Nestled in a quieter part of West Logan Square at the corner of Fullerton and Lawndale, The Little Pickle is a bright, welcomed addition to the neighborhood that has been open since December 2017. Lindsay Malinowski and Bradley Treusdell, the married duo who own the shop, say they hope to bring more diverse and affordable lunch options to Logan Square with their flavorful sandwiches.
At The Little Pickle (3703 W. Fullerton Ave.), customers can build sandwiches of their own with options for proteins like pork, chicken or seitan, as well as many homemade pickled toppings and sauces to complete the sandwich. As a vegetarian myself, I was thrilled to hear about the plethora of veg-friendly options offered, from its sandwiches to the selection of soups and sides to pair with them.
Malinowski says the menu just happened to be mostly meat-free and that the seitan is seasoned with the same flavor profiles as the meat options.
When asked about their personal favorite sandwiches on the menu, both Treusdell and Malinowski spoke highly of their pork. They say they cook it to perfection using a C-Vap machine and then slice by hand to preserve the moisture.
For all of you pork-eaters, Malinowski recommends trying a combo of BBQ and pickled mango, while Treusdell suggests the sauerkraut and mustard. The couple modeled their sandwich concept off the pork sandwiches they shared on the streets of Italy, saying that they were inspired by the simplicity of the sandwich and its memorable flavor.
The couple added that just like the Italian street vendors, they “do a few things really well” and focus on the “clean flavors” of each ingredient.
Each part of the shop is carefully crafted to reflect the vibes the couple dreamed of for their first restaurant space. They bought the building a few years ago with hopes of opening up a restaurant together in their neighborhood that would bring to Logan “what the neighborhood needs.” Treusdell says his passion for pickling started while working as a chef at Logan mainstay The Radler, which inspired the decision to place pickled produce at the center of the spot’s concept. He has cooked in restaurants for 19 years, including The Boiler Room and Parts and Labor in Logan since the couple moved here three years ago.
While he focused on the menu and execution, Malinowski used her DIY skills and design aesthetic to create a vibrant, plant-filled ambiance to go with the meals.
“He’s in the back, I’m in the front, so we complement one another,” Malinowski says, allowing them to both figuratively and literally “not step on each others toes.”
As for the next steps? The couple express a desire to continue expanding their pickled offerings to potentially include kale, fennel and even cranberries, hopefully providing variety through seasonally featured sandwiches. They also hope to experiment in making their own seitan to be able to control the texture and flavor of the product better.