so how did the two sandwiches compare? on the one hand, the Tony Soprano from Mr. Pickle's is a bigger sandwich than the Ike's Place version. it's got mortadella, which is a meat I like a lot and isn't frequently used in sandwiches. it also has pesto, the signature Mr. Pickle's spread. finally, you'll never have to wait an hour for someone to prepare one of these. all in all, its an amazing sandwich. on the other had- the Ike's Place version of the Tony Soprano is an fantastic sandwich too. in place of pesto, it has "dirty sauce"- I have no idea what that is, and I'm not sure I could actually taste it on my sandwich, but if it was there, it was great. and the selection of ingredients, while maybe a little more boring than the Mr. Pickle's version, was buoyed by the high quality of the meats. I'd also give an edge to Ike's Place on the bread front- I really, really liked the sourdough I got. one final distinction- the Ike's Place version is served hot, and although you can order the Mr. Pickle's version hot, it's much better served cold. so who wins?
WINNER: me! these sandwiches are both among the best sandwiches I've ever eaten. I'd recommend either in a heartbeat. I'm still curious as to why the two nearby sandwich shops both serve a sandwich with the same name, but in the end, who cares when they are both so good?
round one - Mr. Pickle's
round two - Ike's Place