Pickerman’s, Rock Island, Ill.
Although the title of this blog might say Dan vs. Food, this is hardly limited to just Man vs. Food restaurants. Occasionally, I’ll branch out to good local places that don’t get the worldwide attention that the Travel Channel if I choose to do so, as I did today for lunch here in the Quad-Cities.
My only rule on this is that I’m not going to be reviewing chains, unless there’s something incredibly iconic about them. For example, should I make a return to California, I might review In-and-Out Burger. I’m not going to be reviewing Jerry’s Subs and Pizza, even though I think Jerry’s is awesome and it’s almost a required stop when I visit Virginia. It’s just not iconic enough to warrant it, although the cheesesteaks there are wonderful.
Anyway, Pickerman’s is a soup and sandwich shop in Rock Island that specializes in toasted subs and high-quality soups. Their slogan is that it’s the bread, and the bread is excellent. They offer white and wheat bread, freshly baked to perfection and serve every sub toasted.
Sub-wise, they serve 12 sandwiches that look like a pretty solid lineup. I went with an old favorite, roast beef with lettuce, tomato, onion, Provolone cheese and bistro sauce. Excellent combination of flavors and heat made it work well. Some of their other sandwiches include chicken and Swiss, ham and capicola, smoked turkey and their Numero Uno, which includes ham, prosciutto, salami and Provolone. Even their vegetarian appears to be money, served with cucumbers and dill cream cheese.
But it’s the soups that really make this place worth a visit. Pickerman’s rotates a list of 36 soups in and out of their menu, selling four a day. It says on one menu that they sell six a day, but I only saw four in the restaurant. Some of the soups in the rotation include the five-star mushroom, Wisconsin cheese, lobster bisque, roasted garlic tomato and what became my choice, the Asiago cheese bisque.
Two things need to be true about a quality bisque. It needs to be flavorful, and it needs to be creamy. The Asiago cheese hit on both qualities, delivering a nice mix of flavors with bacon and vegetables mixed in while providing a velvety texture that was perfect for its temperature. Throw in a soda and you’ve got yourself an excellent meal.
It’s about as far south as you can get and still be in Rock Island, but it’s worth the drive. I’ll definitely be heading back.
Time to go: It’s a soup and sandwich place. You’re going for lunch. Pickerman’s is closed on Sundays.
Wait during my visit: None. That’s the nice thing about being a good distance away.
Location: Pickerman’s is at 4659 44th Street in Rock Island, Ill.
Parking: There’s a good amount.
Cost: You’ll be good for about $9 here.
Specialty items: Toasted sandwiches, soups.