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Aug 14, 2009 04:25 PM

Best pickles

Either in a restaurant or available for purchase would be fine. And I wouldn't limit it to pickled cucumbers; I love all things pickled. I love the pickles at both Canter's and Langer's. La Espagnola's saturday paella comes with a delicious side of pickled veggies and I think I remember also having some housemade pickled veggies at Fig as well. And Surfa's carries a great line of pickled stuff that includes green beans, okra and tomatillos. Where else?

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  1. The Alpine Village market in Torrance sells a variety of imported pickled vegetables, mainly the Zergut products from Bulgaria. They are very good.

    1 Reply
    1. re: annapurna7

      No wonder they named themselves Zergut ;-)

    2. The Bear Pit in Mission Hills has the BEST pickles.

      1. The "new" pickles at Langer's are great. Also, you can get Guss pickles at Whole Foods markets (at least in Woodland Hills).

        1 Reply
        1. re: TomSwift

          Although I hate everything else they have on their menu, I absolutely love the "new" pickles served complimentary at Jerry's Deli. (That is assuming they still serve them. I haven't been to Jerry's in a few years.)

          For someone who generally loves pickled vegetables, get some good banh mi sandwiches. Those are loaded with pickled vegetables.

        2. - TomSwift beat me to the Guss suggestion. though buying them at Whole Foods in CA isn't quite as satisfying as getting them straight from the barrels on the Lower East Side, they're still darn good pickles. i always get the full sours.
          - for jarred sour pickles, my go-to is Ba-Tampte. you can probably find them at many of the Fairfax or Pico-Robertson Kosher markets
          - Rick's Picks products always get great reviews, but i wasn't all that crazy about the only item i tried - the beets. they do have a pretty varied/extensive product line, though, so i'm sure some are better than others. there's a "retail partners" link on their website to find local stores:

          - also, Japanese markets always have a great selection of pickled & fermented vegetables. pop into Mitsuwa or Nijiya and check out their offerings.

          22 Replies
          1. re: goodhealthgourmet

            Thanks! If you're willing to give Rick's Picks another shot, try the smokra (okra with smoked paprika). I love them!

            1. re: mollyomormon

              okra and smoked paprika...2 of my favorite ingredients. thanks for the rec, i just might try it!

              1. re: mollyomormon

                Bubbies pickles at any market are absolutely fantastic. You can even dress them up by dropping in some tarragon into the jar and letting them sit a while. Also for Persian pickled veggies go to canary restaurant on Westwood Blvd. They have a very large and extensive collection of pickled veggies. If you like pickled mangoes, they go great mixed with basmati rice and kabobs, go to any Persian market and buy sadaf brand Ambeh.

                1. re: trojans

                  trojans, have you had Ba-Tampte? i've seen Bubbies but never tried them and i'd be curious to know how they compare...

                  1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                    Ba-Tampte is good. I've seen them at Trader Joe's and super markets.

                    1. re: mrfood16

                      mrfood, not sure if you understood my post. i do like Ba-Tampte - i've been eating them for many years...which is why i wanted to find out if he has had both - i'd like to know how they measure up.

                    2. re: goodhealthgourmet

                      Goodhealth, I have not, to my knowledge, tried Ba-Tampte. I will however search them out. and try them. Please do the same with the Bubbies. Get the kosher dill pickles not the bread and butter chips, which I find horrible in any brand. I hate the sweetness.

                      1. re: trojans

                        Of the two, my preference is Ba-Tampte - they are less mushy than Bubbies (both of which you can find at Gelson's). But still, because of the rapid turnover, Langer's is my go-to for a couple of jars. But bear in mind what Professor Salt has noted: pickles are a living thing and the "new" dill you buy today will not be the pickle you wil eat the next day. A good argument for eating them al on the day ou buy them!

                    3. re: trojans

                      About 10 years ago I bought my first jar of Bubbies Pure Kosher Dills. They're all natural with no vinegar and no MSG. They tasted great. I consumed the entire second jar in one sitting!

                      Unfortunately, the third jar was mushy and I haven't bought one since.

                      1. re: trojans

                        Doesnt Bubbies make a pickled Tomatoes in a jar also. I have had them if so, they are yummy

                      2. re: mollyomormon

                        ok, i just had to report back. i picked up a jar of Smokra today, and while it's a bit too salty for me, the flavor is pretty terrific. i'm just going to dilute it with a little more vinegar & spice and it'll be perfect. thanks for the rec!

                        1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                          I'm so glad you liked it! The texture of the okra is pretty amazing.

                          1. re: mollyomormon

                            the texture is amazing...but it's definitely only for okra lovers. have you noticed that whenever you pick one of the pods out of the jar it comes with a long tail of okra "goo" attached? :)

                            1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                              Oh yeah, people who don't enjoy the texture of okra would be completely disgusted but that just leaves more for us okra lovers! i'm dying to try these in a good bloody mary...

                              1. re: mollyomormon

                                ok, i have no idea if you'll even see this 2 months later, but they were offering Rick's Pick's samples at WFM yesterday, so i tried a couple of other products. the Mean Beans were pretty good, they have a mild cayenne kick. the demo guy claimed they were "hot," but to me and my asbestos palate it was more like a whisper of heat ;) what won me over, though, was the Low-sodium Garlic Dill Pickle slices. damn, they're good! heavy on the garlic, with a good level of pucker-inducing acidity/sourness. i'm not usually a fan or additives/replacement ingredients, and they use calcium chloride in these to keep the sodium content down. but i'm so salt-sensitive that i'm willing to make an exception for such a good pickle. definitely recommend.

                                1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                  I did see it. thanks, ghg!! sounds fantastic. i'll definitely check my local Whole Foods this weekend to see if they're carrying them.

                      3. re: goodhealthgourmet

                        You know, there are so many things that we can get here in So Cal that have their origins elsewhere and our versions are probably not "quite as satisfying as getting them straight from the barrels".

                        1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                          I've noticed that some Vons stores carry Ba-Tampte kosher dills.

                          1. re: ozhead

                            My Ralph's does also, will be giving them a try next time. My kids are partial to Mt. Olive's brand of kosher baby dills, nothing remarkable about them however, pretty standard.

                            1. re: ozhead

                              The venice wholefoods does as well. Both the venice and the santa monica wholefoods don't carry Guss's though (the santa monica used to).

                            2. re: goodhealthgourmet

                              You might want to check the origin of those "Guss's" pickles at Whole Foods. There are actually two different stores in the NY area by that name (one is in Cedarhurst) and the LES shop lost their rights to the name when they moved to Brooklyn.

                              1. re: a_and_w

                                This is apparently true as discussed in other posts, including discussion of the lawsuit which resulted in loss of the name. So it seems that WF pickles are not the real deal, although I hanve not verified this with the store.

                            3. The Farm Store @ Cal Poly Pomona has lot of things pickled. including Sweet Fire [Bread and Butter with Jalapeños]

                              FARM STORE AT KELLOGG RANCH
                              4102 S. University Drive
                              Pomona, CA 91768

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: Mattapoisett in LA

                                I keep hearing about this place, Mattapoisett. Do the Farm Store jalpeños have a good texture? It's difficult to find pickled ones that aren't mushy.

                                1. re: Harry Nile

                                  Most of the Pickled things I've gotten there are really fresh but i did get on Mushy batch when I took it off the shelf and not from the refrigerated case but it wasn't a jar of the very popular Sweet Fire. Take a Trip it is worth it.