Fabulous Frickle Brothers Reviews
Many thanks to our Frickle fans for spreading the word about the Fabulous Frickle Brothers!
Vendors without ribs prosper, provide options at Best in the West
September 1, 2012
It was a man in North Carolina who corrected Patrick Mace when he was in search of some fried pickle chips, telling him ‘frickles’ were common to most restaurants. Mace, then an employee of Lagunitas Brewery in Petaluma, Calif., had the “crazy idea” of selling the fried vegetable on the company’s menu.
Though Mace’s idea was denied by Lagunitas, he was undeterred to bring the bread-covered pickle to the West coast. Three years ago, Mace partnered with a retired baker and the two began concocting the recipe to what is now known as Fabulous Frickles.
“We just find that wherever people are drinking beer, they want some fried pickles,” Mace said. “We use a beer-battered breading with Lagunitas Ale in it and we use tempura rolled in Panko Japanese bread crumbs. Then we deep fry it in canola oil.”
Mace, and the Fabulous Frickles trailer, is back for his second Best in the West Nugget Rib Cook-Off this year, offering fried green tomatoes in addition to his frickles. His three- to four-person crew works directly from its mobile restaurant, a small eye-catching red trailer that draws as much curious attention as their food.
“We are a self-contained trailer, so this is basically a kitchen and we whip everything up ourselves. Sauces and everything are done right on site here,” Mace said. “When we go to festivals we always see everyone has a sausage guy, a barbecue guy and an ice cream guy. So to break into there, no one has a frickle guy. It is kind of a unique niche to get into these festivals. We are bringing something different to the table.”
Fabulous Frickles primarily tours music festivals in California where they have become an attractive, yet odd, alternative to traditional festival food. At the 2011 Best in the West, Mace said his success was “phenomenal” and he has spoken with people who dared to try his pickles and spread the word about them in 2012.
“You look at us and this is a pretty unique looking wagon. It stands out and looks kind of circus-y and we wanted that effect,” he said. “Even in the name “Fabulous Frickles” people want to go ‘what the heck is a frickle.’”
From fresh-sliced vegetables to homemade sauces, Mace said Fabulous Frickles is about daring to try something new. Calling it “a palette cleanser for the ribs,” he said this east-coast food will slowly make its way to the west.
“I remember the first time I tried it. It was kind of weird, but I think the expectation level is really low,” he said. “We like to see that look on people’s faces and that first reaction when they bite into one, because they don’t know what to expect and their faces are fun to watch.”
Fabulous Frickles was not the only non-rib vendor enticing visitors at the rib cook-off. Men Wielding Fire, a local barbecue restaurant, had several of their fire-roasted corn booths along the stretch of Victorian Avenue.
The fire-roasted corn has given visitors a break from ribs for about 10 years, according to Men Wielding Fire employee Emma Smith.
“We leave the corn in the husk and put it straight into the cooker, which has about five flames in it, and it rotates for about 30 minutes,” Smith said. “Then we put it in the cooler and let it steam for a little bit. Then take it out, shuck it, butter it and wrap it up.”
Smith said the restaurant offers a variety of seasonings and sauces to accompany its corn, the most popular being garlic and seasoning salts. Since working at the Best in the West, Smith said she has seen some guests take advantage of their 10 corn toppings.
“A lot of people like mayonnaise, cheese and hot sauce as a combo, and that is something I did not know until I started doing the rib cook-off,” she said.
Smith said Saturday and Sunday would be the busiest days of the event, where crowds throughout the day will resemble Thursday and Friday night crowds. Smith said crowds seem to be heavier than they have in past years at all times of the day.
The Jumbo Onion Rings booth, another ribless booth, offers zucchini, mushrooms, homemade Texas Taters, garlic fries and, of course, onion rings. Reed High graduate Sonya Arnett said employees arrive early each day prepare hand-dipped batter, wash and chop vegetables.
“Our best seller is usually our garlic fries, but the Texas Taters are a close second,” She said. “The favorite of the people in our booth is the fried zucchini.”
Arnett has been working at the Jumbo Onion Rings booth for eight years, saying that she enjoys coming back because it is a fun place to work. She said they have expanded from one booth to three throughout the years, and the owner employs college students, from schools such as Nevada, Gonzaga and Oregon State, to help pay for the students' tuition.
“Obviously there are a lot of options as far as ribs go, but I think it is nice to have a side option other than corn bread or potato salad,” she said.
SF Foodie - SF Weekly
Augut 11, 2012
The Best Things We're Eating and Drinking at Outside Lands
If there's one thing you should eat at Outside Lands when you're drunk, it's the pickle chips from the Fabulous Frickle Brothers. Resist the siren song of tater tots from Q Restaurant, which, though tempting and conveniently located near the main stage, were overseasoned and unremarkable -- instead, walk up the hill to McClaren Pass and you'll see the green Frickle Bros. cart on the right. You'll be rewarded with large, luscious coins of dill pickles; battered with a combo of tempura, panko, and Lagunitas ale; deep-fried them in canola oil; and serve with house-made ranch and other sauces. The breading is perfect: just light enough to not overpower the salty vegetable, but substantial enough to contain its warm succulence. We've heard the fried green tomatoes are good too. -Anna Roth
Yum Food & Drink Blog - SF Station
July 14, 2011
I love pickles. I even had my mom send me her secret recipe for homemade pickles. So when I heard about deep fried pickles, I didn’t know how to react. But that seems to be the usual reaction to frickles, according to The Fabulous Frickle Brothers co-founder Patrick Mace.
