Park Slope's newest bar, Pork Slope, opened as expected on Saturday afternoon, and was packed to the gills within 20 minutes. The "roadhouse" is the brainchild of Talde co-owners David Massoni, bartender John Bush, and Chef Dale Talde, and it moved into the space last occupied by Aunt Suzie's Restaurant, on Fifth between Garfield and Carroll.
The 70-seat bar offers 24 beers on tap, and they're all available by the pint ($4-6) or pitcher ($12-20). There's also an emphasis on brown spirits, predominantly American whiskey, and there are a few wines on tap as well as a bunch of canned beer selling for $3 each (think Schaeffer, Modelo, and "Beast.") And don't forget about the $5 beer-and-a-shot special.
The food is the real claim to fame here, though: It's Dale's take on classic American bar fare, and is inexpensive and very impressive. Ribs, pulled pork, and brisket are slow-smoked, the wings are coated in rice flour before frying for an extra crunch, and the hot dog comes decked out Chicago-style. The ordering system may take a while to work out as the kitchen gets up to speed (you place your order in the back and then your food is delivered to your table), but don't go without trying at least one item on the menu.
Pork Slope's not an easy bar to pin down. Beer is cheap but it's not a dive bar. The food is great but it's not a gastropub. It's familiar yet completely unique. So I asked John Bush what he would call it. "It's a roadhouse," he reiterated. "I've driven cross-country a few times, and in the middle of nowhere you'd see a sign: 'Best Ribs in Texas, 20 miles.' Then 'Best Ribs in Texas, 5 miles.' And you'd turn in and it would be this little no-frills place, with great whiskey, cheap beer and some of the best food you've ever eaten. That's what we wanted to recreate here."
Owners David Massoni and John Bush
Pork Slope, 247 Fifth Avenue Brooklyn NY 11215. 718-768-7675. Open daily from 5-4, food served until 2. Cash only.