When I moved to southern California four and a half years ago I had heard of Picnics and at the time made a mental note to myself that I had to visit. Naturally I forgot about it, then reminded myself again, made a note, forgot about it.
Recently, Selene suggested Picnics for lunch and I jumped at the chance. It was about bloody, I thought, that I finally paid them a visit.
You wouldn’t find Picnics easily if you weren’t looking for it. There is no flashy sign and it is in a small strip mall right at the end, kind of tucked away if you will.
When I entered, I realized it was more of a deli than a restaurant, with cold cases of desserts and gourmet salads on display. A few refrigerator cases housed a bunch of fine cheeses which made our eyes pop — they looked so good and not too expensive either!
There were a few things that caught our eye on the menu and after consulting, the three of us made the decision to order what interested us and share everything.
One of our choices was the Reuben Melt ($10). Corned beef, Russian dressing, spicy mustard, sauerkraut, Swiss cheese on rye bread — I mean, seriously? That sounds like heaven to me.
I don’t think I’ve met anyone who’s not had a Reuben before, but if by chance you are one of them, this is not bad one. My very first Reuben was at the University of Oregon cafeteria and even though I had no idea what it was, I fell in love with it at first bite. Through the years I’ve had my share of this sandwich and this one is good but not the best I’ve had.
I would’ve preferred my corned beef shaved or sliced rather than in chunks/pieces but I do love sauerkraut and there was a lot of it here. The rye bread is buttered and toasted and it was way too much for me if I had to eat it on my own.
Turkey Mushroom Burger ($9) was served on a potato bun, the turkey patty is made on the premises and is well-seasoned.
Of course it has to be cooked all the way through being poultry and all and even so, it wasn’t dry at all. I didn’t like the texture of the potato bun. It was too soft to house the patty, but my friends seemed to like it.
Spinach & blue cheese on toasted sourdough ($9) was my choice, and you have the option to make it a “Rebekah sandwich” by adding turkey and bacon to it ($12). Funnily, Rebekah was the one serving us that day and told us it was “her” sandwich and I told her that it was what I wanted!
I’m not sure it was worth the $12 price tag, but it definitely was tasty! Essentially a turkey bacon sandwich with a spinach blue cheese dressing, so nothing THAT special, but it was the combination of all the ingredients that made it so delicious. Plus, how can you go wrong with bacon and blue cheese? Just those two things will spruce anything up to make it absolutely fabulous!
Apart from serving lunch, they can also create items for picnic baskets if you didn’t want to go to the trouble of making your own. They even sell picnic baskets on site, among other things such as truffle salt and lemon curd.
Those on a budget might want to think twice before embarking here every day for lunch — although the food is really enticingly tasty. However, if you wanted something a little special, if you think you deserve a bit of a treat today, definitely check them out!
Picnics Fine Foods
435 E 17th Street
Open 11am – 4pm
Closed Sundays and Mondays