When I asked chef Dale Talde last night what makes his newest venture, along with fellow Talde partners David Massoni and John Bush, unique from most other bars, he replied, "It's affordable, it's open late, open every day; it's the type of place where we want to hang out at. That was our goal from the beginning and I think we really acheived that." Can't say I disagree. This is a very solid place to hang out, and it officially opens for business on Saturday at 5 PM.
For all the "roadhouse" hype it was getting, Pork Slope is surprisingly no-frills and very New York: It's just an extra-long bar, a bunch of tables, a pool table and a dartboard. The room is long and dark and the walls are adorned with lots of pig-centric stuff, including giant framed photos of prize hogs and two large mounted boar heads.
The beer selection is top-notch, running the gamut from Belgians to high-end domestics to decidedly lower-end domestics. The food is what will really make this place stand out from the pack, though: while on the surface the offerings of classic bar food may appear to be nothing out of the ordinary (and could easily just be microwaved at other bars), they're prepared with the same care and eye for details that Talde's come to be known for at his eponymous restaurant on Seventh. Crunchy fried chicken and sriracha-kicked wings are joined by pulled pork and brisket sandwiches, burgers and hot dogs, and something called the porky melt. There's country ham on a biscuit and racks of St. Louis ribs. Want pulled pork, brisket, or bacon on top of anything? You got it. The prices are also very reasonable. For photos of the food, I'd recommend checking out this great writeup from Serious Eats.
At first glance, there aren't many similarities between Pork Slope and Talde. The food's different, atmosphere, decor. But the one feeling that pervades both of these establishments is the sense of fun. Pork Slope is a place to come with friends, grab a table, drink some cheap beer, eat some fried chicken, admire the taxidermy, and most of all, have a good time.
Pork Slope, 247 Fifth Avenue Brooklyn NY 11217. Opens Saturday at 5.