I just had my 4 o’clock snack. At 4 o’clock every day I have buttered olive bread topped with pickles, sometimes with fresh tomatoes. I have a love affair with vinegar. It’s true. As a kid I used to drink vinegar straight. At Luce we pickle all sorts of things—kumquat, rhubarb, cucumbers. I am just addicted to pickles. Maybe it’s because I’m French. Everything comes with pickles in France.
I like the house-cured pickles at Katia’s Russian Tea Room. They make them with garlic and dill, really classic. They make a nice little snack. But I always have a container of Bubbies pickles in my refrigerator, which are made here in San Francisco. They are off the hook. My apartment is above Whole Foods, so whenever supplies run low I just go downstairs and buy another jar. I tried to give pickles to my dogs the other day, but they didn’t like them very much.
I also really like the pickles made by Alexander Valley Gourmet. They make Manhattan-style, hot and spicy and bread and butter. They serve them at Showdogs, which isn’t far from Luce—and we serve them here, too. I like them because they’re crunchy and not too sour. I actually can’t stop eating them.