Last night I ventured into Pork Slope, Top Chef Dale Talde’s new classic American restaurant on its opening night and found it to be fun, friendly and inexpensive. It’s so not kosher and it’s so not P.C. It’s actually a welcome—if bawdy and slightly unhealthy—change from the vegan/veggie/healthy/locavore sanctimony of many Park Slope restaurants.
Saturday night, opening night, was noisy and crowded and everyone was in a good mood. Strangers at the bar talked to each other: What do you think? Did you ever go to Aunt Susie’s? We’ve been waiting for this to open. Do you mind moving one seat so my husband, who’s waiting on line, can sit next to me?
A young woman even offered me tastes of her tater tots. Friendly!
Oh, and for the opening, you had to stand in line for twenty minutes or more to order your food.
But it was fun.
I think that was just an opening night thing. I’m guessing there will be waiter-service in the future. The man taking orders at the end of the bar was friendly and eager to explain the sandwiches like the Porky Melt, which is a pork patty with cheese on pumpernickle/rye bread.
Remember pumpernickle/rye bread?
While standing on line, the bartenders were friendly and helpful.
“Hey, can I get a drink for anyone standing on line,” I heard one of the bartenders say.
“I know you left an empty drink glass on the bar. You want something else?” a friendly bartender said to me.
“How much is a PBR,?” I asked a female bartender using the acronym for Pabst Blue Ribbon.
“Three dollars,” she said.
Pork Slope is the ideal place to order a PBR. They also have one hundred brands of whiskey and many, many brands of beer on tap. Last night they had a special on shots of Four Roses Whiskey. You get the picture. It’s the kind of place you want to order a whiskey.
After ordering,I got a number-stand and were told to sit anywhere and “the waiter will find you.”There wasn’t anywhere to sit so I sat at the bar. I only saw two other people in roughly my age bracket.
The guys standing behind me on line ordered a smorgasbord of things to share: fried chicken, ribs, potato salad, slaw, tater tots…The orders are very generous and sharing seems like the way to go. My brisket sandwich was, I tell no lie, big, flavorful and delicious. There were pickles in there and an incredibly savory sauce on the brisket. It’s not your Jewish grandmother’s brisket, something a little more tangy and southern.
I will, most definitely, order it again with a PBR.
The crowd was young. I saw a lot of semi-familiar twenty-year olds from Park Slope I used to see at PS 321,when they were in elementary school. Three guys behind me waited patiently and hungrily to order.
“Someone should tell them that we’re they’re ideal customer. We’re going to eat here, like, all the time.”
I’m sure that’s true. With six dollar cheese burgers, a ten dollar brisket sandwich, thirteen dollars for ribs, side orders for four dollars and nothing on the menu over fifteen dollars, this is a great place for cheap—and judging from the brisket sandwich I devoured and the tater tots I sampled—delicious cheap eats.
“We’re so glad that an affordable, regular kind of place went into this space,” a young woman who has lived in Park Slope for two years told me. “We’ll come here a lot.”
The walls are adorned with all kinds of kitsch related to pigs and Americana, including a stuffed boar’s head. Take that Park Slope. The tin ceiling that used to be Aunt Susies is now painted bright red. Large framed black and white photos give the space a lived in look. The place is a little bit of country, a little honky tonk and a fun place to be on Fifth Avenue.