Saturday, September 22, 2012

A Snack at Talde & Dinner at Pork Slope

It is fall, dudes.

And this is a timely post from Spring paired with a post from Summer! (grin)

H&H, Jean and I are all fans of Top Chef, and our friendship over the year was reinforced through long conversations regarding our shared love for Dale Talde.

And so we bonded ourselves further together by checking out Dale's Brooklyn-based namesake restaurant specializing in Asian-American cuisine.

Because of our huge brunch at Shopsins hours earlier, we opted for a few shared plates, including a trio of Hawaiian bread buns - two with Filipino pork sausage and one of the crispy Long Island fluke.

The sausage was not memorable or interesting, but the fluke was clean and fresh.

The char siu smoked pork spare ribs were moderately tender; the sauce was sweet and fine. 

The most popular dish at Talde appears to be the crispy oyster and bacon pad thai, which at first glance seems to marry most of my savory loves in life.

However, the flavors and textures just didn't seem to work that well.  The entire dish, along with our general feeling of all the other dishes we sampled, was that everything suffered from far too much salt.

Multiple squeezes of lime could not curb the salt !
Harry is quite the gentleman.
Close up of the pad thai.  I just don't get the appeal of this dish unless you want to induce severe thirst.
We also ordered a side of the banana leaf sticky rice with Chinese bacon and scallions.  Not sure where the scallions went, but the rice was just another so-so dish addled with salt.  Sigh.

Needless to say, we were disappointed with the dishes we sampled here, after idolizing our Filipino chef for so long, but time heals all wounds, and fades found ourselves at another Dale restaurant in Park Slope this summer.

The place is punnily called Pork Slope.  Ugh, pig puns, my ultimate weakness.

The type of gent you can find at Pork Slope
Pork Slope was designed to be a casual spot where anyone can walk in with $20 bucks and easily satisfy both hunger and thirst off of the fairly priced food and drinks menu.  Most food items are under $12 and beers are about $5.

We sampled the burgers, based on Dale's rendition of a McDonald's hamburger.

Burgers are only cooked one way, and cannot be customized: meat, cheese, onions, sliced pickles, ketchup and mustard.  The burger faithfully tastes like a high-quality version of a McDonald's cheeseburger.  The beef patty has a nice crispy char, and the bun is soft and toasted.  All in all, fine for $6.

The fried chicken was our main draw for this spot, brined in buttermilk and hot sauce, fried once, and then dredged in more flour and spices (e.g., coriander, black pepper, paprika and cayenne) before being fried again to order.  Four pieces served to an order with a handful of sliced pickles.

Despite being dredged and fried twice, the batter of this chicken is relatively flat, with somewhat of a crunch, but lacking any crispiness that I typically love in fried chicken.

Also despite the potential layers of flavor from buttermilk brine, hot sauce and spices, the flesh of the actual chicken is quite bland, though adequately moist.  

The cornbread, served as a large slab, was moist, crumbly and good, but the creamy honey butter we had seen cited on other websites, was just a cup of melted butter in our basket.

And though I didn't try it, here's Heather's face at sampling Dale's chili.

Unfortunately, our second visit to Dale's restaurants was disappointing also.  If I had to eat something there again, it would be the burger, but it's nothing for which I would travel out of my way.

Han's Nonsensical Rating: If you're hypertensive, skip Talde, and if you want $6 McDonald's burgers, head to Pork Slope.  I wouldn't visit these restaurants again any time soon.

369 7th Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11215
Talde on Urbanspoon

247 5th Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11215
Pork Slope on Urbanspoon


  1. oh DEAR! that bad huh? it boggles my mind because he claims to "try everything" at both restaurants:

    sad to hear that Dale and his team are heavy handed with salt - one thing i find pretty unforgiveable in any cooking. *sigh* had such high hopes for pork slope.