Inside the Family-Owned Garland Factory That Keeps Dallas Restaurants Swimming in Pickles

A burger and fried green beans platter from Twisted Root Burger Co. includes essential Hunn family pickles.
Nick Rallo

All-American is a series that looks at beloved, longstanding North Texas eateries and examines their histories while exploring how the food has changed — for the good or bad — over the years.

Two thousand pounds of West Texas cucumbers tumble into a hot tub. Jets of water jostle them around; they look like forest-green fish fighting to the surface for feed. The cucumbers are getting a bath, and next, they climb up a lift that looks something like an amusement park for cucumbers.

They go through the brush washer for another cleaning with stiff bristles. From the second floor of the factory, we watch as the cucumbers pile into a slicer, where hundreds of grass-green medallions pour out onto a steel shaker table. The shaker table — somewhere in between a thing you use to pan for gold and the game Operation — pops and vibrates the cuke discs around to allow the curvy cucumber butt-ends to fall to the floor.

The cucumbers pour into five-gallon pails, which get measured for weight, and a waterfall of brine fills the pails. Then goes the lid and the label, and about 2,200 discs — from 65 to 70 whole cucumbers — load onto a pallet.

There’s a briny, spicy, sharp aroma soaking the air as soon as you walk in the door of East Garland’s family-owned pickle factory. It’s unmistakably the waft of pickles: You could be blindfolded and know where you’re standing. This is First Place Foods, the quiet but powerful factory that has been keeping Dallas briny since 2006.

It’s a humble space, makeshift offices upstairs and the factory downstairs. The pickles, some a spicy bread-and-butter recipe created by president and head of the family Pat Hunn, some hamburger dill chips and some fresh brining cucumbers, will make their way to the front of the house at such joints as Twisted Root Burger Co. and Bob’s Steakhouse. One of the best burgers on the planet, the Grape’s brunch burger, has used a horseradish pickle customized by the Hunn family. In other words, these are some excellent pickles.

“They’re running one about every eight seconds,” says Collin Hunn, the vice president and Pat’s son, talking the speed of pickle pail production. It’s mesmerizing. A handful of workers inspect the cucumbers along the way, tossing the weak ones overboard. Much of this operation happens by hand rather than by machine.

“It gives it an artisan feel,” Pat Hunn says. “Frankly, we’ve never had the financial situation to buy a whole bunch of automated stuff.”

Hunn’s little factory will slam down lids on enough five-gallon pails to stack about 80 pallets. It’s easily a galaxy of pickles. The Hunn family veins flow with pickle juice.

Around 2001, Pat Hunn left his job in Big Pickle to start his own pickle company. His father, J.B. Hunn, got into pickles while working for Morton’s Food in the mid-20th century. The brand was called Wiejske Wyroby. When Morton’s pickle factory closed, J.B. Hunn bought the Wyroby name: He had the label, the recipe and the brand. He’d even purchased the wooden pickle tanks and deconstructed them, fashioning them into corrals on his farm in Celina.

“He thought there was a void,” Pat Hunn says, explaining why anyone would focus his entire life on pickles.

The Wiejske Wyroby model is what Pat splintered off with in 2001— he worked with a food scientist for months— to craft hundreds of thousands of his own Hunn family pickles. He’d contacted Walmart (he’d done business with the company for years before selling Wiejske Wyroby to Vlasic), which promptly obliged by selling his new family pickle. He started off his new family business with the biggest retail customer in the world — which turned into the biggest mistake of his life.

Walmart sat on the purchase order, waiting a year before producing it. Pat had hundreds of thousands of cases of pickles sitting around, gathering dust. He was forced to sell them salvage: It docked him hundreds of thousands of dollars, wiping out the company sale savings he’d made selling to Vlasic years earlier, he says.

After bottoming out hard with Walmart, Pat brainstormed solutions to save his business. Far down on the list of viable solutions was Garland’s Goldin Pickle Co., a ramshackle factory on the edge of town that sold industrial-sized relish.

“He kind of pretended to be a pickle company,” Pat says of the Goldin factory before it was his. He had visited Goldin on a weekday, and it was dark as a movie theater and nowhere near ready to retail pickles.

“They had a relish dicer, a pickle slicer and that’s about it,” Colin Hunn says. Pat went to the Garland pickle factory armed to negotiate and left ready to purchase the whole place. He left and asked his wife what he should do. As Pat describes it, her response set things moving for their new family business: “We’ve never been able to make pickles in our own town.”

There are three ways to make pickles: the pasteurization route, what’s done to pack the glass-jarred Vlasics you’ll find at the store; the fermentation route, your good, old wood barrels and salt brine and fermenting agents; and, finally, the refrigeration route. Hunn’s Private Stock, the pickles coming out of the First Place Foods factory, use the latter two methods.

