My search for the best pickles in New York continues….
I don’t normally review food businesses outside of the five boroughs unless it’s part of my travel section. The one exception was when I started reviewing breweries, I decided 90 miles outside of the city was a fair limit since there were very few NYC breweries at that time. Since then, things have changed in the beer world. But not too much has changed in the pickle world.
Yet here I am reviewing a pickle business that is based in Long Island (technically outside the city). But with good reason. Pickle Me Pete has an annual booth at the Bryant Park Holiday Market, which is about as inside the city as you can possibly get.
I’m not sure what pickles have to do with the holiday season (it’s not even a traditional Chanukkah food), but I’m happy to have another option in the city.
At the kiosk (which has an unfortunate musty smell), they sell pickles by the quart, solo, or fried with a choice of sauces. I chose three small pickles (4 for $3) to get a sense of what these guys are doing. While people around me were purchasing hot chocolate, waffles, and crepes, I made a meal of tangy, garlicky pickles.
Of course, I picked four different varieties to get a wide spectrum, but they were all put in the same bag. I’m all for conserving bags, but it made it difficult for me to figure out which one was which. After some trial and error, I figured it out, but I didn’t get to sample in the order I had hoped.
It was obvious which pickle was the new one, since it has a brighter green hue. This specimen was crisp and salty with a fresh flavor, but I actually think it could have used more of a texture pop and I found parts of it to be less than juicy and slightly dry.
Next up was the full sour, although I thought I was picking out the kosher dill. It had a strange shape, which certainly does not bother me. It was easier for me to confuse this with the kosher dill because it was more mild than I was expecting.
I think most pickle guys would consider this a half sour. It definitely had some vinegary funk and a nice crisp juiciness.
I was hoping to bite into the kosher dill next, but I realized the wasabi was coming. I found this one interesting, but the flavor was more sour than hot. I think the vinegary sourness mostly overshadowed the spicy mustard. Yet the wasabi flavor does tend to build and really expresses itself at the finish.
Finally, I found the kosher dill. My tastebuds might have been a bit overwhelmed at this point but it was a quite mild pickle. The dill notes were evident, which I appreciated, and it had a nice crispness. However, I found bits of the middle that were slightly mealy.
This is the only place remotely near Bryant Park that offers up pickles straight out of the jar like this. It’s a very exciting addition to the apple cider and fancy macarons. So think outside the box this year and pick up a quart of pickles for your family members. If they are anything like me, they’ll have a very happy holiday!
Does Pickle Me Pete have the best pickles in NY? Technically, they’re produced outside of the city, but since they are sold here seasonally, I’ll rate them. They get a 7 out of 10 for having some minor flaws but rather tasty pickles.
|PICKLE ME PETE|
|Bryant Park’s Winter Village
41 West 40th Street (between Sixth and Fifth Avenue),