We had a 7:30pm Saturday dinner reservation at Fatty ‘Cue, a time we would later realize was the New York equivalent of the Early Bird dinner hour. The restaurant was modestly busy; unedited classic hip-hop songs from the soundtrack of my college mixed-tape days resonated throughout the space augmenting - at least in my mind - the restaurant’s already hip milieu. But one does not come to Fatty 'Cue’s for the ambiance alone and the dishes, a Southeast and South Asian barbecue fusion, were spicy, strong and very flavorful.
The pork bao, a constant source of discussion and disagreement in the New York City food reviews, was more tangy barbecue than sweet in honor of its gogigui roots; and the bao itself was doughy and soft and was the best bao I had eaten in New York. The pork larb was spicy and more Korean flavored than Thai. The asparagus came with peanut sauce and bacon, an unexpected pairing which went well together, bacon being an antidote to any food ails. But the dish I still talk about, the one I still dream about, the one that might literally make my heart stop, was the 1/2 Pound Deep Fried Bacon: The bacon is smoked, braised and fried and served with a sweet salsa verde and several bao. The salsa verde cuts, quite perfectly, the richness of the pork. That dish left us making faces, the faces you make when can't believe you’ve just eaten something so good, and we bobbed our heads in agreement as A Tribe Called Quest carried us long into the early night.