January 14, 2011

Sliders, Anyone?

I came across an article this morning about how sliders are becoming the new big (or small) taste sensation in New Orleans. I'll confess, I've never had a slider of any variety. I just don't get it. What's the point of eating multiple tiny burgers when you can get one adult-sized burger instead?

Maybe it's an issue of cleanliness. The slider fits into your mouth in one bite, so you don't have the grease slipping down your hand, the mayo dripping onto the front of your shirt, the pickle sliding around and threatening to drop. Then again, if you get a really good burger, the grease and the dripping could be considered a valuable part of the experience.

Maybe it's a "perfect bite" thing, shades of The Mirror has Two Faces. Everything you like in a burger condensed into a perfectly constructed bite. Pickle, mayo, lettuce, tomato, ground beef, and just the right amount of bun. Mmmm.

Is it just a fad? The next "new" thing. Something different. Admittedly, burgers have been around for a while. There's no doubt about it, some are better than others. But even with a really great burger, the format is somewhat predictable.

Or is it a question of variety? I'll confess that I'm frequently torn between two or more items on the menu when I eat out. Sometimes it's possible to negotiate a split with someone else, but the opportunity to get all the appealing taste sensations on one plate does have some appeal.

Maybe you can solve the mystery of the slider and explain its appeal to me. 

As sliders gain in popularity, they're also branching out. Cure offers a brioche slider featuring lump crabmeat and citrus aioli that sounds absolutely heavenly. Mondo doesn't call theirs "sliders," but their version is a Mexican pocket sandwich. Phil's Grill (three locations) offers three varieties, one made with Angus, one with alligator, and one with hot sausage. Since I love trying new and different things, I may have to try the gator slider one of these days. Stanley serves up a po'boy slider with cole slaw and remoulade.

The mouth-watering list goes on, and reading it is making my mouth water. Next time I'm in New Orleans, I may have to join the crowd and give sliders a chance.

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