Magazine article The New Yorker

Tables for Two: Pickle Shack

Magazine article The New Yorker

Tables for Two: Pickle Shack

Article excerpt



--Amelia Lester

Open daily for lunch and dinner. Sandwiches $10-$13.

256 Fourth Ave., Brooklyn (347-763-2127)

A vegetable-resistant man and a pickle-averse woman went to lunch at the Pickle Shack, a vegetarian sandwich shop. They made this unlikely choice because they'd heard that the small Park Slope storefront, distinguished from Fourth Avenue's general dreariness by a pickle barrel on its awning, houses one of the city's largest selections of Dogfish Head craft beer on tap. Sitting in the back garden, he wound up, unexpectedly, with an unfiltered Kolsch; she got Dogfish's Midas Touch, described unofficially as the Chardonnay of beers.

Their first thought on the restaurant's concept was that it had to be a caricature: the provenance of all the ingredients, made in-house or sourced locally, was listed on the menu, which fluttered gently in the breeze off the Gowanus canal. The idea came from--who else?--"Brooklyn's premier hipster pickler," Shamus Jones, of Brooklyn Brine, a wholesale business around the corner. The chef is Neal Harden, formerly of the expensive, and precious, Pure Food and Wine, in Gramercy. At Pickle Shack, Harden still works only with vegetables, but shuns mock meats. That there was no seitan or cornstarch stir-fry was of considerable relief to both diners.

So the two of them got sandwiches, which turned out to be better than they could have imagined. She got the one with charred eggplant, which she thought would be an Israeli-style sabich, but which was actually more of a true vegetable sandwich. …

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