100 Favorite Dishes

90. Fried Pickles at Shuck N Dive

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90. Fried Pickles at Shuck N Dive
Fried pickles have become nearly as ubiquitous as French fries lately, with the revival of comfort food and Southern fare. Yet unlike fries, it's easy to screw up a fried pickle. A too-fat fried pickle ends up a hot, leaky mess. A too-heavily breaded pickle takes on characteristics of the sole of a shoe, as salty breading masks the flavor of the star ingredient. And fried spears are a disaster: as disappointing as fat onion rings, you bite off batter and burn a spear-shaped wedge on the roof of your mouth.

I can't help but wonder whether Shuck N Dive adds something addictive to its fried pickles. Paper-thin kosher dills are sliced nearly as thin as chips, then lightly battered with a hint of salt and a sprinkle of Cajun spices. As a vehicle for a Crystal hot sauce or Texas Pete pepper vinegar, they're even better. 

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Food Critic
Contact: Melissa McCart