**WELL, THEY AREN'T EXACTLY CLOSING, BUT AFTER SOME HEALTH DEPT. ISSUES, THEY ARE RE-CONCEPTING AS IT WERE, INTO A SALAD SANDWICH PLACE. TOO BAD, I LIKED THE SLIDER CONCEPT***
Another Saturday night and, well, I got somebody and we be hungry. Me and the SO are meeting friends later for someone's birthday get together but we decided to grab a bite first. Since the meet up is in the Castro I think, hey why not hit up the new Slider Bar. Located in the old Bagdad Cafe space (and old Criolla Kitchen space) at 16th and Market, this is a second location from the owners of the original in Palo Alto.
It's a neat casual space with a row of televisions across the top of the wall behind the counter seating. Looks like a basic burger joint, which it kind of is, though they are sliders, a half size burger, and I have to size slightly larger than your average slider. They have a few soups and salads and chicken wings on the menu, but seriously we are here for the slider choices, of which there are quite a few. 16 to be exact and you can mix and match anywhere from 1 to 6 to try. First we started off with some sweet potato fries with some roasted garlic aioli.
These were good, though I wish they were served a little fresher out of the fryer. By the time we got them, they were warm and not hot and that had more to do with the spotty (more like flighty) service from our very socializing, talky waiter. None the less, they were tasty and well salted, which I like and the aioli added a nice garlicy tart contrast to the sweetness of the fries. This portion was more than enough to share with someone as they also have a family style basket which the table next to us got and it was HUGE, so be prepared if you get it. From there we moved on to the sliders. Below is a picture of what we got followed by the details.
Club Med: ground lamb, beef, garlic and ginger, crumbled feta, artichokes, tomato, pickled onions and garlic sauce on a multi-grain bun. It was like eating a gyro on a bun. Garlic was not overpowering, you could really taste the lamb and ginger. Flavorful, juicy and very hearty, I liked it.
Please & Q's: pulled pork, barbecue sauce, pickled onions, cole slaw on white bun. Of course I had to get the pulled pork, but that is just so I can save you the trouble and tell you to skip it. It's over sauced, too sweet, and the pork too stringy. There are better choices on the menu.
Swiss & Tell: standard mushroom and swiss grass-fed burger. It was juicy and well cooked and good, though nothing to make stand out as a great mushroom swiss burger, but not bad either. A good safe choice.
Magic Mushroom: balsamic marinated portobello mushroom, pickled onions (yes they are on almost everything) swiss, arugula, lemon mayo on a multi-grain bun. Surprisingly good. A nice earthy hearty taste to the mushroom and the lemon mayo adds a nice citrus background that doesn't overwhelm the slightly sweet balsamic. A good vegetarian choice.
California Roll: ground chicken and garlic patty, avocado, gem lettuce, tomato, chipotle sauce on a multi-grain bun. Yeah, the chicken patty wasn't dry but cooked perfectly and still juicy. The chipotle gives it a nice little kick at the end and the avocado (which I'm not necessarily into) gives a little creaminess texture. The SO really liked it and so did I.
Pickled Pink: ground shrimp, chili and ginger patty, pickled onions (again), cilantro and lime mayo, arugula on an artisan white bun. This was a shocker, it was really good, probably the best of the bunch. I expected some kind of crab cake like patty but it didn't have all that extra breading, just straight up ground shrimp, grilled and put on a bun. The cilantro and lime add nice sparks of flavor and this was just all around delicious, a real winner.
As I mentioned before the sliders are slightly larger than your average White Castle-ish slider and in all honestly, 2 with the fries would have been enough for me. So from the mouth of a big eater, keep that in mind when you go here.
Of course even though I was full I still needed to peruse the dessert menu and decided to try just the chocolate chip cookie.
Hmmm....they did serve it with a small glass of milk, but not two ways about it, this is a tiny cookie. It was served slightly warm but eh, it was kind of a below average cookie and no the milk didn't really add anything. At $1.50, I've had better cookies.
Overall for a neighborhood burger joint, I kind of liked the place. With so many slider choices you can pick and choose your way to a tasty pre-bar or after-bar snack, and a couple of them are even on the healthy side, so you can get those and not feel guilty. Unless of course you decide to eat the whole basket of family style fries, well, then, you are on your own.