Fried Chicken ($14 half)
Order it by the half-chicken (that'd be one leg, thigh, wing, and breast) or a whole (two of each), with coleslaw or potato salad. "Fried chicken is in my blood," says Talde. "My mom loves fried chicken, and we weren't allowed to eat junk food growing up, but for some reason she didn't think that was junk… She was totally cool with it."
Talde brines the chicken in buttermilk and their house hot sauce (Frank's Red Hot plus sriracha) for 24 hours before it goes into a rice flour batter and fries at 250°F "until it's basically cooked, 90% of the way through." Then when it's ordered, it's dredged in rice flour, cayenne, black pepper, paprika, and coriander before it's fried again. "Coriander is that magic spice that makes KFC taste like it does," says Talde. "Seriously."
"It's also one of those things that no one ever wants to cook at home," says Massoni. "Your house smells like oil for days, you can't just do a few pieces… you gotta eat it when you're out."
"I want you to walk in with $20 in your pocket and walk out full and with a little buzz," says Bush, one of Pork Slope's three owners (and the ringleader of the bar side). "Or at least a really good buzz."
"We're not, like, a mixology bar, with obnoxious hipster douche bartenders twirling their mustaches."
"We love it when you get those taste memories right, like an ode to something you grew up with," says Massoni; "When you get that recognition but it tastes so much better." Talde intended his burger to recall McDonald's—in Massoni's words, "what the original Mr. McDonald would've wanted his burger to taste like."
"At first it was like, let's add chili, let's add bacon, but eventually I decided to tone it down, strip all that shit out." The result is what Talde calls his "griddle burger," 5 ounces of ground Angus chuck roll (75%-25% lean-to-fat ratio) shaped into a ball, smashed onto the plancha, and cooked there. A Martin's potato roll gets toasted "in the awesome burger grease" and it's topped with American cheese, ketchup, mustard, chopped onions, and pickles. "We wanted to do that thing where they assemble it for you. That's sort of the essence of the McDonald's burger, it tastes like everything at once." They will have options to load the burger up—"if you want brisket, we'll throw brisket on it, you want bacon, we can do bacon"—but the straight-up version is what they're recommending. "It's a cheap burger. I love a cheap burger."
Onion Strings ($4)
Onion strings are dredged in rice flour, black pepper, cayenne, and seasoned salt. "I wanted them to come in a huge pile in the basket. There's nothing worse than not getting enough fried stuff in a basket..."
Talde's BLT has thick-cut bacon, Kewpie mayo, diced tomato and shredded lettuce.
'Shrimp Po' Boy' ($12)
White bread toasted in black pepper butter (which is also a side dish served at Talde), spread with a mix of Kewpie mayo and Frank's Red Hot, and piled with fried shrimp. It's fully "dressed," in NOLA parlance, with lettuce, tomato, and pickles. "I like the kind of sandwich you really have to squish down before you eat," says Talde.
Surryano Ham (with biscuits or cornbread, $8)
Biscuits will be served, initially, with Edwards 'Surryano' ham; they may rotate through a few favorite ham producers. "All American, though, all Southern-style," says Talde. "We're American dudes."
Cheddar Chive Biscuits
The breads will be baked at Du Jour bakery, opening soon a few blocks down 5th Avenue by Vera Tong and TJ Obias; Tong worked with Dale at Buddakan, when she was the executive pastry chef.
"We're still figuring out, are we going to serve the ham with biscuits and cornbread, or just one, and is it honey butter or mustard…. we'll play around with it."
Cornbread and Honey Butter
Sweet, light cornbread, with super-soft salted honey butter. "It's kinda like icing on a cupcake," said Massoni as he slathered on a heaping knife-ful. "That's how much I end up putting on."
Tater Tots ($4)
A basket of tots (also on Talde's brunch menu).