If you're visiting the area, you might be surprised that fried pickles are a thing. Well, we're here to tell you that they are very much a thing, and they're delicious. As a starter or a salty late-night snack, fried pickle chips are just what's missing in your life. They go great with dinners out or as an appetizer while you’re enjoying a cold one (or two) at the nearby Gulfport breweries.
Everything's Better Fried--Even Pickles
The fried pickle reportedly hails from the town of Atkins, Arkansas. Drive-in restaurant owner Bernell "Fatman" Austin put two and two together in 1963 when he fried up the goods from the Atkins Pickle Plant to serve in his restaurant. The town is, after all, the "Pickle Capital of the World."
The original recipe is still available at the annual Atkins Picklefest--but you don't need to go to Arkansas to taste a great fried pickle. The concept caught on, and these days fried pickles are a delicious treat on the menu of many eating emporiums.
There's a lot of variation in fried pickle preparation. The most common recipe has flat-sliced dill pickles fried in a catfish-style breading and served with ranch dressing as a dip. Some chefs like to use pickle wedges instead of flat chips, and French dressing, aioli, or remoulade are also popular alternatives for dipping. Like onion rings, the breading can vary from simple and thin, crunch with bread crumbs, or fluffy with beer.
Best Fried Pickles in Gulfport MS
While dining out in Gulfport, you're bound to find fried pickles in all sorts of places. Of course, every chef puts their own spin on this southern classic. Here are our top picks for the best ones in the area.
Shaggy's is our local beach bar. It's located right on Beach Boulevard near Gulfport Harbor. It's the place to feel the sand between your toes as you sip a frosty margarita or maybe a rum punch.
This beach bar is best known for its local seafood, like oysters and royal red shrimp. But their tacos and burgers are pretty good, too.
Their fried pickle chips are classically battered and fried and served with a side of ranch for dipping.
Captain Al's is known for their jaw-dropping spectacular Bloody Marys. Their waterfront location isn't where you'd expect it--it's on the north side of town on the bayou. A lot of folks like to arrive by boat, especially on the weekends.
But while it might not be on the beach, Captain Al's has a wonderful down-island vibe. The dock and "beach" area is perfect for hanging out with a cold drink and enjoying some great food. Their specialty is surf and turf, but they've got all sorts of other treats, too. Check their menu for nightly specials.
Their fried pickles come piled high, and they're the perfect starter for a plate of royal reds or their Seafood Supreme oysters, which come loaded with a crab, shrimp, and crawfish sauce.
Get Your Pickle Fix in Gulfport
Whether you're trying southern food for the first time, or you think nothing says comfort like a deep-fried pickle chip, grab a basket with your next meal. Once you find the best-fried pickles in Gulfport MS, maybe your family can settle this long-running debate. Ranch, remoulade, or ...?