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Food

TLO Restaurant Review: Pickerman’s Soup and Sandwiches

4:00 AM EST on March 9, 2021

When I recently heard that beloved Oklahoma icon BJ Wexler had passed on to that big popcorn machine in the sky, I remembered those times two decades ago when I would usually find him eating alone at a Chinese joint next to Happy Days Record Shop on SW 89th and Penn. I thought it might be fitting to eat there as a tribute to him but, sadly, they were either closed for business or out of business, I was far too dumb to tell.

Still hungry though, my gal-pal Jodie and I stopped at a sandwich shop a few stores away, Pickerman’s Soups and Sandwiches, 8916 S. Penn. While I don’t know if Wexler ever ate there, judging from the old television playing UHF channels in the back, I kind of like to think that he did and that brought something of a comfort to me and my lonely Saturday nights.

Filled with workers and other assorted city employees, we professionally waited in line for our turn to order, studying the wall-mounted board for our well-described choices. Filled with a surprising amount of originality for a sandwich shop, we ordered our eats and sat near that old television as some commercial for economical siding blared at us.

Order ready, I held the bag tightly like an Academy Award as I took out the first sandwich. Absolutely piled with dill slices, the Texas Barbeque ($6.00) on white bread, though admittedly an odd choice for lunchtime, seemed fitting, like a gruff John Wayne flick that should be flickering in the background. With dark red streams of a too-sweet sauce spilling out the sides, the thick chunks of beef were pliable, like a new scoop out of a fresh container of pre-made barbeque that I’ve never heard of.

Jodie’s cup of Baja Chicken Enchilada Soup ($3.00) was very fresh and very delicious, like an edible treasure of the Sierra Madre. But her Chicken Salad Sandwich ($6.00) on wheat, composed of all chicken breast, as well as lettuce and tomatoes, could have been better. Unwrapped, it looked absolutely mouthwatering, but the meat had a slightly sour taste to it that left us both pushing it away; maybe that’s how they do it and I’m an idiot?

Regardless, like a well-cast Dean Martin, I soldiered on to my final sandwich, the traditional That’s Italian ($9.00 for the meal) and, mamma mia, this one’s definitely a keeper! Aided on the side with a helping of macaroni salad, this Italian specialty featured ham and pastrami with a Mediterranean Sea of roasted peppers and provolone cheese on top, capped off with a bit of olive oil. “Abbondanza!” I could hear a glowing blue Wexler gasping loudly with a still-alive Sophia Loren sitting in the chair next to him, enjoying the delicious macaroni salad and giving a small chortle.

As I was continued to dine on that fine concoction, Jodie broke out the Apple Cobbler ($3.00) she picked up for a light dessert and, you know, it was okay, but as I finished the rest of my own macaroni salad, I tried, as close to Heaven as I could, to pay tribute to Wexler and his long-running show; I hope he was somewhat satisfied. Cue the Gremlins theme.

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Follow Louis on Twitter at @LouisFowler and Instagram at @louisfowler78.

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