Pickles are homey, comforting, and super-popular in Portland these days, even though you'd think people would get tired of just running back and forth between two bases at some point. Covering all your brining bases: Moonbrine Pickles.
From a guy who started pickling in NY's East Village before rocking his wares in Boston and finally finding the puckering promised land of PDX, Moonbrine hawks a selection of seasonal pickled veggies from a corrugated subterranean-speakeasy cart tucked away in the basement of SE's Ford building, also what you have to do in The Oregon Trail: City Edition. Brine's non-pasteurized cucumber core comes in two distinct jarred varieties: a tart but seriously savory dill and a non-dill hot variety, both with a bit of lacto-fermented funkiness from a cloudy brine augmented with garlic, onion, and horseradish (for an old-school touch), plus three kinds of hot peppers (including crushed red Bhutans) to create a slow burn, which is infinitely more effective than adding Ray Liotta and LL Cool J. Beyond basics, Brine’s basement wares extend to quart-container awesomeness like whole pickled carrots that retain a lot of crunch and bit of sweetness to balance the savor, snappy NY deli-style half-sours with a subtle marinated quality, and a relish made from a blend of hot/ dill pickles and the onions/ garlic that shared the brine, which they claim's delicious when spread over fresh bread -- just when you thought it couldn't get any poorer than eating hot dogs!
Brine also sells hand-rolled Amish pretzels from Pennsylvania, and Boylan’s soda water to wash down seasonal delights that will soon include pickled green tomatoes, which really isn’t fair, when you consider Kathy Bates’ foot speed.