I’m sitting at Twisted Root the best and right way: with my cardboard tray absolutely loaded with every type of Hunn’s family pickle that’s offered. Twisted Root uses Hunn’s fermented-process pickles. You’ll find them in the mini-barrel vats on a table at Twisted — the Atomic pickles, Christmas light-red, sweet dills and bread-and-butters. Hunn’s pickles are about 75 percent of the reason why I eat at Twisted Root. I like to pile way too many bread-and-butters onto a Twisted veggie burger for the crunch and the bite of sugar and maybe an Atomic or two on top of the fried green beans.

The pickles at Bob’s Steak and Chop House, the ones you find hanging on the table when you sit down, are essentially marinated cucumbers, giant, fresh ones that use Hunn’s refrigerated process. These are Hunn’s premium product, the Cadillac of pickles. Hunn’s pickles for Bob’s have a pure saltiness, nearly oceanic, like the artisan stuff you’ll find at most chef-driven burger joints.

That refrigerated process is what I’m witnessing from the second floor of First Place Foods, and, to a lover of pickles — whether they’re near cucumber or under a beef patty — it’s a wonder to behold. Everyone, all of us, should find a way to witness the production, no matter if it’s a massive, automated factory or the steady crafting of farmhands, of our favorite foods. It makes you love what you love even more.

You Need To Know About Pickle Vodka

It’s what your Bloody Mary’s been missing.



It’s definitely been the “summer of the pickle” in the Delish kitchen. All season long, we’ve served up recipes incorporating crunchy dills in every way possible, from pickle pasta saladto bacon pickle fries, and though the process has renewed our love of the zesty snack, we’ll admit to feeling a bit … pickled out. However, we recently came across a pickle product so different and delicious that we just can’t keep it to ourselves. My friends, pickle vodka is here.

Sparked by the popularity of mouth-puckering pickleback shots, one Washington distillery got inspired to create their own spin on the pickle + liquor combo. The experts at Blue Spirits Distilling hand-select pickles at their production facility on Lake Chelan to go into their potent, 120-proof, pickle-flavored vodka.

At Blue Spirits’ tasting room in Leavenworth — a cute, Bavarian-themed town 50 miles away —visitors get to taste the briny concoction, and they’re frequently shocked by how much they love it. Tastings allow visitors to choose three base liquors (the distillery makes other vodka flavors like cucumber and espresso, as well as gin, whisky, tequila and rum), which they sip straight, before the staff makes them creative mini cocktails using the spirits. According to one tester, drinking the liquor is like eating a fresh pickle. It’s smooth and has a salty flavor without being overpowering.

The pickle vodka makes a mean dirty pickle martini — perfect for those who loathe olives but still want to feel like Don Draper — and we have a hunch that it’d be insanely good in a pickle Bloody Mary. The distillery suggests adding a thimble’s amount (1/4 oz.) of the pickle vodka to the top of a cocktail made with unflavored vodka. Don’t forget — this stuff is strong, and a little bit provides more than enough of a fresh, salty kick. “The higher proof has a more enhanced flavor and aroma,” says Heidi Soehren, co-owner of Blue Spirits Distilling. “When applied as a topper to a cocktail, you get a delightful burst of flavor and scent at first taste.”

The pickle flavor shots are definitely a tasting room favorite — the Leavenworth distillery sells up to 600 of the cute, wax-topped 50ml bottles per month for $12.50 a pop. It’s popularity even inspired new concentrated flavors like lemon, almond-orange, ginger and lavender. For now, you’ll have to visit to bring some home — but pickle vodka is making its way around to several distributors in the U.S. and Canada, so expect to see it elsewhere once cocktail connoisseurs across the country catch on to the pickle trend. Until then, quiet your cravings with some pickleback Jell-O shots or gin & tonic pickles.

Introducing a new vodka made with pickles

This is a creative mixture between America’s favorite healthy snack and a favorite type of alcoholic drink.

By  –   Curated by Tiffany Bailey   –   Blasting News

Cocktails, Image Credit: bridgesward / Pixabay

Delish recently reported a new form of vodka that is made with picklesrecently launched by a distillery company. The September 7 article said that this new variety of #Vodka is loved by drinkers who described it “like eating a fresh pickle.”

The company behind the pickle vodka is #Blue Spirits Distilling, a company located in Leavenworth in the state of Washington. Their new vodka concoction is made with pickles taken from their production facility on Lake Chelan, Delish added.

The pickle vodka lets drinkers choose three base liquors that are taken straight and bottoms up, before staff from the company mix some mini cocktails using the same variant.

The food and drink publication described the #Alcoholic Drink as salty “without being overpowering.”

Blue Spirits Distilling

This distillery company offers other flavors of their vodka aside from this favorite snack. According to their official website, they also have the same drink made with cucumbers, grapefruit, pepper, mango, and espresso.

