deli tray with egg salad and various deli meats and deli veggies like pickles and olives.

Pickles & Rye serves up unusual soups and all the pickles you can eat.

When it opened four years ago this past June, people had heard about its strange dishes … Like servers telling guests that the soup of the day is Dill Pickle … Their curiosity many times got the better of them and they ordered the soup, enjoyed it and now come back every Wednesday for it.

Linda Collins and Rick Therrien
Linda Collins and Rick Therrien

While talking about soup, Pickles & Rye Deli, Orchard Lake Road, south of Maple, West Bloomfield, owners Rick Therrien and Linda Collins also have a Wild Mushroom Barley soup that brings many raves … and might be attributed to the blending of various types of mushrooms, which is not done at too many other delis in this region.

It seemed strange that Rick and Linda would wind up as partners in the same business … But it has turned out to be the fruition of what both had originally dreamed of someday happening … Linda is a wiz at service, having been a server herself and later training others to be excellent waitpersons … Rick had been a deli busboy, later a fine director of operations, and also had a certain obsession about someday going into the deli/restaurant business on his own … Through the years, Rick would write down and save his ideas for better restaurant concepts plus names should he ever need any of them … Pickles & Rye is one of those names.

They had met each other 25 years ago when both worked for Matt Prentice at his Deli Unique, previously Northgate Deli, owned by Dick Lichtman and then Dave Raben … It has been a business partnership made in heaven.

The formula for success in the deli or any restaurant, says Rick, is having simple, good food and good service at reasonable prices … He and Linda many times tell their employees that their guests could have eaten anywhere but chose them, which should be taken as an honor … “Treat your customers as though they were guests at your own dinner table,” Rick tells them.

They opened Pickles & Rye deli, he says, because it was sitting there closed and empty, and both were looking for a site to open their own delicatessen restaurant … Each had the same thought … That a once- vibrant deli location should not be passed up … “From our past experiences,” says Rick, “it had great promise as a deli again with our new concepts and those of when it was a Deli Unique.”

soup with picklesTheir new delicatessen ideas included a tie-in with the name … Customers can have all the cut pickles they want … new or old … continuously … Just say the word and the cut pickles are again on their table … You would be surprised at how much cut-up pickles some people eat … At one sitting while I was there, I saw a gent eat more untold helpings of pickles than he did while devouring his luscious-looking sandwich … and asked for more … even after paying his bill.

Pickles & Rye is open 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Saturday and Sunday … Seating is about 150 in booths and tables … and it offers a menu that seems to please all taste buds … Like the popular dinners that include Asian-glazed salmon or stuffed cabbage and a lunch concoction called Deli Addiction, etc.

A unique deli? … For sure, but now it’s named Pickles & Rye.

MAIL DEPT. … From Sylvia Binder … “Why do you write so much about restaurant anniversaries?”

(I write more than one time about many restaurants that have been in business at least five years because those that are doing a good job or those that have made changes, in most cases, certainly deserve being noted.)

OLDIE BUT GOODIEFrom Rabbi Jason Miller … Shlomo, a pious Jewish man and golf addict, awoke one morning. It was a perfect day for a round of golf but also happened to be Yom Kippur. After a great struggle with his conscience, he decided that he would squeeze in a few quick holes before going to services. Shlomo lived close to the course and got there soon after it opened. Taking his clubs out of his locker, he headed for the first tee.

Moses happened to be looking down from Heaven and saw Shlomo on the golf course. Disturbed, he reported it to God, suggesting that God teach him a lesson that he would never forget. God agreed.

Shlomo played the first hole and shot a birdie. On the second hole he shot an eagle and, on the third hole, the toughest par four on the course, he got a hole-in-one! Moses turned to God and asked, “I thought you were going to teach Shlomo a lesson. This is a lesson?”

God replied, “Think about it. Who can he tell?”

CONGRATS … To Denise Dunn on her birthday … To Mark Larkin on his birthday … To Barbara Pollack on her 70th birthday.

Danny’s email address is dannyraskin2132@gmail.com.