The Dish List: Slater’s 50/50

Tommy Pham | New University

Tommy Pham | New University

The opening of the new Slater’s 50/50 restaurant in Lake Forest took place on Monday, Feb. 11. Having been to the Slater’s in Anaheim, I jumped at the chance to have one of their burgers again at this closer, more convenient location. I went to the grand opening for lunch and was reminded how delicious these burgers are.

The new Slater’s is located just south of Irvine Spectrum. Since it was opening day, there were many guests excited to see what this up-and-coming chain had to offer. Slater’s is a mixture of a bar and a restaurant, with over 100 beers on tap, more than 15 televisions placed around the bar and free Wi-Fi.

For those who are unaware, the name of the restaurant refers to the chain’s signature 50/50 patty: 50 percent ground beef and 50 percent ground bacon. As I mentioned, I’ve been to Slater’s before but never actually ordered the 50/50 patty. Slater’s has two different menus: one with various styles of burgers with the topping combinations already determined; the other with a “build your own burger” option where you choose the patty, size, bun, cheese, four toppings (with the option of premium toppings) and sauce. If you want more of any of the listed items, they are available at an additional cost.

Considering the occasion, I decided to order a two-third  lb. version of the 50/50 patty with vampire dip (a combination of garlic, cheese and artichoke), lettuce, jalapeños, roasted green chiles, grilled onions, Chipotle Adobo Mayo, all on a white brioche bun.

When the waiter placed the meal in front of me, I couldn’t wait to take a bite. The burger was juicy, yet had enough crisp and flavor from the bacon to make it interesting with every bite. The jalapeños and chiles added enough spice to be zesty but not overpowering. The vampire dip provided a unique flavor and texture that contributed to the total tastiness. I requested that the burger be cooked medium, yet due to the nature of the 50/50 patty, was a little pinker than medium. This was fine for me, but it is something that should be taken into consideration when ordering this titular patty. I was not able to finish my meal, so I was able to take it in a box and enjoy it as a midnight snack: the burger still tasted great even as leftovers.

Not counting the beef and bacon patty, Slater’s also has a variety of original options not found in most burger places. Previously, I had the fire beef patty, which is a spicy version of a regular beef patty. This was also good but can be overwhelming in terms of spiciness. They also offer peanut butter and strawberry jelly as premium toppings; a combination that is very unusual for a burger, yet is apparently popular among some fans. A fried chicken and pancakes entree also found its way on to the menu, which is most likely going to be one of my future orders.

Considering the opening day rush, the service was a bit disorganized and slow. I noticed many servers bumping into the bus boys and there were multiple times when my party was asked if a food item was ours when we had in fact not ordered it. This was a minor fault at most since I expect the future visits to be less crowded as opening day.

The food is also a little pricey, with the smallest burger (one-third lb.) costing about $9 plus tax. This is not including any fries, extra or premium toppings or drinks, so the bill adds up quickly. The food is delicious, but for money-conscious college students, it can be daunting.

For those who wish to take their food mobile, Slater’s does have the option of ordering your food to go. The wait is generally shorter than it would be inside and since it still tastes great as leftovers, there is no problem with eating the burgers at a later time. Even though it primarily features beef and bacon patties, Slater’s does offer chicken and turkey patties, as well as vegetarian options. Overall, the burger was great and I am looking forward to going back to try a different selection of toppings to widen my Slater’s experience.