The Cardinal

234 E. 4th St.
New York, NY 10009
Critics' Pick


  • Sun, Tue-Thu 6pm-11pm, Fr-Sat 6pm-12am, Sat-Sun 11am-4pm,
  • $$$
  • Takeout
  • Brunch, Dinner, Late Night, Lunch
  • Street Parking
  • Reservations Accepted
Though named for the state bird of North Carolina, a road-kill turkey is plastered on one wall, signaling the makeshift East Village décor of the place -- with an odd floor layout to match. The food remains true to the Tar Heel theme. Best of all is a smothered pork chop as thick as a Bible, studded with black peppercorns, and a pair of fried catfish filets that one diner will have trouble finishing. The barbecue is unexpectedly good. A platter allows you to pick three out of four choices (beef brisket, pork ribs, hot links, and pulled pork), and this place is certainly the best barbecue joint south of 23rd Street – and one where the sides don’t suck.

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    Wednesday, November 7, 2012 at 2 p.m. by Fork in the Road

    Last week, we did a lot of reporting on restaurants operating in the dark, doing whatever they could to provide light and food to those who needed it. We checked in on our review restaurants, both of which happened to be in blackout...

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  • The Cardinal: NYC Tar Heels Get Happy
    Wednesday, October 12, 2011 at 4 a.m. by Robert Sietsema

    You can't get porkier than the "smothered and fried pork chops" ($18) at the Cardinal, a new East Village café named for the state bird of North Carolina. A pair of substantial Heritage Pork beauties malinger in their crunchy...


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