Monday, June 3, 2013

Slider Bar, 29th May

Slider bar is dead, long live Slider bar!

So, I follow Slider Bar on twitter and some time a couple of weeks back they tweeted that Lucky Chip's time there had but ten days to go. I thought it meant curtains for Slider Bar and quickly figured out when I could get down there for the first (and last) time.

And that was last Wednesday. Actually, I had rather misunderstood the tweet. Lucky Chip will no longer be at Slider Bar as of this week (presumably because they've got Licky Chops at Climpson's Arch going on over the summer) but Slider Bar itself, at The Player, still exista, and with the same chef. Presumably, the burger names associated with Lucky Chip, such as the El Chappo won't continue but otherwise it doesn't sound like there will be too much of a change. 

However, I knew of it because Lucky Chip were there and I am glad I visited it in its Lucky Chip guise, even though there were a few disappointments. (If you remember my visit to Lucky Chip in Netil Market, you'll recall that I was subjected to disappointment then as well. My record with them is not good.)

Thing is, I'm not really a burger eater. So when I first wanted to go to Slider Bar, it was to see what they could do with other things you put between two buns. I knew they had a chicken version, and a pulled pork version. But neither of these things were on the menu when I went. In fact, the whole menu looked quite different to the one I had been salivating over online. No mac n cheese with truffle, or chicken bucket for two, or pork tacos for starters. Luckily, I had already decided that I ought to for once try a whole burger (and what better place to start than a mini version) but it was still disappointing that those things weren't available. I wasn't too hot on the type of fish they had for their fish burger so I had to have the completely veggie burger, which sounded more interesting anyway. And the Royale with Cheese.

Stephen had the Royale with Cheese and the El Chappo. The two sliders come with fries and a pot of aioli to dip them in, for £10. 

We also ordered one of their alcoholic floats to drink to complete the 'diner-junk-food' feel but they didn't have any ice cream! So that was really rather disappointing. Stephen very quickly ordered the mint julep instead which surprised me considering the price was so steep. Quick to follow his lead, I had the rye and rosemary julep. It was only when the bill came that I discovered he hadn't realised the price. At £10 a cocktail they are indeed quite pricey but they're also pretty strong (as our lovely waitress had warned us). Not too strong for my alcoholic tastebuds but they do have a triple measure in them which is only just offset by the other flavours. Drinkable, but only if you like the taste of alcohol to begin with. Which I do.

Our sliders arrived shortly after. They're small but bigger than they look once you've eaten them. The portion of fries I think are a good size and were fantastic specimens of fries - nice and crunchy, nice and salty, bit of fluff in the middle, and that aoili was bloody delicious. All I could really taste when I left there was garlic. Not complaining.

So, I took a bite of my hamburger. And it was pretty good (bear in mind I have no real frame of reference). Then I took a bite of my veggie burger. I had some trepidation in ordering this as it was a potato and onion cake and I thought that might be too stodgy between bread. But it was delicious! It out-delicioused my hamburger I have to say. So I saved that to last and finished my Royale. I quite liked the texture of this burger - it felt meaty and not like the graininess I associate with mincemeat. The bacon and cheese covered most of the burger so you got a bit with each bite. My only criticism would be that the bun was a bit soggy towards the end. I would say I enjoyed it but it has not yet converted me to a hamburgervore. Then I finished my veggie burger which had come with ginger and garlic mayo, and sat on a single piece of greenery, possibly spinach. Lovely! I'd definitely eat that again.

I think my photography might be getting worse...
Stephen proclaimed both his burgers excellent and as good as the full sized one he'd had at Lucky Chip many moons ago. His one criticism was that his El Chappo, which was topped with jalapenos and blue cheese sauce was a little light on the tang of blue cheese. Well, actually he had another criticism - that he could easily have polished off another slider or two but that should probably be considered praise.

As I expected the ice cream slider was also not on the menu, so I guess I can't count that as a disappointment when I was pretty certain it wouldn't be, but I had held out a hope that for their last week they'd bring it back. Ah well. Perhaps whoever takes over after would like to reinstate it, or Lucky Chip will bring it to the Sebright.

I'd never been to the The Player before and thought it was quite a cool little drinking lounge. It made me feel like I was in the 70s with its brown banquettes and retro TV screens. I'd happily go back for a casual cocktail or two after work.

So, I don't think my meal at Slider Bar is going to make it into my Top Ten of the year, and knowing what I know now, my life probably wouldn't have felt unfulfilled without going. (Unlike with Rita's, which after having eaten there, I kicked myself for not having gone before.) But for a quick burger fix, yeah, it works. No queue and a good deal more relaxed and enjoyably laid back than MeatLiquor

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