Just went down for my now bi-weekly pickle/sauerkraut run and I decided to swing by The Pickle Guys (TPG) and give them a whirl. Here's the result of a quick tasting comparison
Near parity. Although TPGs' new pickle was fresh, clean and tasty, with light salinity, excellent crunch and good cucumber flavor, I preferred the one I tasted at Guss'. Exactly why, I can't say - possibly nothing more than brand-name loyalty.
Major advantage to Guss'. I couldn't taste any particular difference between the half and the new at TPG. This is a big problem for me as half sours are my favorite and I expect them to be somewhat tangy and more of an olivey green than the bright green of news. We can probably chalk this one up to TPG being very new - shakedown woes. Will have to try them again in a few weeks.
Advantage to Guss'. Better texture, more of a garlicky flavor, brighter acidity, slightly less briney than TPGs'.
Major advantage to Guss'. TPGs' 'kraut has a nice clean flavor with no unpleasant off aromas, but it has the soft wet almost cooked texture generally associated with 'kraut. Guss' has the good flavor but also a crisp slawlike texture which is a bit of a revelation. You can cook this 'kraut down to soft if that's your fancy or you can nosh on it raw like hardcore high-acidity slaw.
APPEARANCE, FRIENDLINESS, AMBIANCE, ETC.
Split Decision. TPG's store is simple, clean and the wide selection of goods is pleasing to the eye but they're not on the sidewalk. Guss' doesn't have the room to display all their wares in barrels. They are moving half a block south on Sunday to a location that will allow them to spread out some more. Staff at both places are friendly.