LARGO — When R.J. Smith, a New York native and author who once worked at the Big Apple’s famed Carnegie Deli, moved to the area eight years ago, he noticed a lack of similar eateries in Pinellas County.

“I kept thinking it didn’t exist here,” Smith said recently from the site of his new restaurant, Mr. Pickle New York Classics at 1600 Missouri Ave. N. in Largo. “So, I trademarked the name and said let’s try this.”

“This” is Smith’s restaurant, which is currently operating out of a food truck parked in the lot of the Town Center Plaza adorned with the Mr. Pickle logo and serving sandwiches, burgers, footlong hot dogs and desserts until construction is completed on the permanent Mr. Pickle establishment in the plaza.

“We will be opening a brick-and-mortar storefront in a couple of months, but until then we will operate out of the trailer and then keep the truck for catering events,” general manager Michael Rady said.

Smith noted his mission is to serve authentic New York food by using ingredients imported daily, including meats and breads, cannolis and knishes.

“I’ve got everything in this,” he said. “But I decided to take a risk and roll the dice, and I think it’s going to pay off.”

Based on the turnout for the grand opening Oct. 9, the Mr. Pickle launch was a success.

“I saw it on Instagram and said it looks cool,” Courtney Goolsby said as she waited in a long line that had formed by 11 a.m. with her three children, Lily, Charlotte, and Deacon. “And we live right behind here so I thought we’d come check it out.”

Jorden Lugo of Seminole said she “saw it on Facebook and thought it sounded amazing, especially New York style,” as she waited with her husband, Wil, and their 1-year-old son, Sabi.

After the window was raised and the orders were flying out of the truck, Michael Barquera of Largo offered a review of his order, which included a corned beef sandwich, a dill pickle, a slice of cheesecake and a complimentary cannoli.

“It’s excellent! I think I’m going to come back tomorrow!”