The espresso version has blends of rich espresso coffee, chocolate, and fresh oranges. Meanwhile, the cucumber version contains six pieces of the vegetable in one bottle, the website added. The distillery company also gin, whiskey, tequila, rum and other cocktails.

Each of the pickle vodka 50mL bottles is selling at around $12.50, Delish noted. It said that this particular ingredient inspired other flavors to emerge such as almond-orange, lavender, ginger, and lemon.

The alcoholic drink is available in the United States and Canada market.

With a twist

Blue Spirit’s Distilling’s drink can also be customized depending on the taste preferences of the drinker. The food website suggested adding a small amount of the pickle alcohol with cocktails made with unflavored vodka. This concoction reportedly provides drinkers with a strong yet fresh and salty sensation, perfect for those who can handle this amount.

The company’s co-owner Heidi Soehren told Delish that when the pickle mix is applied to an unflavored cocktail, there is a “more enhanced flavor and aroma.” Moreover, drinkers can get an energetic boost of flavor and aroma as soon as they take the first sip.

Pickles are forms of cucumbers that take their name from being “pickled” in brine, vinegar or any other solution. They undergo a fermentation process for a certain period of time, either by putting the pickled cucumbers inside an acidic mixture or through a process known as “lacto-fermentation.”

Move Aside Mango Pickle, Time to Indulge in Meat (Non-Vegetarian) Pickles

By Plavaneeta Borah    –   NDTV

Undeniably, pickle or achaar is the most favorite condiment in Indian cuisine. There are so many different lip-smacking options to choose from that meal time in an Indian household is never dull or short on flavor. While there are many ingredients that go into the making of regional Indian pickles, mango pickle or Aam ka Achaar is most loved all across the sub-continent. But pickle making in India doesn’t just stop at fruits and veggies. The meat lovers too use this ancient technique to make irresistible non-vegetarian variants.

Travel to the Northeastern states of India, and you are bound to come across meat pickles in local homes, restaurants and even roadside eateries. Those glistening bottles of tempting flavors also preserve the love that go into their making, which is why the locals value them dearly. Be it the Khasi smoked pork pickle or Nagaland’s shredded beef pickle with king chilli flakes, they are an absolute treat for meat lovers. Then there are many variations too – pork pickle with bamboo shoot, beef pickle with bhoot jolokia, dried fish pickle with chillies, among other delicious options. Team them with rice, rotis or munch as snacks, they are instant flavor boosters.

In the South too, non-vegetarian pickles are highly sought after. The twin cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad are known for selling achaar with a distinct Andhra taste. From Mir Alam Mandi and Chowk near the historic Charminar to Nampally, one finds many shops selling achaar and other condiments. Gosht ka Achaar and Chicken Achaar made with regional ingredients like gongura, Guntar chilies and other flavorful spices are devouring.

Kerala’s love for meat is well known, be it fish, beef or mutton, and hence finding non-vegetarian pickles comes as no surprise. The Syrian Christians particularly prepare fish and beef pickles that are loaded with masalas. The Kodavas of Coorg and the Mangaloreans also prepare non-vegetarian pickles, pork and fish (Bombay Duck pickle) respectively.

Coming to Goa, the Catholics are famous for their pickles like Prawn Balchao, which is often relished with a plate of steamed rice and fish curry. The Parsis prepare a variety of fish pickles using different pickle bases. Rajasthan is also known for its various non-vegetarian dishes, which were originally prepared from gamy meat like wild boar or deer. Now, tender mutton is the preferred choice of meat, and as such it is also used to make pickles.

While vinegar is a common ingredient that goes into pickle making, some also like to use other variants like Kolah vinegar, toddy, barley water, and brine. Most of these pickles have a limited shelf-life as they are home-made. The smoked meat variants usually last longer as they are devoid of moisture. Hence they do not require excessive dousing of oil.

Pickle making is not tough although there are basic tricks you need to keep in mind to best preserve the ingredients. Remember moisture content can ruin the pickle, so ensure that the ingredients are dried properly before pickling if you want to preserve them for longer. Else, consume them within a few days.
Here’s an easy recipe for you to follow – Gosht ka Achaar.
Along coastal Tamil Nadu, particularly Pondicherry, you can relish a delicious prawn pickle called Erral Urukaiy and Upakandam, preserved meat with salt, chili and turmeric. The Chettiar community, from Chettinad, is also known for making meat pickles using spices like star anise, pepper, kalpasi (stone flower) and maratti mokku (dried flower pods).



The Streets of Houston – Photo by Chad Carey

As communities across Texas are facing Hurricane Harvey, United Ways across the state are there to help their communities in their recovery. Local United Ways often coordinate a community’s response and make sure the most vulnerable have the help that they need. In addition, United Ways often invest in their community’s first responders so that they can act quickly when a storm arrives, or in other community partners who help individuals impacted with rebuilding their lives. United Ways and their partner agencies are a critical part of a community’s short and long-term recovery from a storm like Harvey.

