Archive for April, 2011|Monthly archive page
I’m headed down for a round of demos in Texas over the next four days. I’m starting at the Whole Foods flagship store in Austin. And then we’re going back again for Thrill Of The Grill, Central Market’s flagship BBQ event. For Thrill Of The Grill, I’ll be getting some help from my friends at JP Marketing in San Antonio and Dallas, and I’ll be covering Austin and Houston myself. Here is our schedule, and it’s a total of nine demos… you’ve heard of the Texas Two-Step… well, we are making it a nine-step dance. We’d love it if you came and said hi. We’ll be focusing on the low sodium BBQ treats we call The Pickle Essentials.
Whole Foods Market – Lamar (525 N. Lamar Blvd., 78703) 3 PM-7 PM
Central Market – Dallas (5750 E. Lovers Lane, 75206) 11 AM-7 PM
Central Market – Fort Worth (4651 West Freeway, 76107) 11 AM-7 PM
Central Market – Austin Westgate (4477 S. Lamar, 78745) 11 AM-7 PM
Central Market – Plano (320 Coit Road, 75075) 11 AM-7 PM
Central Market – South Lake (1425 East Southlake Blvd., 76092) 11 AM-7 PM
Central Market – San Antonio (4821 Broadway, 78209) 11 AM-7 PM
Central Market – Austin Lamar (4001 N. Lamar, 78756) 11 AM-7 PM
Central Market – Houston (3815 Westheimer, 77027) 11 AM-7 PM
Hope to see you there!
There’s precious little time these days for pickle experimentation, what with the pesky time-consuming issues of actually running a pickle company. That’s why I was excited when my buddy Robert of New Amsterdam Market asked us to make something we don’t usually make for his Spring benefit. We agreed on carrots. And since I’d been wanting to play with Szechuan peppercorns for some time now, they became the flavor profile driver.
Fortunately for me, Berkeley, California was in the house in the form of Cousin Richard, who is a mean chef in his own right (you haven’t been alive until you’ve had his braised artichokes). Richard was excited about the Szech peps as you can see.
Luckily, I own two carrot peelers so Richard and I were able to work through 15 pounds of carrots lickety split. We took the mortar and pestle to the Szech peps and gave them a churning half-grind.
We sliced some fresh garlic into wafers to give things a bit more dimension, but after that, it felt like the right move to limit the secondary notes and keep things simple. The strong, clear flavor of the carrots and the dynamic pungency of the peppercorns is a good basis for a first pass at the idea.
We processed the jars minimally (6 minutes) to keep the crispy crunch of the carrots. The aroma of the brine was simply intoxicating. In their finished form, the carrots were remarkably still carrot-like. The brine had a surprisingly subtle impact. And yet the light touch still left a tingle on the tongue. I think a cocktail application is the next step.
Paul is our neighbor here on the 6th floor of 195 Chrystie Street (the home office, if you don’t know). He works with cool musicians like John Doe and Jill Sobule and now it appears he’s branching out into photography and travel, all at once. Paul sent us this snapshot from his trip to Paris. Note the sporty reusable Rick’s Picks bag, no doubt filled with croissants, cornichons and other delectables. If you’d like one of our bags to shlep your stuff in style, just give us a shout here at 212 358 0428.
In our second installment on Jimmy Fallon’s Late Night Eats, we decided to show Jimmy’s people some of the interesting applications for your Rick’s Picks pickles. First off are Smokra Roll-Ups… our personal favorite way to wolf down Smokra while getting a nice bit of protein:
Also enjoy tips on how to get the most out of your pickles even after the pickles and brine are long gone:
Thanks, Jimmy, for helping us get the message out!
We’re wrapping up a week of celebrations for our 7th anniversary tonight by celebrating with one of our old friends… Jimmy Carbone of Jimmy’s No. 43. It’s going to be a low-key affair… I don’t even know what the 7th anniversary is (tin? paper?) but I do know it will include some tasty microbrews and pickles.
4 plus 3 is 7. 4 followed by 3 is 43, so by the left-brain logic that animates all the best things we do, it’s fitting we are at Jimmy’s tonight. We’ll be there from 5 to 8 PM, at 43 East 7th street, between 2nd and 3rd.
Most people start their year on January 1st. Banks and fancy financial folks have different start dates for their fiscal years. GrowNYC, the parent organization for Greenmarket, starts the year on April 1st, which makes sense, when you think that this time of year is when things start to bloom, sprout and get their green on.
And since the Parks Department has restructured Greenmarket’s space a bit, we are on the move. Just about twenty feet farther South, right at 15th street, and on the Union Square West side of the walkway. I’m always amazed when we shift positions slightly and people say WHERE WERE YOU? YOU WEREN’T THERE! Yes we were, and are. On Saturdays we’ll still be in the Northwest corner of the market. Smiling and selling pickles. See you there!
