Perking Up Pickles

Pining for a sour pickle like the kind you can find at Jewish delis in Manhattan? We found a good version, available at some Washington farmers markets.
Oh! Pickles spears are worthy of New York delis.
Oh! Pickles spears are worthy of New York delis.

A great deli pickle—the kind that lands on the table at places like Katz’s in New York City—isn’t easy to come by here, especially in a grocery-store aisle. So Arondo Holmes, a coffee vendor who grew up making homemade pickles with his mom in Northern Virginia, set out to elevate Washington’s spears. His Oh! Pickles creations are now a presence at local farmers markets. Half sours and—our favorites—the ones simply called sours are the most Manhattan-like, but Holmes says upstate New Yorkers go for red-hots, made with a fiery brine that lives up to its name. Most popular are his mom’s pickled beets—“the first thing I sell and the last thing I sell,” Holmes says. Now all we need is some worthy pastrami.

Oh! Pickles, $6 a pint, are available at the Palisades farmers market in DC and at farmers markets in Clarendon, Columbia Pike, and Falls Church in Virginia.

This article appeared in the May, 2010 issue of The Washingtonian.  

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