In many communities, United Way also supports their local 2-1-1 as their community’s resource. If you or someone you know needs assistance, please call 2-1-1 or go to

Below are links to United Ways currently raising funds to aid the disaster recovery in their community. Thank you for your interest!


Donate here to help people in need in Victoria County recover from Hurricane Harvey. Contributions will be used by our partner agencies for disaster relief, emergency food and housing. Any contribution amount will help. Thank you!


Donate here to help Brazoria County residents to recover from the impacts of Hurricane Harvey. Contributions will be utilized by the Brazoria County Long-Term Recovery Committee (BCL-TRC) for disaster relief. Any contribution amount will help. United, we win as a community. Thank you!


United Way for Greater Houston has launched the United Way Relief Fund to help support their community in the aftermath of Harvey. The devastation will be great and their community will need incredible resources to recover.

United Way’s first priority will be safety, shelter and basic needs, like food. Once the community is stabilized, United Way will focus on long-term recovery efforts.

United Way of Greater Houston maintains a disaster reserve fund, which will be tapped for this storm, however because of the widespread devastation already seen, the needs of those impacted will far exceed existing resources.

Year-round, United Way invests in their community’s first responders, like the Red Cross and the Salvation Army, so they can respond quickly in times of disaster, as they are doing now. They will continue to support their efforts to provide immediate relief.

Nutrition: Pickled, fermented foods are great for gut health

By Brenda Schwerdt   –   Duluth News Tribune

a set of fermented food great for gut health – top view of glass bowls against grunge wood: cucumber pickles, coconut milk yogurt, kimchi, sauerkraut, red beets, apple cider vinegar
Pickled and fermented foods are great for gut health.

Fermented foods are a health trend now, as they should be. There are many documented benefits to items such as yogurt and kimchi, but what about pickled foods? Let’s examine what the culinary and nutritional differences are between fermented foods and pickled foods.

Both fermenting and pickling are ways to preserve food. There can be confusion about how the two are different because some fermented foods are pickled and some pickled foods are fermented.

To be pickled a food has been preserved in a salt solution or an acid such as vinegar. A fermented food is a food in which bacteria converts sugars into acid, carbon dioxide or alcohol. Some foods can be both pickled and fermented. Traditional sauerkraut and kimchi are examples of fermented pickles; sauerkraut and kimchi often start out with a base of cabbage and salt water, which is then allowed to ferment. Sourdough bread, yogurt and tempeh are all examples of fermented foods that are not pickled, but this will focus on fermented and pickled fruits and vegetables.

Foods can be pickled and then stopped from entering the fermentation phase. Most commercial brands of pickles and sauerkraut are pickled and then pasteurized. The pasteurization process kills any bacteria, so fermentation is unable to occur.

Pickled and fermented fruits and vegetables can provide an exciting variety of flavor and texture to meals. It is easy to quickly pickle any fruit or vegetable. To make quick pickles, bring a solution of water, vinegar, salt, sugar and/or spices to a boil and then pour the solution over the fruits and vegetables. The nutritional concern with pickles is the sodium content.

Sodium comes from the salt used in the pickling solution. One average size dill pickle spear contains only 4 calories but approximately 300 mg of sodium. To get the healthiest pickle possible select a pickle that is made with more vinegar and spices, and less salt and sugar.

Fermented foods contain bacteria or “live cultures” that promote a good gut microbiome. The field of studying our gut microbiome is a rapidly growing area of nutritional science. We are quickly learning more about the benefits of a healthy gut microbiome and do not know the full effects of having a well-balanced gut microbiome. We do know for sure that having healthy gut bacteria helps boost immunity and GI-related health issues. A healthy gut microbiome may also help with mental health, diabetes and weight management.

I often use a quick pickle technique for fruits and vegetables. Recently, my husband made pickled blueberries which were delicious. My go-to favorites are pickled radishes, onions and green onions, which I like to use as more like a relish on meats, pastas, salads and sandwiches. Experiment with different pickled foods, such as these pickled blueberries, to help add variety to meals.

Into the briny deep: fermented pickles

By JOHN I. CARNEY ~   –   Times-Gazette

My fermenting jar. At right is the hand-held pump which can be used to pump out the air at the beginning of the process, which helps guard against mold.
T-G Photo by John I. Carney

When I first took a taste of one of my fermented pickles last month, it was a major disappointment. It had an off taste — almost a carbonated, soda-water taste. Oh, well, I thought. Chalk it up to experience.

It turns out I hadn’t been patient enough. In the fridge, over time, the pickles got better and better, and one night last week, when I was looking for a snack and happened to reach into the pickle jar, I was surprised at how much better the pickles had gotten.

