Although the sandwich shop located at 625 Grand Ave. in downtown Des Moines is called the “Funky Pickle,” there’s nothing funky at all about the food and service it offers.
Even though I have driven around downtown a million times, I’ve never noticed the Funky Pickle. The simple, yet tidy shop is tucked away underneath the skywalk on the corner of 7th and Grand near the Downtown Marriott. After a good friend, Chris English, pointed out this affordable lunch spot, there was only one thing left for us to do – check it out.
Chris and I went to the Funky Pickle at noon and the shop was busy but it wasn’t too crowded to get a set at one of the dozen or so tables. As we waited for our food I couldn’t help but notice that the shop is connected to Boesen’s, which gave the entire room a fresh flower smell.
The Funky Pickle has daily lunch specials Monday-Thursday (there isn’t one on Friday because “after all Friday is special enough”), which range from Monday’s special – the Graziano Sausage Sandwich to Thursday’s special – the Funky Roast Pig, which includes pork loin, ham, bacon, banana peppers, lettuce and mayo. All sandwiches are served on South Union focaccia or ciabatta bread and are priced at just $5.75.
If trying one of “the world’s best sandwiches” (so proclaims the menu) isn’t up your alley, make sure you check out the Funky Pickle’s wraps, soups, mix of salads or sides – baked beans, pasta salad, potato salad or chips. All of the ingredients are fresh and you can add chips, a drink and a cookie to your sandwich for only $3.
I tried the Turkey, Bacon & Ranch Wrap and Miss Vickie’s Sea Salt & Vinegar Chips (pictured above – thanks to Chris’ fancy new phone), which was a pretty solid choice and a complimentary flavor combo. My two favorite things about the wrap: 1) The wrap itself was fresh and not just your average wheat wrap and 2) The contents inside the wrap were nicely diced. A lot of the time you’ll find wraps with big chunks of meat, lettuce, veggies, ect. and the contents either land in your lap or down the side of your face.
You can take your lunch to go if you’re in a hurry, or you can sit down and stay if you’ve got the time. Hint: While you wait until your food is ready (approximately 3 minutes), grab yourself some free bread strips and dip them into the vinegar and spice mix to tied you over until your lunch is ready.
Overall, the Funky Pickle is a great smaller-scale sandwich shop hidden away in downtown Des Moines that you’ll have to try next time someone says, “Hey, where do you want to go for lunch?”