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Talde
Cap'n Crunch and Bacon Pad Thai

New York

Transitioning from reality TV to actual reality can be tough, what with everyone thinking they know you, and Mark Wahlberg looking totally different than he did on Temptation Island and Antiques Roadshow. For tastes from a former Top Cheftestant that'll get your panties in a funky bunch, hit up Talde.

Touching down in Park Slope in cooperation with the team behind neighborhood fave Thistle Hill, Top Chef contender Dale Talde's namesake tavern reps his Asian roots with touches like mahogany wood carvings sourced from an upstate "Oriental study", which they pretty much have to do unless they want to be totally grounded.

The food's informed in equal parts by the chef's stints at Morimoto and Buddakan, his Filipino mother, and the very Western culture that apparently can't spell Philippines, starting with apps like shrimp toast with Chinese sausage gravy, Hawaiian bread buns filled w/ 'pino pork sausage or crispy Long Island fluke, and chive & pretzel pork dumplings.

Phurther phattening Americans are meat-tastic entrees of Korean fried chicken w/ spicy yogurt-kimchee; BBQ platters piled with brisket, pork shoulder, smoked bacon, shrimp, and black pepper-butter toast; and a Frank's-sauced Pad Thai that'll pad your midsection with its crispy oysters and bacon.

Capping it off, dessert veers into deliciously strange territory, from potato chip-crusted cookies w/ caramel ganache, to a shaved ice sundae topped with Cap'n Crunch, normally only a reality for people who find it tough to transition anywhere.

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1. Talde 369 7th Ave, New York, NY 11215

Talde showcases eponymous owner and chef Dale Talde's (of Top Chef fame) BBQ prowess in dishes like BBQ platters piled with brisket, pork shoulder, smoked bacon, shrimp, and black pepper-butter toast. Desserts swing weirdly awesome, from potato chip-crusted cookies with caramel ganache to a shaved ice sundae topped with Cap'n Crunch.

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