Downtown Steak House Pickle Horror

Today my walking legs screeched to a halt in the Financial District: on every white-draped table in the Omni Hotel's masculine, ground-floor chain steakhouse, there was a hulking glass jar of giant pickles floating in a translucent brine, each accompanied by a set of tongs.

How did I never notice these pickle jars before? I went in for a closer look.

Gnarly! This has "corner store pickle jar" written all over it. Where's the jar of pickled eggs? No pigs' feet?

Now, I know that some people love pickles more than life itself. My dear friend Sarah gave jars of homemade pickles to all of her wedding guests as wedding favors -- that's how much she loves pickles. So she would probably be stoked on the centerpieces at Bob's Steak and Chop House.

But anyone who has worked in food service will agree that communal pickle jars, just like communal jelly for your brunch toast or bar peanuts at happy hour, are gross. I don't care if the brine kills all the bacteria in Texas; it's still just...gross.

(That said, every time I wait for a table to open up at delicious, delicious Gialina, I end up scarfing Goldfish & pretzels along with my vodka tonic at the bar at Glen Park Station, home of the rattiest darts -- and one of the most accommodating bartenders -- known to man.)

This review of Bob's by Michael Bauer is a little out of date, but it's a very entertaining read! An excerpt:
So much of what is offered at Bob's seems to indicate that the management values flash over substance. The center of each table is set with a glass jar of red peppers and dill pickles, with stainless steel tongs at the base. The problem is they're packed in so tightly they're nearly impossible to grasp, and once you try them you realize they're best left as a table decoration. The cucumbers are bland and one-dimensionally salty, without a lot of the expected pucker power.



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