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Chef Dave Santos’s Nashville Hot Chicken Pop-Up
Nov 10th, 2015 by donuts4dinner

Chef Dave Santos may be a free agent since closing his West Village restaurant, Louro, this summer, but he’s not taking any time off. I was lucky enough to get a reservation at his Nashville hot chicken pop-up in the Manhattan location of Bark Hot Dogs last week, where he was serving whole fried chickens using his special recipe that even the Tennesseeans in the room said was better than what they’ve had back home. My friends and I got two whole chickens with pickles, cole slaw, baked beans, and potato salad, but we also couldn’t resist Dave’s fried chicken sandwiches and Bark’s super cheap pitchers of beer. The people around us who hadn’t reserved the whole chickens were oohing and ahhing over our tray of crispy battered thighs and drumsticks, and some of them even asked to take pictures. The only complaint I heard is that this was only a pop-up and we can’t have Dave’s hot chicken every day.

Dave Santos Nashville Hot Chicken Pop-Up at Bark Hot Dogs

Dave Santos Nashville Hot Chicken Pop-Up at Bark Hot Dogs

Dave Santos Nashville Hot Chicken Pop-Up at Bark Hot Dogs

Dave Santos Nashville Hot Chicken Pop-Up at Bark Hot Dogs

Dave Santos Nashville Hot Chicken Pop-Up at Bark Hot Dogs
so crispy and glistening

Dave Santos Nashville Hot Chicken Pop-Up at Bark Hot Dogs

Dave Santos Nashville Hot Chicken Pop-Up at Bark Hot Dogs
a line back to the entrance of people waiting for hot chicken sandwiches

Dave Santos Nashville Hot Chicken Pop-Up at Bark Hot Dogs
so good we had to take some home to eat later!

Dave Santos Nashville Hot Chicken Pop-Up at Bark Hot Dogs

Char No. 4: American Southern Food and Whiskey in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn
Dec 19th, 2013 by donuts4dinner

I happen to live in the midst of all of the cutest parts of Brooklyn, so a night out to one of my favourite neighborhood restaurants usually involves passing four more that I want to try the next night. Char No. 4 is one of the places I’ve always noticed with its dark tones, ceiling full of lanterns, and bar bustling every night of the week. I remember looking at the Southern-inspired menu once and thinking it was too small, but when my friend Kim, her cousin, and I decided to go on a recent weekend, I realized that the menu’s actually too big, because I wanted every single thing on it.

Char No. 4, Brooklyn, NY
old fashioned (Very Old Barton Bourbon, bitters, sugar, orange, & cherry)

Char No. 4, Brooklyn, NY
Noreaster (ginger beer, lime, maple syrup)

Char No. 4, Brooklyn, NY
pork nuggets

Like chicken nuggets, only more flavorful. With spicy mayo.

Char No. 4, Brooklyn, NY
fried green tomatoes, shrimp remoulade

I didn’t try this because I’m still anti-tomato after all this time, but my dinner companions were surprised and pleased by the shrimp flavor.

Char No. 4, Brooklyn, NY
deviled eggs, smoked whitefish

As a land-animal-favoring person, I tend toward the bacon side of deviled eggs, but the whitefish was a great addition to these. It was like tuna salad and egg salad in one.

Char No. 4, Brooklyn, NY
lamb pastrami, coriander aioli, pickled onions, & grilled rye

Having recently had a really excellent lamb pastrami, the kind that’ll stick in my memory for quite a while, I was interested to see if Char No. 4’s version could compare. Resto‘s was just a big wallop of pastrami flavor, while this one was more subtle as part of a more composed dish meant to highlight several flavors. I like to be hit in the stomach by my food, so the Resto version will stay at the top of my list, but the aioli and onions from this version made it a real contender.

Char No. 4, Brooklyn, NY
brisket, fingerling potatoes, kale salad

Char No. 4, Brooklyn, NY
shrimp & grits, bacon braised collard greens, & cilantro

Char No. 4, Brooklyn, NY
Char No. 4 Cheeseburger, Cabot clothbound cheddar, charred red onion, Dijon mayo, & fries

I was in the mood for a burger that night, and this one hit every spot for me. It wasn’t breaking any of the rules and it wasn’t trying anything fancy, but it was cooked right and made the bun soggy with its juices. I’d go back for it.

Rating One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarBlank Star

Char No. 4, Brooklyn, NY

Char No. 4 is just the sort of neighborhood restaurant you become a regular at when you’re childless and dual-incomed in the swanky parts of Brooklyn. Our server was hip but very friendly, and you can’t beat the deep, comfortable booths with their low lighting and dark woods for a date night. The whiskey and whisky menus are extensive, the cocktails are expensive but composed and strong, and the food is solid enough that you want to eat it again but pricey enough ($25 for brisket is more than I’ve ever paid in Manhattan) that you’d have to sacrifice a week’s worth of diapers for it.

Char No. 4
196 Smith Street
Brooklyn, NY 11201 (map)

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