First, a word of explanation. Most of the pickles you’ve had in your life, homemade or storebought, have been infused pickles, made with vinegar. There’s nothing whatsoever wrong with infused pickles, and I’ve eaten more than my share. But there’s something special about fermented pickles, which are the original pickles.

Fermented pickles are not made with vinegar. They’re made by soaking vegetables in salt water until the vegetables naturally begin to ferment. This fermentation produces lactic acid, among other things, and this naturally-occurring lactic acid is what gives fermented pickles (or sauerkraut) their tanginess and alters their texture.

At some point, it was discovered that you could produce something similar to a fermented pickle by simply soaking cucumbers (or cabbage, or what have you) in a vinegar-based brine. Those are infused pickles. They’re much easier to make, because you don’t have to fuss over them like fermented pickles. Fermented pickles, after all, live right on the borderline. The salt water keeps them from rotting, while the “good” bacteria that cause fermentation are able to thrive in the salt water.

You can’t seal the pickles up tightly, because the fermentation process creates carbon dioxide, which could build up enough pressure to break the glass jars. And you can’t leave them completely open, either, because mold can form on the surface, where oxygen is present.

The traditional method of making fermented pickles was to use a crock (or a barrel, for larger batches!) with a heavy lid, perhaps combined with some sort of weight so that the pickles stay submerged in the brine. The top of the brine would occasionally have to be skimmed.

At some point, someone invented an “airlock” type lid which could be put on top of a Mason jar. It would let the carbon dioxide out without letting air in, dramatically decreasing the possibility of mold. But those airlocks weren’t easy to find, and they had a very high profile, sticking up several inches from the top of the jar.

I’d always wanted to make a crock of fermented dill pickles. But I never got around to it until, within the past few months, I started seeing ads for a new option — a low-profile lid with a valve to let carbon dioxide out. The lid fits a standard wide-mouth Mason jar, although you can also buy it with its own decorative jar, depending on where you look. Some vendors also sell the lid with a hand-held vacuum pump, which can be used to pump air out of the jar’s headspace when you first seal it up. That helps protect against the formation of mold on the surface of the brine.

Back in July, one of my T-G co-workers left a bounty of cucumbers in the break room, and many of them were the perfect size for dill pickles. I snatched up the smaller cucumbers and went online to order a fermenting lid and jar.

As I said, the fermentation process produces C02 gas. In fact, it’s possible for the brine or even the pickles themselves to take on a little carbonation, which may have been what I was tasting in that first pickle out of the jar. But just as your Coca-Cola eventually goes flat, the carbon dioxide from these pickles eventually dissipates.

I made the pickles with salt, water, fresh dill, dill seed, mustard seed, peppercorns and garlic. No vinegar is necessary because the tanginess comes from fermentation.

The jar is left at room temperature for 3-5 days to jump start the fermentation process — then it’s moved into the fridge. This differs from the directions I’d always seen for a crock, which were to stash it (start to finish) in a basement or the coolest possible area of your home. I don’t have a basement, or air conditioning, and so I was always worried that there wouldn’t be a cool enough place in my apartment.

I had underestimated the importance of letting the pickles continue to ferment over time in the fridge, which is why that first pickle wasn’t up to expectations.

The lid worked like a charm. In the early stages, you could occasionally see tiny little bubbles of carbon dioxide coming out through the valve. I had no problem with mold whatsoever.

Some health food types (and the makers of these new fermenting lids) claim that naturally-fermented veggies (unlike their infused cousins) contain active, probiotic bacteria which can have beneficial effects on your body. I can’t speak to that claim. But I do know there’s something unique and special about the flavor. If you’ve ever eaten a really good pickle at a delicatessen, it may well have been fermented.

The special lid and pump can be used for sauerkraut or other pickled vegetables, not just cucumbers.

I’m anxious to try another batch of pickles — and I’ll be a little more patient next time.

SIDE NOTE: Texas Tito’s pickles are fermented and shelf stable

WV Culinary Team: Pickling peppers, cucumbers and onions in the fridge

By Julie Robinson, WV Culinary Team   –   Charleston Gazette-Mail

JULIE ROBINSON | Courtesy photos
Homemade refrigerator-pickled banana peppers, dill spears, jalapeño slices and red onions add piquant flavor to many dishes, but they don’t require special equipment or long hours to produce.

My name isn’t Peter Piper, but I did pick a peck of peppers — so naturally, I pickled them.

The three little jalapeño pepper plants we added to our garden plot this spring turned out to be prolific producers. Our taste buds can only handle so much heat chopped into fresh salsa, so I looked for another use for them.

The peppers soon went the same way as our bumper crop of cucumbers, which reside in canning jars in the form of refrigerator dill pickle spears.

The process of refrigerating, rather than canning, cucumbers results in a more crisp pickle than I have tasted in the home-canned variety.

