Fried pickles have come on strong in the last ten years and now almost all bars offer a version on their menu — mostly purchased from their frozen food supplier. Commonly, fried pickles are in the form spears — less common are the pickle chips. All of the places we checked out served the spears, but I am not yet convinced spears are the best cut for fried pickles.
Coming in at Number three:
The Village Tap, 1489 Mill Street, Lyons, Wisconsin. Village Tap’s Facebook Page
The Village Tap is located in Lyons, in western Kenosha county. You’ll never just “drive by” this bar/restaurant — you have to make a point to get there. Its basically a country bar that appears to serve some decent burgers and fish fry — but we came for the fried pickles.
Inside there are two rooms: the bar and another room with a handful of tables.
The appetizer menu offered the fried pickles at $1.75 each or $6.75 for five of them. Hmm, why would you buy one we wondered?
Here’s why they sell by the pickle: these aren’t typical fried pickles. Instead, Village Tap hand makes won-ton wrapped pickles along with what I thought was monterey jack cheese but the bartender said was pepper jack. Either way it wasn’t spicy. Each one is huge and the won-ton wrapper is quite thick.
According to the bartender, these “fried pickles” are big sellers at Village Tap. I can see the appeal, but I can’t agree that these are truly “fried pickles” which is why Village Tap is coming in third place in this “fried pickle” category. These are more like egg rolls with cheese and a pickle spear (served with a side of ranch). One is very filling because of the thick won-ton. We love to see places like Village Tap coming up with something unique like this and I bet their Reuben Rolls are tasty.
Coming in at Number Two:
Standing Room Only, 635 75th Street, Kenosha, Wisconsin. http://www.srophilly.com/
In case you are wondering, seating is not really an option at this small food stand near the lake in Kenosha. There was one table inside. SRO makes some of the best local Philly sandwiches, but again, we were here for the fried pickles.
SRO’s “breaded pickle spears” are $3.50 for about five of them with a side of ranch. The pickles were decent, I just don’t think that they were handmade. Will we find any truly house-made fried pickles?
Our Number One place to get fried pickles in SE Wisconsin is:
Uncle Mike’s, 6611 120th Avenue, Kenosha, Wisconsin. Uncle Mike’s website
Uncle Mike’s is a bar that serves stellar food located right off I-94 in Kenosha. The fried pickles appetizer for $7.95 didn’t disappoint.
These pickles were everything that fried pickles should be. The batter was crispy and not greasy whatsoever. Better yet, the breading actually stuck to the pickles unlike some places that serve pickles where the breading comes off with the first bite. Uncle Mike’s offers your choice of dipping sauce and the Jalapeno Ranch paired well with the pickles.
Still looking for some good fried pickles chips (non-chain) if anyone has a suggestion for those. Also, I think Village Tap is on to something with creatively using pickles in other appetizers. You heard it here first – fried ham-roll ups – whaddaya think?