Parking isn't a problem as the neighborhood is tuck away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Holly Park is 1 block up from Paulie’s Pickling with lots of picnic tables and a 360 degree view of the city, which makes it a great picnic spot.
This place is a gem. I can go there for a simple snack, or a great lunch, and I've also catered a party with their goodies. But with all that they do, it's all about those great pickles!
Occupation: Public Address Announcer
Location: San Francisco
Favorite Restaurant: Zut! On Fourth
Reviewed Paulie's Pickling: Thursday, December 12, 2013
Finding a good Jewish deli in San Francisco, let alone the Bay Area, is like finding a good BBQ restaurant...there never seems to be enough of them and when one opens, you’ll do whatever you can to try it out. It can also be subjective in that many things on the menu, from the meats to the sides to the desserts, are prepared in an individual and personalized way. What may be the greatest tasting creation in the world might leave others only moderately impressed. And that’s the feeling that sums up the experience I had at Paulie’s Pickling.
I chose one of their brisket sandwiches (there are two on the menu). The Reuben ($11) had a sufficient amount of meat topped off with their homemade sauerkraut, Swiss cheese and Russian dressing. It was accompanied by a half of one of their signature pickles. The meat was tender and moist yet a tad under seasoned. But when eaten together with the other ingredients, it was a satisfying and hearty meal.
For the side salads, the Grilled Coleslaw seemed heavy on the oil and light on the vinegar and seasoning. While I loved the charred taste of the cabbage, I desperately wanted more acid and salt. The pickled green beans were a great addition to the potato salad, adding some crunch and a little heat. But the potatoes were a bit too firm and dense for my taste, leaving me with a feeling of grainy starch more than anything else.
The Coconut Macaroon was probably the biggest disappointment of all the things we tried. Overly sweet from a caramel base, you couldn’t really taste the coconut itself. Thankfully, the Kugel made up for that less than enjoyable experience as it quite possibly was one of the best I’ve ever tasted.
Overall, Paulie’s Pickling is a great small business success story in a neighborhood-centric street in the city that I’m sure the locals are happy to have nearby. With brisket, lox, kugel, chopped liver and egg salad all on the menu, it might very well be the next best thing to Grandma's. I would encourage anyone looking for a new deli to go try them out and decide for yourself.
Occupation: Small Business Owner/Blogger
Favorite Restaurant: Marin Sun Farms Butcher Shop & Restaurant
Reviewed Paulie's Pickling: Monday, December 9, 2013
Paulie’s Pickling is a small, Cal/Jewish deli that resides within a co-op of gourmet food purveyors in the heart of Bernal Heights. This sunny hilltop neighborhood has a laid back vibe with a variety of restaurants and a few small shops. Holly Park is nearby for eating your lunch, but otherwise seating within the marketplace is limited to a small bench inside by the front window and another one outside.
Paulie’s is not just about the pickles, although that is a draw. Prior to opening the deli in April 2010, the couple who owns the space had spent months attempting to replicate the pickles of their youth on the east coast. They use farm fresh cucumbers (with the all-important bumps) resulting in a perfect bite. The brine combinations provide an excellent zesty tang that goes well with the hearty, juicy sandwiches. Beyond the standard pickle, you’ll find other seasonal varieties from carrot and cauliflower to green bean and jalapeno, all available in mason jars to take home.
The sandwich selection makes this an authentic Jewish deli worthy of the designation. No standard turkey, ham or roast beef here. If you are at all squeamish about chopped liver or smoked white fish, this may not be your place. But if you're hankering a craving for an overstuffed braised brisket Reuben, “not from a can” tuna melt (they use fresh albacore), egg salad or house cured lox, with a pickle on the side, you will not be disappointed. The brisket is tender, lean and flavorful and the tuna light and tasty without a hint of fishiness. If you’re seeking lighter fare, 3 to 4 fresh salads are offered daily
And a Jewish deli wouldn’t be complete without bagels, highlighted by house made schmears like spicy veggie, lox and caper.