Sandwiches in Review: Sliders Burgers and Belgian Fries

January 22, 2013

Sliders Burgers and Belgian Fries is recent addition to a strip mall just outside of Western Michigan University’s campus in Kalamazoo. It’s apparently the second store the company has opened, with the other also in a college town. Sliders is part of a growing trend of “classic” burger joints with a cleaner, healthier environment, like The Real Deal or Five Guys. What sets them apart, obviously, is their focus on smaller slider burgers. I posted some thoughts on the merit of sliders back in the stone age. Let’s see if my feelings toward them have changed!

What is the impossible secret of this rainbow of tiny cups of sauces? Read on, true believer!!

What is the impossible secret of this rainbow of tiny cups of sauces? Read on, true believer!!

The sliders here are actually larger than I expected. A slider combo comes with two of them, dressed with a selection of free toppings like lettuce, tomato, onions, pickles and Ketchup. Cheeses, bacon and Jalapenos can be added for an extra fee. I decided on pickles and caramelized onions, which came together pretty well. The sliders were well-made, generous in size for smaller sandwiches but not so large as to be filling by themselves.They were good, but a little monotonous.

Sliders also prides themselves on their Belgian Fries, a kind of double fried steak fries served with course-grain salt. I know that fries are a little outside this blog’s purview, but go with me on this. The fries themselves are fine, but the real draw is that Sliders has a wide selection of dipping sauces to try, with special rotating menus. This is literally the restaurant idea I came up with as a kid and have always dreamed of. I’d be mad that someone stole my dream, but realistically I was never going to do it, and at least now people can enjoy it. The sauces are great, especially a Rosemary Garlic sauce that tastes almost Middle Eastern and a sweet, spicy barbeque sauce reminiscent of McDonald’s BBQ sauce in the early 90’s. (I realize this last sentence is probably the most stupidly pretentious thing I’ve ever written, but I have very specific memories of what BBQ sauce tasted like a Mickey D’s when I was six.) Anyway, the point is that adding these sauces to the sliders really helps to set them apart and kick them up a notch. I’d highly recommend doing so.

I only had one other issue. It’s not the kind of thing I go into very often in these reviews, but I felt like the service was a little lackluster. It took about 12-15 minutes for me to receive my two small burgers and side order of fries. There were a couple other orders being made at the same time, but there were also four people in the kitchen. When my meal arrived, the employee didn’t apologize for the delay. I’m not one of those assholes who demands everything be perfect, but the problem is that I don’t think that 15 minutes is an excessively long wait there. That really throws a wrench in the kind of recommendation I can give a fast food restaurant.

Overall, Sliders was good, but not great. There were some definite highlights, and I’m planning on going back to see if my wait time was an isolated incident, but it’s not one I would put on my short list. Still, if you like sliders, or you want to see one of my childhood fantasies come to life, it’s worth checking out, at least once.

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