Eastern European / Restaurants/Bars

LES Pickle Day

When the whole weekend is busy, why stop at Sunday?  That was kind of how we ended up at Pickle Day two weekends ago.  Unsure of how to spend the day, I went to Time Out New York to see if there were any events.  When I saw the listing for Pickle Day I figured it would likely end up being something small like three stalls but didn’t care because it would at least get us moving.  We could check it out and if it turned out to be nothing special we would just hit up brunch.

When we arrived in the Lower East Side we found way more than three stalls.  There were actually about three blocks of stalls.  In addition to booths of pickle purveyors like Divine Brine and Pickle Me Pete (15 picklers in total), plenty of the neighborhood restaurants set up booths where they sold snacks featuring pickled ingredients.

I started with a hand roll from Blue Ribbon Sushi.  There were four versions, each with a different type of picked veggie.  I went with the mustard green version.  Because the ingredients were simple, the seaweed flavor really came through and I thought it paired well with the pickle taste.  Next up was Black Tree where Albert got a pickle pot that included pickled fruit in addition to the typical pickled cucumbers.  I’ve never had a pickled blueberry but I didn’t hate it.  You got to choose what type of fruit infused brine to drizzle on top and we went with apple.  It added a hint of sweet to the vinegar base.  The third stop was Krupa Grocery which made the strangest sounding concoction that I had to say I tried it.  It was a beet stained pickled egg that was filled (like if it had been deviled) with chicken liver pate and topped with cocoa nibs.  The brine was a little sweet and the filling was somewhat salty and rich.  I was so nervous to try this one but I was impressed to find it kinda worked.  Since we were still planning to go to brunch we limited ourselves to only one more stop at Sour Puss Pickles where we got a large garlic dill pickle to gnaw on.  They were stronger than half dones but the garlic and dill flavors were still subtle – no puckering when you eat these.

I can’t wait to go back to Pickle Day 2015 because there are so many more vendors I want to try.  I love that the Lower East Side is celebrating its Eastern European heritage…even though most pickle production seems to have moved to Brooklyn and is done by hipsters instead of old Jewish folks.

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