We got a tip that a new café across from the federal courthouse downtown was open, so we did some investigating and discovered the rumor to be true. The new place is called Federal’s Café (62 Pleasant St.), and the little eatery does breakfast and lunch and serves gourmet Italian coffee. We stopped in on a sunny day last week to check out the lunch options.
Before even entering the café, a sign out front listing specials caught our attention. Of the two options, the second one sounded mighty tasty – Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ Pulled Pork Sliders. It also said the sliders come with summer slaw and house potato chips, and that the pork was served on King’s Hawaiian rolls. There was not a word in the description we didn’t like, so we walked up to the counter and ordered some.
Once the food was brought out, the first thing we noticed was the quantity of sliders – three! More and more, it seems restaurants use the technical definition of plural to hide the fact that what they mean is just two (sliders, tacos, egg rolls – basically, if a menu puts an “s” at the end of the food item, assume they mean just two).
We first ate some of the chips – very crispy and a little burnt-tasting, which is a good thing. Then it was time for the main attraction(s).
These sliders were ridiculously good. First off, the pulled pork was very sweet and full of barbecue flavor, and it paired perfectly with those sweet rolls. The summer slaw was also excellent, providing some nice crunch without weighing the sliders down or making them soggy. Some onion in there also added a bit of spice.
In a rare Food Snob move, we’re going to declare these the best sliders in town.
There’s no telling when Federal’s might bring these back, but hopefully they see this review and make them staple menu items forever!