We went up to the studio kitchen at Late Night with Jimmy Fallon recently and showed the Late Night folks a few of our tricks. Jimmy has a blog called Late Night Eats where the pieces are posted and other chefs on there include Mario Batali, David Chang and Ming Tsai, so we were psyched to do it. We thought the guys how to make our spicy Mean Beans and also how to use them mosst effectively in everybody’s favorite good time cocktail, the Bloody Mary. Jimmy’s crew thought Final Four Weekend would be a good time to put this up, and we could not agree more. Check them out!
Here’s a quick recipe for making spicy pickled beans:
And here are the finer points of Bloody Mary optimization:
The Rick’s Picks team visited our newest restaurant customer Bare Burger last week to test out its all natural burgers. We were warmly greeted by the staff and later joined by the company founder, Euripedes. As our delicious sides (hello french fries and monster onion rings!), pickle assortment (Rick’s Picks Hotties, The People’s Pickle and Bee ‘n’ Beez) and delectable burgers arrived, Rick and I spoke with Euripedes about his mission to elevate the humble burger.
Rick Field, Jina Kim, Euripedes
J: How did you get involved in Bare Burger?
E: That’s a long story. I had a place in Brooklyn, in Clinton Hill/Bed-Stuy that I just closed down called Sputnik. It was a bar/live music/art gallery space. We started doing organic burgers, and they really took off, but it didn’t make sense to be in that setting. When the economy turned, that neighborhood took a serious turn for the worse. All the development stopped, the construction stopped, and the neighborhood started getting a little rough again, and this business went bad. And we said we have a group of people…
R: We’re in a burger moment though, the timing is good.
E: Yes. And there’s obviously a lot of competition out there, but we decided lets go open up a place in Astoria, our home town, that’s just about the burger, and the whole environment, and the place, and it just took off.
J: When did the Astoria location open up?
E: June 2009. We started off with just a small corner spot. The reason we opened there is because we all grew up in that area, all of us that are involved. In a matter of a year and a half, we took over the next door space, and we found this space (in Greenwich Village), which has worked out for us so far. I think this (Greenwich Village) space is more like a Spring and Summer spot, as you can see there is a deck. We had one nice day last week, and this place had a 40 minute wait. Right now our focus is on getting involved with the right people.
J: This is your second location (LaGuardia Pl.), and you have a third one now?
E: Yes, we have a third one in Murray Hill that just opened up a few weeks ago.
J: Are you the brainchild behind all of these, or are they franchises?
E: Yes, I’m the franchise (laughs).
R: So in 7 years, you are going to have 100 Bare Burgers?
E: Maybe in 4 (laughs). We are actually building two in Brooklyn right now. One on 7th Avenue and First Street in Park Slope, right on the corner, great spot. And I think we are signing a lease in Williamsburg very soon, in a matter of weeks.
J: Why the healthy angle?
E: The reason why the organic focus is that I was getting my meat from all the regular meat purveyors, and we started doing our research on how these animals were raised, what they eat, how they are slaughtered, what they live in, and it was really disgusting. Really really disgusting. So we found an awesome purveyor of meats in Montana, they do a lot of business throughout the country, and we decided to get our meat from them.
R: So you get everything from them?
E: I get a little bit of everything from a lot of different people. For what we have in mind, for doing big stuff, we try and stay as local as possible.
J: So are you a healthy eater yourself?
E: I’ve been eating Bare Burgers for the last 2 ½ years. I’ve gained about 20 pounds, but it’s alright.
J: So you’re bigger, but healthier.
E: Yes, as my wife would like to say, the same thing.
J: What are you most proud of with this franchise?
E: Honestly, it’s the people that are jumping on board. I’m a bit of a romantic in a sense – the money is sort of secondary, I just want to build a really good company. Good people involved, really strong relationships with distributors and purveyors, people that are interested in the same food movement that we’re in. But like I said, the most amazing thing to me right now, besides the concept, and the food, and the whole environment, is that I have friends of 20 years that are stopping everything they are doing to open up a restaurant. To me, that means more that anything. And there is a lot of responsibility that comes with that, but that is what I am most proud of, the direction that we are going in.
And you guys seem like you have a nice team of people here too, very diverse.
The verdict on the burgers…aaaaaa-mazing! With so many different kinds of meat (beef, lamb, bison, turkey, plus vegetarian options) and toppings to choose from, this is a true made-to-order burger. We left full and satisfied, minus the greasy burger belly.
Bare Burger locations:
33-21 31st Avenue
Astoria, NY 11106
718 777 7011
535 Laguardia Place
NYC, NY 10012
212 477 8125
514 3rd Avenue
NYC, NY 10016
212 679 2273