Thursday, November 1, 2012

Slater's Bacon-tacular New Menu Items!

Slater's 50/50
8082 Adams Ave.
Huntington Beach, CA 92646

The transition from summer to fall is a busy time for restaurants. This is the period of time when restaurants are changing their menus. We have noticed this a lot lately with the amount of announcements and tastings we have been invited to. For the last month we have been invited to at least one restaurant a week to try new menu items. and some old favorites. Needless to say I was pretty excited when an invitation to Slater's 50/50 showed up in my inbox. Katie had to work, so I brought my good friend Rob with me to Slater's Huntington Beach location on a recent Wednesday afternoon.

Slater's has been making some noise lately. They are opening their Pasadena location next month, and have announced plans to open a South OC location in Lake Forest, in the old Hooters location right next to the 5 Freeway. That will be their fifth Southern California location, and there are rumors swirling that they will then try their hand at an out of state location. That's in the future though, and their new menu items are here today for us to try, so let's see what they have in store for us.

Slater's started us off with enough appetizers to call it a night, but of course there was more to come. Leading off the appetizer parade was the Beer Cheese Fries. These fries are layered with Slater's signature chili, a beer cheese sauce, pepper jack cheese and jalapenos. Kind of an updated take on Irish nachos. The chili was a little milder than I like, but the jalapenos remedied that situation quite nicely. With the two cheeses here, this did not lack in that department. Even with all the stuff on top of the fries, they remained crunchy throughout this appetizer, a major feat I would think.

I grouped all these next appetizers together because these can all be combined to create your perfect combo plate of appetizers, from a Pick 2 to a Pick 6, (sorry the Sweet Potato Fries and Beer Battered Onion Rings are not shown here). What is shown here are the Slater's Fries, which come with Slater's bacon ketchup. Yes, you read that right, bacon infused ketchup. I could taste the smokiness in the ketchup. Next up were my favorite appetizer of the night, the Beer Battered Jalapenos served with a cilantro-lime sour cream. These were addictive. I knew I would be eating a lot here, but I could not get away from these. Most of these were not crazy hot, but with the ones that were, I used the cooling sauce to slow down the burn.  Fried Dill Pickle Chips are not one of my favorite things, so I tried only two of these. Both Rob and I thought these tasted better with the Tapitio ranch, than with the mustard sauce these were served with. Not a new menu item, but another fan favorite, are the Fried Bacon Mac and Cheese Balls. These are perfectly fired on the outside, and the inside keeps the perfect mac and cheese texture. For an extra pop of flavor, not that these needed it with the cheese and bacon, these come with the Tapitio ranch that went so well with the fried pickles.

Salads at Slater's? Yes, I guess some people that come here might not be into burgers, (crazy people!). We got to try two samples of their new salads. The Top Ramen Salad really reminded me of my childhood. My Mom used to make a salad that was very similar to this one. Iceberg lettuce, napa cabbage and shaved carrots join crunchy ramen pieces and chicken breast, into a salad that features a ramen seasoned vinaigrette. This salad was a very simple salad, which was very light tasting. Kind of surprising from a place known for big flavors and shocking us. A salad that was more in the Slater's wheelhouse was the Bacon Cheeseburger Salad. This basically is a house salad with bacon bits, red onions, tomatoes, thousand island dressing, dill pickle chips and a ground beef patty covered with cheese placed on top of the salad. Another pretty simple salad, but I kind of liked this one. The warm patty contrasted with the colder greens well, and the bacon bits were real bacon, so that can never be a bad thing. If I had to have a salad here, this would probably be my choice.

Do you love Panda Express orange chicken? Have you ever wanted to make a sandwich out of it? Well if the answer to those questions are yes, you need to get to Slater's as soon as possible. Not the best picture of this sandwich, but the Orange Chicken Sandwich tasted just like a higher quality Panda Express orange chicken piece. The sauce was very sweet, but to counteract that they add a Sriracha mayo to give the sandwich a little bite. Add some coleslaw for texture and you have a very unique chicken sandwich that I am surprised no one else has ever thought to make before.

To be completely truthful to all the people that were at Slater's the other night, I did not try this World's Greatest Turkey Burger. I know it is topped with fresh Gouda cheese, red onions, pesto sauce, and a portobello mushroom, which all sound delicious, but I wanted to save room for the stuff that I know is really bad for me. I did hear that other people liked it, but I did not try it myself.

Now this is more like it! Luckily for my cholesterol count we were only given quarters of the burgers, although I did sneak an extra quarter of this one. The Frito's Crunch Burger had to come from a kitchen experiment where a hamburger was combined with a Frito Pie. This fantastic burger starts with a ground beef patty and is then topped with chili, cheddar cheese, a layer of Frito's, and thousand island dressing. Both Rob and I really enjoyed this creation. Wasn't crazy over the top, just a solid, good tasting burger.

Do you like bacon? I mean do you really like bacon? If yes, this is probably the burger for you. The B' B' B' Bacon Burger is every bacon lovers dream come true. Bacon is included in almost every layer of this. Starting with the signature 50 percent ground beef, 50 percent ground bacon patty, a bacon thousand island dressing, bacon American cheese, strips of thick cut bacon, a sunny side up egg, which is all situated on a bacon pretzel bun. Wow, our first bite of this set off a euphoric bacon experience like none other. This burger was awesome, but might be a bit much for some people, not me though.

