The art of the Deep Fried Pickle.
When it comes to appetizers/bar snacks few elicit more sheer joy and exuberance than that of the fried pickle. An evening out to dinner with my friend Mike usually bases around at least an hour of searching the entire inter web to find a place where we can get fried pickles. Over the years I believe I have become quite the expert of what makes a great fried pickle and where you can get them.
There are two realms of thought regarding the best form the fried pickle should take; spears vs. chips. Now I for one am hard pressed ever to turn down a fried pickle but if I was forced to choose, I would go with pickle chips all the time. The thinness of the chips allow for it to be warmed all the way through, while unless done perfectly the spears can tend to be a bit chilly and hard at the core. Also the batter surrounding the cucumber of old much easily adheres in a nice thin coating when in chip form, while I have often found that spears tend to be a bit thicker and clumpier leading to the aforementioned inner pickle rawness. But truth be told, if there are pickles on the menu I’m ordering it.
Now in the chip category the main go to with the best pickles is by far Fat Cat Restaurant in Quincy, Mass. The thinly sliced pickles are so crisp and hot right out of the fryer and give you that vinegary tang that is complimented so well with their Cajun Remoulade. A close runner up is the Frickles at Old Glory in the Georgetown neighborhood in Washington D.C.. I stumbled upon this place when working down in our nations capitol and couldn’t be happier I had. The Frickles are a combo of dill and sweet fried pickles and an added bonus of fried jalapenos. At Old Glory the batter is a bit thicker but still cooked through and unless you pay careful attention that would be pickle could be mistaken for a spicy shot of jalapeno, but don’t worry because their Cilantro Ranch dip will cool those taste buds right down.
In the spear bracket the place to check out is Cambridge Common in Cambridge, Mass just down Mass Ave from Havard Sq. This is one place that does the spear right with a thin flakey crust that gives way to a pickle that is cooked evenly all the way through. Accompanied with a side of ranch dressing and some spicy aioli, the pickles are the perfect compliment to any of the great beer selections on tap.
As a bonus deep fried pickle selection hit up Local 149 in South Boston for some serious bar snacks, I would had included them about but usually they throw more than just the pickles into the fryer there, so keep your eyes peeled for beans, cauliflower, and other tasty treats.