I must come clean before I write this review... I was completely ready to dislike Salt & Fat. I do not write about places I don't like and I was just about sure I would have nothing to say about it. I was in the mood for something salty and fatty while sipping on a fourth or fifth Guinness across the street, but it was just a guilty pleasure kind of meal.
They had me at "...popped in bacon fat," which their complimentary small bag of popcorn (above) is. It did a nice job of loosening my defenses so that I could enjoy the rest of the meal as much as possible.
The place itself is a weird little pocket to pop up in Sunnyside, a facade and menu that might feel more comfortable in Williamsburg or Greenpoint. The interiors seem more formal than the people and food, which is 100% casual. It has weird classical accents but for the most part is awkwardly minimal. I might be intimidated if the prices were higher.
It is pretty new, and obviously getting its traction, but most of the food we had was very good. The Hampshire pulled pork sliders ($9, below) do not disappoint, with juicy meat, a nice toasted bun, and a cucumber that somehow imposes its will on each bite.
Also served in a plate of three were the short rib buns ($8, below), which in my opinion were all about the apricot mustard. The meat and bread is good, but this apricot spread (not that mustard-y) was really perfect in there.
Lastly, we had the shining star of the meal, the fried chicken ($12, below), a healthy portion of pieces served with an herb ranch dipping sauce. Unfortunately the skin here has been removed, but the crispy exterior and marinade is so good it doesn't matter. It had a striking similarity to eating salt & pepper chips, if those tastes could be transfered to chicken. Even the thick white meat pieces stay very juicy, and there was not one bite that did not satisfy.
For dessert, we could not resist the lychee panna cotta and yuzu buttermilk sorbet ($6, below), which successfully caters to two desires of sweetness. I really loved the cold sorbet but also could not help going back to the creamy panna cotta. Interestingly, the two do not taste very good when eaten in the same bite, but no matter, they come plated as if to resist each other.
So Queens Boulevard now has a trendy go-to new American eatery to lean on. It's definitely better than it might sound on paper!
41-16 Queens Boulevard, Sunnyside NY