- Anne Massoni
With a name like Pork Slope, it may seem a transgression to order anything off of the menu that didn’t formerly have a snout. After all, items like pulled pork sandwiches, country ham biscuits, ribs, hot dogs, and the house special porky melt (sausage patties, caramelized onions and melted cheese on marble rye) serve as edible mission statements for the swine-adulating roadhouse — perfect for pairing with beer and pool under the glassy-eyed gaze of the two taxidermied boar heads on the wall.
In chef Dale Talde’s hands, however, the seriously substantial shrimp po’boy is anything but a cop-out; a mere half-hearted gimme to the other-white-meat adverse. In fact, like most of his re-worked working class creations, it’s not only insanely delicious, but a gold standard of its kind.
Instead of the expected French bread (a sturdier, more reliable conveyance, perhaps, for the overstuffed innards of the average New Orleans sub), Talde substitutes two infinitely tastier slabs of his addictive black pepper butter toast. They give way almost instantly under the considerable weight of their contents, but no matter — the lights are dim enough that no one will notice the streams of zesty sriracha and lemon zest-spiked mayo dripping from your forearms and chin.
As for the crustaceans themselves, a generous hand betrays the approachable $12 price tag (we’d already eaten a good four or five escapees before we tackled the actual sandwich). Extra large and perfectly cooked, the freshwater flavors shine through the barely-there crackle of a rice flour and water crust. Shredded romaine lettuce, rounds of end-of-summer tomato, and thick-cut, half-sour pickle slices help complete the crunchy, creamy, sweet and spicy picture, adding a relief of virtuous vegetation to the otherwise unapologetically fat-soaked, deep-fried gut-bomb.
The promise of porcine pleasures may be Pork Slope’s primary calling card, but with wide-ranging options as tasty as that shrimp po’boy sandwich, they’re obviously not the only reason to come calling.
247 5th Avenue, (718) 768-PORK (7675)