest trying the Crispy Chicken West. The original recipe calls for breaded chicken, bacon, tomato, romaine lettuce, BBQ sauce and ranch all put on a lightly toasted baguette. For myself — as a picky eater — I modify it to my taste. It ends up having the chicken, bacon, BBQ sauce and then I add chipotle sauce, sometimes cheese. This ends up being an entirely different sandwich, but the main components remain the same. The crispy chicken is still crispy, flavorful and moist.
The chipotle sauce is delicious, smoky and adds a nice kick to the sandwich. The baguette is neatly cut in two, making it more manageable to eat. When you first bite into the sandwich you get the crunch of the chicken and bacon combination. The bacon is chopped into small pieces and is spread throughout so you don’t end up getting a mouthful of all the bacon at once. The bacon smell and taste adds a nice crunch and salty sensation alongside the soft chicken.
Each bite fills you with a warm sensation that comes from the heat of the ingredients and the spice of the chipotle sauce. With the added BBQ and chipotle sauce there is a combination of sweet, spicy and smoky aromas. The BBQ sauce is sweet and sticky while the smoky chipotle sauce is creamy and smooth.
Although the sandwich ends up being a little bit pricier than what I would normally pay for a sandwich, the experience that comes along with eating it is worth the price. Plus it’s easy to get full, or at least satisfied, after eating one half of the sandwich.
And since the store is called Pickles & Swiss, they garnish each serving with a pickle wedge on the side. This way, if you are still left craving something extra — which likely will not happen — you can have an extra little snack to fully round out your meal.
So if you ever find yourself downtown and craving a sandwich, head on over to Pickles & Swiss to try the Crispy Chicken West or one of the many other sandwiches they have to offer — original or modified to your taste!