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A Taste of NYC in Idaho Falls

At taste of the big city can be found downtown

Published online: Jul 06, 2021 Articles, Dining, Lifestyle Emily FitzPatrick
Viewed 9281 time(s)

Walking into Pickle Deli, you will be immediately welcomed by owner Bill Gersonde and the sound of Broadway music lightly trilling in the background. Why Broadway music? Bill says it’s a part of the New York ambiance, a feeling which he tries to imitate in every detail of the deli which can be found downtown on Park Avenue.

Finding What Is Missing

Before Bill ever thought of opening a restaurant, he ran the Tautphaus Park Zoo, one of the most popular tourist destinations in Idaho Falls. It was at the zoo where he gained the majority of his experience in customer service and food and beverage operations, a skillset that would give him the confidence to tackle his own restaurant management dreams.

“I ran the Tautphaus Park Zoo for 19 years and then I left here and went to Abilene, Texas,” Bill said. “I worked there for another eight years, before I decided I had done my part and was ready to retire from that. I’ve achieved all of my professional goals and had a great time, loved it, but it was time for something different.” 

When Bill retired from his position at the Abilene Zoo, he knew he wanted to return to Idaho Falls to open a restaurant downtown, the only question in his mind was what type of restaurant. While pursuing the idea, he analyzed the various offerings downtown to find what was missing. What stood out to him? A New York style deli, one of Bill’s greatest loves.

“I came back to open my business here in Idaho Falls with the idea that this could be a comfortable place for people to come and relax,” said Bill. “People come in and sit for hours. Sometimes they’ll have little meetings or enjoy a long lunch. New York delis play such an important role in their neighborhood and I want Pickle Deli to do the same.”

Facing the Music

Bill opened the doors of Pickle Deli on Aug. 29 of 2019, only half a year before news of COVID-19 would outweigh all else. Like many restaurants, the deli was forced to move to a new business model that involved limited indoor dining and to-go based orders. This major challenge often caused Bill to wonder if his dreams would stay a reality, but the restaurant always pulled through—a strong testament to Bill’s management skills.

Since overcoming the obstacles brought on by COVID-19, Pickle Deli has continued to focus on its central mission—to bring the community together with quality food. Bill believes his dedication to this original idea is what has led Pickle Deli to continue to land on top, even when the odds seemed against them.

Focusing on Quality Food

What keeps customers coming back to Pickle Deli? A lot of this has to do with the meats, pickles and other products Bill selected from quality sources. His salamis come from a spot hand-selected in Utah, while his sour garlic dill pickles come directly from New York and are stored in a refrigeration facility until they are needed at the restaurant. 

The prices at the deli reflect the high caliber of ingredients used in each dish, while still remaining affordable for everyone in the Idaho Falls area. So, next time you’re downtown order the special or give a pastrami sandwich with side of New York style pickles a try. Your taste buds won’t regret being introduced to a few dishes from the big city.  

For More Information

Pickle Deli

515 Park Ave · 208-932-4885 ·

To read more of the July issue click here.


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