The heat required for canning softens the cucumbers, so pickles lack that classic Vlasic snap. Refrigerated pickles and peppers have a shorter shelf life than canned and sealed ones, but they are easier to make and require no special equipment.

The recipe I used said the pickles would be safe for consumption for up to one month, but we’ve eaten pickles much older than that without any repercussions.

Ingredients are important. Start with fresh, crisp and well-washed vegetables. Use vinegar with an acidity level of at least 5. The vinegar/water solution must contain at least 50 percent vinegar. Use canning, kosher or dairy salt, not iodized or table salt. Iodized and table salt contain an anticaking ingredient that can turn the brine cloudy.

Refrigerated pickled vegetables can be packed in any jar with a snug-fitting lid. No need to purchase canning jars and lids. Just pack the sliced vegetables tightly in the clean jars, pour the heated brine over them and allow to cool slightly. Screw on the lid and place in the refrigerator for at least 24 hours. Actual hands-on time is about half-an-hour per batch. That’s it.

Pleased with the results of the dill pickles and pickled jalapeños experiments, I decided to pickle banana peppers and red onions as well. About $3 worth of mild yellow, orange and red banana peppers from a local farmer yielded 1 quart and 1 pint of the peppers that are so good on pizzas, sandwiches and salads. Unless you like very hot peppers, be sure to buy the mild banana peppers. The included recipe has the option of adding strips of jalapeño or serrano peppers to add some zip to a jar of mild peppers.

Three medium red onions also produced 1 quart and 1 pint of bright pink pickled onions. The heated vinegar softens the onions and tames their harsh compounds, producing a tart topping for tacos, barbecue and burgers.

We’ll enjoy these pickled vegetables for months. As I placed the jars in the refrigerator, I fully understood a comment made by my mother, a longtime canner of vegetables from the family garden plot, that the reason she canned was the satisfaction of seeing the filled jars all lined up on a shelf. They are a pretty sight.

Julie Robinson is, among other things, a freelance writer who spent eight years writing features for the Charleston Gazette. She is also the executive director of the West Virginia Nursery & Landscape Association and owns a custom floral design business called Natural Elements. She and her husband Reed live in Charleston.

She can be reached by email at

Aramark’s New NFL Menus Give Hungry Fans Another Reason To Cheer This Football Season

Aramark Chefs Bring the Tailgate to the Stadium with Brunch-Themed Concessions Items and Other New Innovations for 2017-18 NFL Season



Aug 17, 2017, 08:00 ET

PHILADELPHIAAug. 17, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — When it comes to serving hungry NFL fans, there is no team better equipped than Aramark’s roster of culinary experts. Providing food and beverage service to more than six million football fans each year, at 10 NFL stadiums, Aramark (NYSE: ARMK) partners with more NFL teams and serves more football fans than any other hospitality company.

The Purple Grip, from U.S. Bank Stadium, in just one of the many new items Aramark is introducing at the ten stadiums it serves, for the start of the NFL season. (PRNewsfoto/Aramark)

With large crowds to feed, Aramark’s culinary team went to work in the off-season, to create a fresh lineup of new concessions items and stadium innovations for the ultimate taste bud touchdown fans are rooting for. Aramark’s culinary team examined the latest food trends and fan feedback to develop menus that cater directly to each stadium’s hungry fan base.

“Food plays a huge role in any stadium event, and is an integral part of what makes the stadium experience come to life,” said Carl Mittleman, President of Aramark’s Sports and Entertainment division. “This NFL season, we elevated stadium classics by listening to our fans and introducing new menu concepts we are proud to serve on game day.”

Aramark’s chefs tapped into the popularity of brunch and developed a menu that allows fans to enjoy brunch all game long. The #AllDayBrunchin menu features the classic tastes of everyone’s favorite weekend meal, all with the portability of a traditional stadium meal.

  • Arrowhead Biscuit (Arrowhead Stadium): Biscuit sandwich with hash brown patty, Canadian bacon, fried egg, bacon jam and cheese, topped with mini pancakes and bacon.
  • Breakfast Brat (FirstEnergy Stadium): Grilled bratwurst with sausage gravy, maple hot sauce, bacon crumbles and whipped butter, on a Belgian waffle.
  • Burger Benedict (M&T Bank Stadium): Ground bacon burger topped with a fried egg, ham, tomato, Monterey jack cheese and hollandaise spread, on a toasted English muffin.
  • Chicken Biscuit (NRG Stadium): Hand-battered, corn flakes crusted chicken breast topped with a creamy, white gravy, served open faced, on a homemade jalapeno, chive and cheddar cheese infused buttermilk biscuit.
  • Donut Burger (Raymond James Stadium): Fresh burger topped with a fried egg and crispy bacon, on a glazed donut.
  • French Toast & Sausage Sandwich (Solider Field): New England roll French toast with Big Fork maple bacon sausage, spiced apple compote, toasted pecans, sharp cheddar cheese and caramel-maple syrup.
  • Porkopolis Waffle (Paul Brown Stadium): Crispy pork tenderloin with smoky bacon, maple and yogurt sauce and baby kale, on a Belgium waffle.
  • Purple Grip (U.S. Bank Stadium): Ube Buttermilk Pancake, breakfast sausage link, bacon cream gravy, crispy tater tots and minced chives.
  • Slim Chicken (Lincoln Financial Field): Frosted Flakes crusted chicken breast topped with Cooper Sharp cheddar cheese and ghost chili honey glazed bacon, on a sliced apple fritter.
  • Steak-N-Eggs (Heinz Field): Cheesesteak with sharp provolone, arugula, fried egg and roasted garlic aioli, on a toasted bagel.


