Alley Twenty Six's perfect pickle plate in Durham | Food Feature | Indy Week
Pin It

Alley Twenty Six's perfect pickle plate in Durham 

150928_ab_indy_pickleplate_026.jpg

When settling in to a new city, I search for three things: a saucy slice of pizza, a strong cup of coffee and a quality gin martini. Four days a North Carolinian, I set out in pursuit of new best-ofs. Several sources agreed that, for that special cocktail, I needed to explore Alley Twenty Six in downtown Durham.

The following Friday night, I found myself perched at the bar, wooed by the sound of jazz, the gents in bow ties and the ambiance of a dark lounge. I soon decided I might become a regular, but for tonight I vowed to keep it classy, have a drink or two and call it an early evening. That lasted, at least, until I noticed the cocktail waitress serving a stunning pickle platter down the bar.

If there's one thing I can rarely pass up, it's a good pickle. But despite the recent fad of pickled and fermented foods, a quality pickle plate can be hard to find. Alley Twenty Six's spread, however, offers a variety of locally sourced ingredients, flavors and, most important, the perfect pickle crispness.

"Alley Twenty Six isn't a restaurant, so bar snacks like our house-made pickle plate and yucca chips are quick and relatively easy to prepare," explains Alley Twenty Six owner Shannon Healy. "We strive for delicious small eats on par with our drinks."

They get there, too: Prepared by food zealot Jonathan Werz, these pickles are a substantial step up from those old neon-green grocery store dills.

"Once I learned the golden ratio of water, vinegar and salt," says Werz, who began pickling during his tenure at Carrboro's Glasshalfull, "I began experimenting with more complex flavors and combinations."

Pickled eggs, dark spiced cherries and ponzu mirin-pickled green beans "have been on the plate since the start," he says. Current seasonal specials include green apple slices done up in habanero ginger cilantro and—my personal favorite—the miso-pickled peaches. A distinct peach sweetness, supported by the umami flavors of white soy, chases the initial miso bite.

If you're looking for a more traditional pickled cucumber, Alley Twenty Six has you covered. The classic bread-and-butter cucumbers upgrade the expected sweet pickle flavor with turmeric-and-vinegar zest.

With the ever-changing seasonal harvest, I can't wait to see what's in store for Alley Twenty Six this fall.

"I have a few things in mind," says Werz, smiling. "Pumpkins, beets, carrots?"

See you soon, then.

  • A quest for brine

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

INDY Week publishes all kinds of comments, but we don't publish everything.

  • Comments that are not contributing to the conversation will be removed.
  • Comments that include ad hominem attacks will also be removed.
  • Please do not copy and paste the full text of a press release.

Permitted HTML:
  • To create paragraphs in your comment, type <p> at the start of a paragraph and </p> at the end of each paragraph.
  • To create bold text, type <b>bolded text</b> (please note the closing tag, </b>).
  • To create italicized text, type <i>italicized text</i> (please note the closing tag, </i>).
  • Proper web addresses will automatically become links.

Latest in Food Feature



Twitter Activity

Most Recent Comments

Is Blue Coffee still trying to come back? Northgate has emerged as an option for entrepreneurs...

by Lindsey 1 on Durham Spots Like Roy's Kountry Kitchen Are the Enduring Soul of a Wildly Developing City (Food Feature)

What a fantastic article!!!
Kudos to the staff at Roy's Kuntry Kitchen! Whenever my daughter and I are in …

by Lishabobby on Durham Spots Like Roy's Kountry Kitchen Are the Enduring Soul of a Wildly Developing City (Food Feature)

Luv this spot! Sending luv to the crew at Roy's from Houston. …

by Shandra MyTime Robertson on Durham Spots Like Roy's Kountry Kitchen Are the Enduring Soul of a Wildly Developing City (Food Feature)

Thank you Indy Week we truly appreciate you all, y'all come back and see us soon ya hear lol

by Kyle Jeffers on Durham Spots Like Roy's Kountry Kitchen Are the Enduring Soul of a Wildly Developing City (Food Feature)

Comments

We went here with friends one evening before the theatre. Best New Orleans food we have found in the Raleigh. …

by Dee Oberle on The Big Easy (Wake County)

Everything very unprofessional. They just want to charge you an "revolutionary fee" with all the service making pressure on you. …

by feullies on Blue Note Grill (Durham County)

© 2017 Indy Week • 201 W. Main St., Suite 101, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
RSS Feeds | Powered by Foundation