Patrick and business partner John Corazzini started their frickle business about a year ago and operate out of Angels’ Camp, CA. On a trip to Raleigh, NC, Patrick tried a fried pickle and “fell in love,” he says. “It sounds kinda weird, right? Expectations of eating one are low; no one expects [to like it.]” But the crunchy and salty combination of Kosher dills, a batter of tempura, panko and Lagunitas ale, and a deep fryer full of canola oil make for an awesome kick that is unlike anything else you’ll try at the myriad of food trucks cruising around San Francisco.
The frickle chips are served with a variety of dipping sauces. Patrick explains that the South uses heavier dips, many of them mayonnaise-based. But in California, people like lighter flavors, so when a saucier friend suggested trying yogurt for a base, the team knew they hit the jackpot. The Fabulous Frickle Brothers have eight sauces made with Straus yogurt, including the Cucaracha Sriracha and a curry dip. Usually they’ll showcase three or four at an event.
Patrick and John have teamed up with local farmers to get their homemade pickles, as well as heirloom green tomatoes, okra and apples for deep frying. The deep-fried apples, or frapples, are more of a dessert dish, Patrick explains. No word on whether the other dishes will soon be named framatoes and frokra.
“Absolutely amazing!,” was the unsolicited review by a Novato Farmers market staff member when asked about Frickles, the fried pickles that will make their Novato debut on Tuesdays.
Katy Chapman, of the Agricultural Institute of Marin, the organization that runs local farmers markets, said that if I wanted to get the scoop on this new vendor, I needed to call the Fabulous Frickle Brothers.
Patrick Mace and John Corazzini are unrelated but united in brotherhood over their love of the fried pickles, fried okra and fried green tomatoes, all of which they sell at markets and festivals out of their Frickle Wagon, emblazoned with the motto “Happy Pickles Fabulously Fried.”
Mace is the CFO — Chief Frickling Officer — of the company and has lived in Novato for 22 years. He worked in marketing for Lagunitas Brewing Company in Petaluma before he started the new business with Corazzini, a professional baker for more than 30 years who operates Pilgrim Kitchen in Belmont with his father. But as their alter-egos, the Fabulous Frickle Brothers boast of being the “World’s Greatest High Frying Act.”
According to their website, the Frickle Brothers story involves joining a circus, a pickle stem injury resulting from being shot from a cannon and advice from a palm reader to get out of town.
Mace was able to provide confirmation of only a few of the key facts. On a trip to North Carolina, Mace tried some Southern fried pickle chips. Mace knew that fried pickles were pretty common in the Southeast but it was a food revelation for a West Coast guy.
“Oh my gosh, these are delicious – was my first reaction,” Mace said. “I had a vision – people have to try these.”
But like most food visionaries, he decided to mess with the recipe. “In the South, they use cornmeal or cornflakes to bread the pickle chips, and they’re served with a dip made of sour cream and mayonaise.”
Mace said the Frickle Brothers use Lagunitas ale, panko and organic flour to make a light tempura batter and then fry with canola oil. Strauss Family Creamery organic yogurt is used to make an American ranch dip, sweet Asian plum dip or a spicy Thai dip with cilantro and mint that they call Cucaracha Sriracha.
The Fabulous Frickle Brothers have only had their act on the road for 11 months, according to Mace. For their Novato Farmers Market roll-out, they plan to try something new: a fresh market fry. “We’ll take whatever fresh vegetable is in season and frickle it,” Mace said.
It will be a surprise to see what is frickled, but don’t rule out fruit. According to their blog, frickled apple slices, called Frapples, taste like a Southern fried apple pie.
To get to the truth, some frickled products will just have to be taste-tested because when talking with the Fabulous Frickle Brothers it’s hard to know what is real and what is a circus spectacle.
“We’re selling fun, with a good product on the side,” Mace said.
Bite Club Eats - Press Democrat
July 28, 2010
Billing themselves at the World’s Greatest High Frying Act, pickle fryers Patrick Mace and John Corazzini (aka The Fabulous Frickle Brothers) were the talk of Petaluma’s Rivertown Revival last weekend. Inspired by fave Southern specialty, fried pickle chips, the two have put a decidedly West Coast spin on their batter-dipped dills using a combination of panko, tempura and Lagunitas ale at local events.
According to Mace, the chips were inspired by trips he made to North Carolina while working for Lagunitas. “,I ate fried pickles at different locations and was possessed in trying everyone’s interpretations. I told friends back home of this and they looked at me kinda weird,” he said.
Weird isn’t the half of it. Maces says people on the West Coast are sometimes a little afraid of the Frickles (a mashup of “fried” and “pickles”) but almost always come around. “I sample a lot at festivals. I would say 95% of the people love them. Most order a tray.”
The clincher? Send the chips for a dip into Straus-yogurt dips that come in delish flavors like plum curry, cucumber, garlic mint, honey mustard and blue cheese cayenne.
“I’m waiting on a Frickle movie or President Obama to start eating them like Reagan’s jelly beans,” Mace said.
Hungry? In addition to the pickles, the Bros. will also be serving fried green tomatoes off their Frickle wagon at upcoming festivals including the Petaluma Music Festival on August 7, the Cotati Accordian Festival on August 21-22 and on Sept. 11 a the Kendall Jackson Heirloom Tomato Festival.