Two new fried pickle updates:
Ate at The Fiddlin’ Pig last week; their fried pickles were very nice! They use thin pickle chips and a very light breading; not too spicy or too “bready.” Pickles are served with a Thousand Island-type sauce for dipping. (Again, I’m not much on thick, creamy sauces, but my lunch companions said it was good.) Note: Fried Pickles don’t appear on the lunch menu, but it’s no problem to ask for them. A basket is in the neighborhood of $5. (http://fiddlinpig.com/)
Also last week, a group of us met downtown on Friday night to unwind after what seemed like a particularly grueling workweek. Come to think of it, they’re all particularly grueling, lately. Hmm…
Anyway, we commandeered a big table on Hannah Flanagan’s covered outdoor deck (http://www.hannahflanaganspub.net) and began catching up and cooling down. Looked at the menu–surprise! Hannah Flanagan’s offers fried pickles, too! I ordered a basket, just for the sake of comparison, don’t you know?*
The pickles arrived in short order: HF uses pickle spears breaded in “beer-batter with a little kick of jalapeno” (if memory serves). Good pickles–I could have eaten plenty more, but I shared with others. For an entree, I went with Shepherd’s Pie (HF makes it with corned beef, which is an interesting twist on the traditional lamb or the more common use of ground beef). Again, good eating, and the deck is a great place to people-watch.
After dinner and drinks, we walked back up Biltmore Avenue toward Pack Square. The sidewalk was so crowded it was actually hard to manuever. Heard jazz spilling out of Temptations (http://www.temptationsredroom.com/index.htm); smelled patchouli (or “achoo-ly”, as I refer to it since it makes me sneeze) spilling out of many shops (and quite a few armpits!); watched one of the Silver Statue people (a woman, painted entirely in silver–skin, clothes, everything–which gave me a creepy flashback to Jill Masterton’s untimely end in “Goldfinger”) playing a drum like a painted automaton; bumped up against umpteen street performers and an endless array of general humanity. A couple of guys were handing out tall stalks of purple flowers that looked like members of the delphinium family, and there was a faint rumble from the drum circle two blocks down at Pritchard Park. Sam Cooke (and more recently, Jimmy Buffett) may have complained about “another Saturday night and I ain’t got nobody,” but that’s only because they weren’t mixed in with the Friday-night-in-summer-downtown-Asheville-crowd. It was another Friday night with plenty of everybody and everything–including fried pickles.
*Sidebar: a little old neighbor lady, who probably deserves an entire blog entry to herself, always finished her sentences with the phrase “don’t you know?”, which turned every comment into a rhetorical question. You rocked, Miss Hattie!