  • Cola Braised Short Rib Mac and Cheese (Arrowhead Stadium): Creamy three cheese Mac and Cheese topped with cola braised short rib and chives.
  • Leinies Dog or Brat (Soldier Field): Choice of hot dog or brat boiled in Leinenkugel’s new Anniversary Lager, grilled and served “Chicago style”, with chili and cheese, or with sautéed peppers and onions.
  • Loaded Potato Skin Burger (Arrowhead): Fried potato skins covered with cheese, bacon bits and sour cream and topped with burger, lettuce and tomato slice.
  • Pittsburgh Cheesesteak Burger (Heinz Field): Two beef patties with shaved sirloin steak, cheese and vinegar peppers.
  • Pittsburgh Pierogi (Heinz Field): Potato filled dough with choice of three topping options.
    • Mexican War Streets– Topped with green chicken chili, pinto beans, salsa Verde and cilantro crema.
    • Bloomfield– Topped with vodka Sauce, Spicy Italian sausage, mozzarella and parmesan.
    • Traditional– Topped with sauerkraut caramelized onions, sour cream and bacon.
  • Pork Belly Sandwich (Lincoln Financial Field): Apple cider braised pork belly, pub style beer cheese spread, wild arugula and ghost chili pepper honey on a seeded Amoroso’s roll.
  • Sonoran Foot Long Hot Dog (Paul Brown Stadium): Eisenberg all beef foot long hot dog topped with pinto beans, bacon crumbles, diced onion, diced tomato, diced jalapeno, mustard, mayo, salsa verde and ques fresco.
  • Taco Tots (Paul Brown Stadium): Tater tots loaded with queso blanco, chorizo crumbles, pico de gallo and jalapenos.


  • Vegan Banh Mi (Lincoln Financial Field): Crispy marinated tofu, Napa cabbage, jalapenos, cucumbers, carrots and Sriracha Vegenaise, in an almond flour wrap.
  • Vegan and Gluten Free Black Bean Taquitos with salsa and jalapenos (FirstEnergy Stadium).
  • Gluten Free Black Bean Taquitos with 4 Layer Dip of cheese, salsa, sour cream and jalapenos (FirstEnergy Stadium).
  • Veggie Burger with Mango Chutney (M&T Bank Stadium): Morningstar veggie burger with fresh jalapeno mango chutney on a bakery fresh roll.
  • Veggie Dog with Mango Chutney (M&T Bank Stadium): Field Roast’s vegetarian frankfurter with fresh jalapeno mango chutney.
  • Roasted Portobello Sandwich (M&T Bank Stadium): Roasted Portobello mushroom with wild arugula, oil cured tomato, fresh mozzarella, and balsamic dressing on a whole grain ciabatta roll.

Aramark is on the forefront of stadium innovation, with the launch of the following concepts, which are all the first of their kind in an NFL stadium.

  • Jane Dough (FirstEnergy Stadium): Gourmet edible, small batch cookie dough.
  • Shake Shack® (M&T Bank Stadium): The critically acclaimed modern day “roadside” burger stand will make its NFL debut at M&T Bank Stadium and will feature an assortment of Shake Shack classics, including the ShackBurger®, ‘Shroom Burger and Shack Stack®, among others.
  • Zoom Food (Arrowhead Stadium): The next step in the evolution of stadium food and beverage service, featuring customer-facing, self-ordering kiosks – improving guest experience and speed of transaction time.

In addition to these new menu items and concepts, Aramark partners with premier restaurateurs and top local and celebrity chefs, including seven James Beard Award winning chefs, who will be introducing new offerings at stadiums this season. Among Aramark’s culinary partners are Andrew ZimmernChris ShepherdDavid MortonGavin KaysenGrady SpearsJimmy Bannos Jr.Jonathon SawyerMarc VetriMichael SymonRocco WhalenRonnie Killen and several other celebrity chefs from across the country.

