Hammonton Pickle Express now open
Hammonton Pickle Express, the town’s newest specialty eatery, is now open for business.
Hammonton Pickle Express, which held its grand opening from May 28 through May 30, is the brainchild of Gabriella Mannino Tomasello—the owner of Mannino’s Cannoli Express—and her husband, Albert.
“We are expanding our business to offer something savory now, aside from cannolis,” Tomasello said.
Tomasello said that the idea first began in January of this year when she made a diet change “to go all keto.”
“I was eating my sandwiches on a pepper, a lettuce wrap or a pickle. My husband, who is in construction, started doing the same thing, because his bread would get soggy by the time he ate lunch. We had the opportunity to find a wonderful place in downtown Hammonton that was up for rent, and we were able to take it,” Tomasello said.
Tomasello said that Hammonton Pickle Express is proud to offer gluten-free and keto-friendly options.
“I think it’s something that is different for our town. We’re offering a dietary option to our friends who have celiac disease, or our friends who are on special diets. We wanted to give an option that was different from the other restaurants here in town. I know you can get sandwiches without bread, but what’s better than pickles?” Tomasello said.
The base of the sandwiches, Tomasello said, utilize an organic kosher dill.
“It’s a little crunchier. It keeps it full of flavor, and you can taste the flavor of the sandwich without being overpowered by the sourness or the sweetness of a sweet pickle or a really, really sour dill. We’re getting them in from a supplier out of Pennsylvania. It’s an organic cucumber farm, so we’ll be using their pickles exclusively,” Tomasello said.
Tomasello said that they also offer pickle roll-ups.
If you don’t like a pickle sandwich, and it’s too thick for you, we have the option to do roll-ups as well. We slice the pickle on a slicer, then it gets rolled up like sushi, so you can get your meat in there, you can top it with tuna, we’re going to have chicken salad, egg salad and all your meats,” Tomasello said.
Also, Hammonton Pickle Express has a signature sandwich.
“It’s called The Hammontonian, which includes fresh mozzarella, prosciutto, roast peppers, basil and a blueberry balsamic glaze,” Tomasello said.
In addition to sandwiches, Hammonton Pickle Express will be offering a variety of pickle options.
“We’re going to have homemade salads. We’re going to offer a pickle bar with different styles of pickles. We’re going to have pickle spears. Anything pickle, you name it, we’re going to have it,” Tomasello said, noting that they will also offer olives, stuffed long hots and lettuce wraps.
Tomasello said that Hammonton Pickle Express will be using both premade pickles, as well as those they pickle themselves.
“We’re going to bring in some pickles already done for certain items—like the spears-to go, we’ll be bringing the spears in—but for all of our sandwiches, we’re bringing in all the cucumbers and brining them ourselves. We’re excited,” Tomasello said.
Tomasello said that Hammonton Pickle Express is to-go only for the foreseeable future.
“We’re not doing any dine-ins; we don’t have the room for it. We will have tables set up outside, and the town is offering us allowance to do a parklet out front as well, so that’s in the works. We’re going to be getting a new awning so it’s raised a little bit for more of a shaded area for friends to enjoy their pickle sandwiches outside,” Tomasello said.
Tomasello, a 2011 graduate of Atlantic Cape Community College’s Academy of Culinary Arts, said that Hammonton Pickle Express, for her, is not only an opportunity to offer healthier choices to her customers but also a “nice little break from doing the sweet stuff all the time.”
“I’m very, very experienced in the kitchen as well. I’m just excited I get to play around, and I get to show my craft with something other than sweets ... I hope, in the long-term, everybody gives us a try, and they’re open to a sandwich that is not on bread. It’s a healthier option, not only for yourself but it opens your palate to other options,” Tomasello said.
Hammonton Pickle Express is located at 8 S. Second St. and is open Tuesdays to Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.