We interrupt our regularly scheduled Farm Friday to bring you this public service announcement. Fried pickles at Bronx Ale House are the most delicious fried thing I’ve put in my mouth since the cheese curds at last year’s Minnesota State Fair. And hey…cucumbers are in season, right? Oh, and the chef was a sous chef at Eleven Madison Park for 5 years. This is some haute pub food.
I was advised by Joanne, one of my favorite dog run buddies, that the Bronx Ale House had a great menu. Indeed, she was right and I enjoyed several World Cup games there where I tasted nachos with pulled pork, buffalo wings in “Bronx is Burning” hot sauce, and jalapeños stuffed with homemade sausage, cheddar and jack cheese. They also have a handcrafted burger that should soon be a serious contender for best burger in the city. Hand cut fries by its side aren’t too shabby either. (Clearly, I should start taking the stairs more regularly in preparation for World Series watching.)
I reported back to Joanne and thanked her for letting me know about this little gem. She replied, “Did you try the fried pickles? They’re really stinkin’ good.” Dutifully, I returned.
At first, I was skeptical and thought surely the pickle would get warm and soggy in the fryer. But like I said, the chef has a pedigree and definitely knows how to fry. The pickle stayed cool (as a cucumber) and crispy. My stars, what a heavenly combination is vinegar and malty batter, which I suppose makes sense considering how perfect malted vinegar is on fish and chips. Here, the sour, garlicky brininess of the pickle was made even better by the light, encasing beer batter. Spicy horseradish dipping sauce is served on the side.
Joanne was happy to hear I liked the pickles and also recommended their brunch. (Her husband is a big fan of the Man-mosa.) The menu seems pretty outstanding with braised maple bourbon bacon, Blue Point blueberry beer cakes, and huevos Bronxcheros. What sport (besides golf) is on in the late morning? Maybe bourbon bacon is reason enough for yet another visit.
While few New Yorkers consider the Boogie Down Bronx as a foodie destination, I highly recommend marking Bronx Ale House as a major up-and-comer on your list. Coming soon, look for a post about their excellent house-smoked BBQ.
Bronx Ale House, 216 W. 238th St., Bronx, NY (238th St. stop on the 1 train). 718-601-0204.