A few weeks ago, I stopped into Cork Market to buy provisions for a good panini. While there, I was greeted by Sarah of Gordy’s Pickle Jar, offering free samples of some of her pickles.

We got to talking, and Sarah explained that they had recently won second prize at the International Pickle Festival, and that they made their pickles right off of U Street. Intrigued, I met up with them last night to talk food in DC, pickles and U Street.

Both Sarah and her business partner, Sheila, live in the U Street neighborhood. Sheila has worked at Marvin (and now Blackbyrd Warehouse) since it opened back in 2007. Blackbyrd is now featuring their relish in a few dishes.

They launched their pickle business at a friend’s wedding in October, giving out pickle jars as wedding favors. The pickles were such a hit they decided to start selling online, and in a few area stores (you can pick them up at Smucker’s Farms and Cork Market in the U Street corridor). Soon they began selling to a few restaurants: you can get their fried pickle chips at Science Club. They are also selling their brine to a lot of area bars for cocktails.

Gordy’s Pickle Jar is named after Sarah’s late father – an affectionate tribute to a pickle lover.

As spring comes along, expect to see Gordy’s at a few area farmer’s markets, as well as some more interesting pickles. While winter has limited them a little bit (they try their best to just use local produce) they are looking forward to experimenting more as more produce becomes in season. The next thing they are working on is pickled fruit, they are currently experimenting on a few recipes.

And, if you want to get really experimental – Peregrine will be featuring their brine in their February drink – appropriately named “Love Potion Number Brine.” Sarah and Sheila assured me that it tasted really good, and the savoriness of the espresso was really cut by the refreshing quality of the brine. Check it out!

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Progress on the storefront at Peregrine

My love for Peregrine Espresso is well known. When a friend who worked at the Eastern Market location moved away from the city, I was horribly sad. It did make up for it that not soon after Peregrine announced they were opening on 14th street between R and S. They’ve also been tweeting about their progress.  Looks like they’ll meet their Spring 2011 ETA.

Here’s the buzz about restaurants in the neighborhood:

  • Borderstan has the scoop on two new restaurants coming to 14th street: work has started on Standard (14/S) the burger joint opening in the former Garden District space. Also, a coming soon sign has been put up on the Peregrine spot (14/R).
  • Prince of Petworth posted this rumor (in capital letters, nothing is confirmed) that Cafe Nema and MoMo’s (13/U), who reside in the same converted rowhouse, might be closing Tuesday. He didn’t have any information about why or for what. So, take this scuttlebutt with a grain of salt. I certainly wouldn’t want to see these places close.
  • Tom Sietsema has the scoop on Jeff Black’s new restaurant, Pearl Dive, coming to 14/Corcoran. The spot will have a bocce court (new it thing?) and serve seafood stew, po boys, pasta, and fried chicken. ETA is Valentine’s Day 2011.
  • Justin Rude of the Going Out Gurus had nice things to say about the New Orleans-tinted Desperado’s (13/U). I have to go soon. It’s on the list!
  • 14thandYou talks about the possibility of the Saloon leaving its location at 12th and U because of disputes with the liquor licensing board.

courtesy of Damon Green, Flickr

I wished over a year ago that our neighborhood might get a Peregrine to open nearby. Now the wish has come true (I choose to believe it has something to do with the fact my birthday is this weekend). Peregrine will be opening in the former Flowers on 14th Street at 1718 14th street. They say it will be many months before they open.

This is great news, and I wish them all the best of luck!