The Pearl

Final Score: 83.00

The Pearl - Tampa FL - Fried Pickles
The Pearl - Tampa FL - Fried Pickles
The Pearl - Tampa FL - Fried Pickles

At the time of this review, an unrelated restaurant in Columbus, Ohio holds the #1 spot in the fried pickles rankings.  Many restaurants in Columbus serve them, but from what I’ve seen, the Midwest just does fried food better.  So what happens when a restaurant based in Columbus brings their fried pickles to Tampa Florida?  Does that Midwestern quality carry over?

I present The Pearl, a restaurant, tavern and oyster room  whose flagship location is in Columbus, but with a new location in Tampa.  And they serve fried pickles comparable to those I’ve had in the midwest.  They were presented in the form of wedges, not chips or spears.  This was ok because the amount of juice each packed was impressive.  They were also small enough to eat in one bite like a chip and the flavor was so vibrant.  I loved them.   They tasted more citrusy than usual?  Definitely a plus. The only critique would be that it could have had a bit more breading to give a nice crunch, but the flavor is ultimately what matters at the end of the day.  I’ll be going back.

This place is a must.

Blush Wine Room

Final Score: 80.00

Blush Wine Room - Krate - Wesley Chapel - Fried Pickles

Blush Wine Room is located in a shopping area called “Krate” in Wesley Chapel, Florida.  It’s like a bunch of shipping containers converted to restaurants in a giant parking lot.  Seeing fried pickles on the menu for Blush was a surprise.  I hadn’t planned on eating fried pickles there, in fact, I was going to eat them at another restaurant a couple Krates over.
But yet, as the #1 fried pickle reviewer in the world, it’s my duty to try them all.   And Blush blew me away.
These fried pickle chips were perfectly crunchy and juicy and so poppable.  Eating them all was an easy feat. And soon enough, all the space I had reserved for dinner was gone.  They also carried a perfect aesthetic, too perfect. Almost like frozen food?  Every chip was so identical and golden to one another.  It was quite sus.

But honestly, I’m rating the fried pickles as they are.  Doesn’t matter if they were from frozen or not (this is speculation).  They slapped and you should get them.


Blush Wine Room - Krate - Wesley Chapel - Fried Pickles
Blush Wine Room - Krate - Wesley Chapel - Fried Pickles

A Taste of Boston

Final Score: 48.75

Notes These pickle chips were solid. About as you would expect from a small waterfront shack mostly serving fried food. A perfect snack for the atmosphere. They had a decent crunch and were seasoned properly. However, there were multiple incidents where a pickle chip was actually 2-3 chips battered as one. This was a bit off-putting as the balance of pickle breading ratio was completely thrown off.

The location itself is phenomonal. It sits within Ballast Point Park in Tampa making it a nice hidden gem to explore. It provides a great view of the bay, Tampa skyline and has a nice picnic area to binge eat fried pickles and relax.

James Joyce Irish Pub

Final Score: 33.50

Fun place, but oh dear.  These fried pickles were saltier than the dead sea.  It felt almost like eating a table spoon of salt. It was really hard to continue eating them after the first few chips.  There is a possibility that someone screwed up and this was just a bad batch because I checked Google reviews when writing my own review and they are generally positive.  The rest of the food is good though, so I’ll most likely revisit this place in the future and see if this was just a one-off experience.

The Big Easy

Final Score: 51.25

These were the juiciest chips you can ever imagine, thick cut, typical dill pickle. Very good. But, the overall breading and structure didn’t hit the mark.
If you’ve never been to Ybor City, just know it’s a miniature New Orleans in Tampa with a ridiculous nightlife. Keeping with the New Orleans theme, the bartender I had said I needed to try the swamp sauce, apparently a New Orleans thing which fits the Ybor City vibe. And it was 100% the move, and I still don’t know what it is lol. Just remember that you need to ask for it.
The ranking system rarely awards points for sauces because this is a fried pickle review, not a sauce review.
You can check how scoring works from the menu bar. So only 1 additional point for the sauce. Nevertheless, all of the staff were really fun, atmosphere was great and you should definitely check them out.

Maloney’s Local Irish Pub

Final Score: 58.75

Notes Maloney’s Local Irish Pub is a great place to hangout in channelside, Tampa.  Service was quick, the outdoor seating was comfortable and I would recommend this place for everything aside from the fried pickles lol.  The fried pickles were over-breaded chips which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but the breading was not seasoned enough so it tasted very bland.  The pickle had some flavor, but the amount of breading overrided it.    As for the dip, they provided horseradish and ranch.  Two dips is quite uncommon, so good for them for having options.  Still had fun.