My buddy Rob had never been to Slater's before, and while we were there he was looking over the menu. The burger that caught his eye the most was this Slater's Classic, the Peanut Butter and Jealousy. This burger meets PB&J sandwich starts with a ground beef patty, and is then topped with strips of bacon, peanut butter, and strawberry jelly. I know it sounds odd, but this burger really works. I have had some issues with getting the right ratio of peanut butter to jelly correct, but this burger is always a hit. Of course the whole wheat bun makes it healthy, right?

After the burgers, we also got to sample some of their new Mac N' Cheese creations. The one on top is the Baked Potato Mac N' Cheese. This one was made of mashed potatoes, sharp cheddar cheese, bacon, green onion, sour cream, and a Parmesan-panko crust. Basically anything you would want on your loaded baked potato. This one was good, but could not hold a candle to the Buffalo Chicken Mac N' Cheese. This is not your typical macaroni and cheese out of the blue box. Here the macaroni is paired with a three cheese Alfredo sauce, buffalo chicken pieces, chopped celery, blue cheese crumbles and a Cheez-its crust.I would have liked some Franks Hot Sauce or another buffalo sauce to go along with this, but it did have a good texture, and the Cheez-It crust was genius.

Food is not the only thing new at Slater's, they also now have Beer Cocktails. I tried two of these concoctions while we were here. The first one I had was called the Elementary School Teacher. I guess I now know what my teachers were drinking after school. Amaretto, apple and lemon juice, simple syrup and a pale ale made up this one. A little on the sweet side for me. I liked IPA Cocktail #2 a lot better. Here the IPA was mixed with amaretto and aperal, and topped with a fresh lemon. A lot less sweet than the other one I tried. It is not a new item, but we had to try the Bacon Mary. The bacon-centric cocktail uses Three Olives Bacon Infused Vodka, bloody mary mix, and just for good measure the rim of the glass is coated with bacon salt and garnished with a piece of bacon. Now you can drink your bacon for breakfast!

Dessert time at Slater's and you would not think they could use bacon in dessert, but you would be wrong. We tried the Maple Bacon Milkshake. This had a decent maple flavor, but the real bacon bits added a slight smokiness to this well made milkshake. Another favorite for us was the Chocolate Pop Rocks Shake. It has probably been about thirty years since I have had Pop Rocks, but I have never had them in ice cream. They still popped just like I remembered. A nice nostalgic trip back in time drinking this milkshake.

I really liked some of the new menu items on the Slater's menu. The Frito Burger, Orange Chicken Sandwich, and the Fried Jalapeno Rings were all hits in my opinion. For my friend Rob that had never been to Slater's before, this was a great introduction to this one of a kind restaurant. He really loved the over the top aspect of it. Claiming that he never eats like this, he came home happy, full, and with a vow to do an extra session at the gym the next day.

We really wanted to thank everyone at Slater's 50/50 for the chance to try all of this great food. We met Scott Slater, founder of Slater's, who was even gracious after I brought up the Chargers awful season up to this point. His Mother was also there, and shared some great childhood stories of Scott. Thanks also go out to Jody, the Manager of this Slater's location. Thanks for taking care of us so well Jody! Also, thanks to all the servers and staff that brought out the food for us, and made us feel so comfortable during our stay on this night. Lastly, a big thank you to Beth Chee, of Downing Street Public Relations for the invite to this great event. It is always great working with you Beth!

For more information on Slater's 50/50, click here:


  1. You know I have to comment....I tried the orange chicken burger when it was the botm....and I'm so glad they're making it a perm on the menu!!I so can't wait to get down there again to try some new always thanks fot this review...I always love your opinion...BTW my whole family are now El Farilito lovers!! Thanks Mike keep the post comming!!

  2. Just have to comment the actual bacon strips are pretty limp and if you think these bacon strips are thick you gotta be trippin. costco has maple bacon for sale that has to be the thickest, tastiest bacon I have ever had. sorry slaters after your bacon I'm having mine without. please get better bacon strips.

  3. Sam - Glad you guys love El Farolito. They now have an El Farolito Jr., which is on Harbor in Fullerton. I haven't been yet, but it is owned by the same family. We are making plans to go soon. Slater's just keep on cranking out burgers that I want to try. Not all winners, but most of them are. Thanks for the comment.

    Anonymous - Thanks for the heads up on the bacon at Slater's. I usually do not even order bacon here, because there is already bacon in the patty. I will have to try the maple bacon at Costco. So far the thickest bacon I have had is at Chili's in their big mouth burgers. That stuff is thick. Thanks for the comment and for reading the blog.

  4. While I'm glad to hear they're coming to Lake Forest, I'm sad to hear of that location in a failed shopping center that no one goes to. Ever business that's tried in there has failed. My prediction is that it closes in less than a year. They'd do much better on the Laguna Hills Mall side of the freeway or even up near Saddleback Church in the mall at Bake and Portola Pkway.

  5. Anonymous - I think they can make a go of this in this location. The Anaheim Hills location is tucked away in a heavy residential area, with no freeway access at all. The problem with the shopping center they are going to be in is that getting in and out of there is awful. They would do much better on the other side of the freeway, but I see this restaurant succeeding, just like their other locations. Thanks for the comment.