Pickles & Olives | 1647 First Ave. (bet. 85th and 86th Sts.) | 212.717.8966 | www.picklesandolives.com

ALWAYS WANTING TO inform others—while reminding myself—of the little gems of fooderies that are usually tucked away in various neighborhoods, I was reminded this afternoon as I visited a friend who was day bartending of a stellar little pickle and olive shop located next to his bar called, simply enough, Pickles & Olives.

The tiny shop has been there for as long as I can remember, as I volunteered to feed the few customers with wares from the store, walking in and being greeted by barrels of assorted pickles on the left and containers of various types olives, stuffed and un-stuffed.

I've had almost everything the sell at least once, and am a fan of their pepperoncinis. Today, though, I would choose some snappy and bright half sour pickles and some goat cheese-stuffed green olives.

I couldn't even wait to dive into the pickles, helping myself to one while still paying at the counter before bringing the rest over for the gang twenty steps away at the bar.

Vinegary, sour, fully and richly brined, these snap on the outside with a modicum of tooth pressure and chew with a juicy crunch that shoots flavor all over the inside of your mouth.

Next up were the goat cheese-stuffed olives, which were new to a couple of the bar customers.

The plump olives are hearty and tasty on their own, but the addition of goat cheese added some balance to the olive's earthiness with its smooth, mellow taste, and countered the orb's firmness with its inherent creaminess.

They sell some 10 or so varieties of pickled cukes, peppers, and mixed vegetables (they have a dynamite giardeniera which, if you've never had it, try it on a nice, crusty roll with a whole bunch of sliced Italian meats and cheeses!), and up to twenty different types of olives. They sell nuts and dried fruits as well,along with various salad dressings, crackers, cheeses and spreads. It's one of those places that everyone in the neighborhood should stop by to pick up some tasty morsels to take home, to either compliment a small meal or sandwich for oneself, or to randomly make available to company. Then you'll quickly get into the habit of picking up stuff here all the time.

I'm sure there's some saying that starts, "Once you go green, ...."

Bun Apple Tea!


Pickles & Olives | 1647 First Ave. (bet. 85th and 86th Sts.) | 212.717.8966 | www.picklesandolives.com