Aramark partners with 14 National Football League teams to provide food and beverage, retail and/or facilities services- Baltimore Ravens, Chicago Bears, Cincinnati Bengals, Cleveland Browns, Denver Broncos, Houston Texans, Kansas City Chiefs, Minnesota Vikings, New York Giants, New York Jets, Philadelphia Eagles, Pittsburgh Steelers, Seattle Seahawks and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Aramark will be the exclusive food and beverage and retail provider for Super Bowl LII at U.S. Bank Stadium.

Photos of Aramark’s new NFL menu items can be downloaded here.

About Aramark
Aramark (NYSE: ARMK) proudly serves Fortune 500 companies, world champion sports teams, state-of-the-art healthcare providers, the world’s leading educational institutions, iconic destinations and cultural attractions, and numerous municipalities in 19 countries around the world. Our 270,000 team members deliver experiences that enrich and nourish millions of lives every day through innovative services in food, facilities management and uniforms. We operate our business with social responsibility, focusing on initiatives that support our diverse workforce, advance consumer health and wellness, protect our environment, and strengthen our communities. Aramark is recognized as one of the World’s Most Admired Companies by FORTUNE, as well as an employer of choice by the Human Rights Campaign and DiversityInc. Learn more at or connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.


David Freireich


Erin Noss


SOURCE Aramark

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Get your tickets to Philadelphia’s first kosher barbecue event

Organizers of the event are (from left) Howard Elgart, Stuart Gordon, and Allan Horowitz.

HavaNaGrilla, Philly’s first kosher barbecue, will be held on the grounds of Temple Beth Hillel-Beth El Aug. 27 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. And you don’t have to be Jewish to come and have fun. It’s a carnival with wildly popular attractions for everyone – teens and toddlers, millennials, young and not so young.

Tickets and information go to Prices are $10 for a single ticket, $20 for a family. Free Parking is at the Kaiserman Jewish Community Center on City Line Avenue and Haverford Road. Shuttle busses will run between the JCC and Temple Beth Hillel Beth El.

You can stroll from booths featuring face painting, animal balloons, a Beer Garden featuring local brews, a professional golf pro, animal and zoo experiments for kids – and a Mechanical Bull. There’s more. How about the pickle eating contest limited to 20 participants? Sign up ahead of time online. Barrels of pickles have been donated by The Pickle Guys of New York’s Lower East Side. How many of Pickle Guys’ finest can you eat in 4 minutes? The pickles are so good, the company ships throughout New York. And for the whisky and bourbon buffs among us , nips of the best aged Scotch and Bourbon are available for tasting.

If you just want to wander and let the kids have their own fun, browse and buy from 30 vendors. Philadelphia and Canadian artists will have a wide selection of unique crafts for sale. The temple’s sisterhood booth will offer a limited number of aprons printed with recipes and signed by celebrity chef Alon Shaya, as well as bamboo cutting boards branded with the HavaNaGrilla logo.

Food celebrities from every aspect of the kosher food arena will be on hand to help. While 20 competing teams are preparing the brisket, chicken and ribs in expectation of winning the coveted Dr. Walter Hofman Cup, rousing rock and roll will be provided by four rabbi rock bands. Gabriel Boxer, the Kosher Guru, is the MC.

Celebrity chefs will judge the food bonanza; Steven Cook from Philly’s Zahav, a restaurant constantly winning rave reviews, Alon Shaya, chef owner of award winning Restaurant Shaya, New Orleans and Abe Fisher restaurant’s Executive Chef, Yehuda Sichel, who creates Jewish dishes inspired by the foods and flavors of the Diaspora.

Besides barbecue and smoked beef sausages there will be grilled Jersey corn, local fruits and for vegetarians, Nana’s Kitchen will offer Israeli salads and Texas vegetarian chili.

Some contestants like Jeff Klein, weren’t always barbecue enthusiasts. A “sort of retired” pharmacist, Jeff is no slouch when it comes to smoking meats and fish. He explains “thirty years ago I smoked the fish I caught at the shore – and it was good.” Word spread. Now he’s sought after to cater barbecue events in the New York area. But his priority is Jakes Kosher Smoked Meats. From a Philadelphia storefront, from Thursday till Friday afternoon, smoked brisket, ribs, chicken and duck are snapped up by a classy clientele. Ari White, the nationally famous Wandering Que, will be cooking up a storm with 70 briskets, dozens of turkey legs, lamb ribs and chicken. Philadelphia’s kosher personal chef, event caterer and cooking teacher, Chef Daniel Israel, creates mouthwatering dishes for his clients. He hates waste as in the appetizer he will be demonstrating. “I’ll show how to transform leftover challah into a delicious Middle Eastern appetizer, Babaganoush …and they’ll go home and make it.”

Included in the dozens of raffle prizes: a Green Egg ceramic smoker, valued at $1,200, golf lessons and membership to the Jewish Community Center.

Proceeds from HavaNaGrilla will benefit the Jewish Federation Mitzvah Food Bank and the Narberth Food Bank.