This review is limited to a burger personalized for me ("by Design" part of the name and I will also opine on what limited things I observed while waiting) using Slater's signature 50/50 patty. It is 1/2 ground beef and 1/2 ground bacon and I ordered the 1lb patty with swiss cheese, mayo, honey mustard and , why not, more bacon. I believe that bacon can bring cultures together. I think if Muslims could sit down with Jews and have a BLT every now and then, we could grow something out of that eventually. Full disclosure: I'm a simple meat and potatoes guy and I don't put much on my burger that isn't a condiment, cheese or more meat.
It's a busy Sunday night when I arrive at the Huntington Beach location so I forgo the dining room and opt for a takeout order. There is a small patio area surrounding the hostess station and after filling out my handy order card, a nice young lady, Sarah, took it to the kitchen and pronounced an approximate 20 minute wait. Understandable given the dining area and bar were full. It hummed and bustled and I mostly saw people enjoying what they were eating and drinking.
You may bring drinks into the patio/waiting area and the walls are high enough to deflect the breeze off an ocean that's less than a mile up the road. If I were with a friend or group, hanging out in the patio having one of the more than 50 beers on tap would be a fine distraction while waiting. As it was, I sat and fiddled with my smartphone and didn't notice until Sarah came and apologized for taking a little longer than she said. "No worries." says I, and returned to my intense Fruit Ninja session.
Sarah returned with the properly branded take-out bag and I tried not to speed the few miles home while wafting hints of the goodness enclosed began to fill the car. I'd seen the 50/50 burger on TV at the original Anaheim Hills location and salivated then. Finally, home and sitting down, I opened the container and it really should have had that dramatic-movie-colored-backlighting thing and theme music because it was beautiful. It was a pound of good looking meat, slathered in melted swiss and topped with thick, crispy bacon.
And it was enormous. My hands stretch, thumb to pinky fingertip, comfortably across 11 keys on a standard keyboard. By most standards, they're huge. The 1lb burger with only cheese and bacon was large in my hands. If I had added any of the other 30 toppings or 20 sauces to the beast, it would have been nigh unmanagable. And realize that I'm an extra-large human being and understand that if my mouth can't take a clean bite out of this thing with minimal toppings, you should maybe have a knife and fork handy if you put more than that on it.
The first bite elicited a primal grunt combined of "OMG/WTF did I just bite into?" Bacon often brings to mind greasy strips on a paper towel. So to bite into a burger half made of bacon without a trace of greasiness was confusing as it was awesome. The burger was cooked well done, as requested, but juicy all the way through to the halfway point where I surrendered and pushed it away. I could have probably powered through it but it wasn't a contest and I wanted to know what a leftover 50/50 burger tastes like. 4 hours later (you didn't really think it would last until morning did you?) The verdict? Damn near as good.
I removed the burger from the ciabatta bread bun, warmed it up for a little less than a minute and re-combined it and found the taste had survived the reheating. Who ever the genius that created the 50/50 burger is, I salute you. Slater's 50/50 - Burgers by Design has a wide enough variety of burgers (all-beef, fireburger, turkey, chicken breast, veggie as well as the 50/50) and toppings to satisfy the pickiest of diners. Also, in addition to the regular white and wheat bread buns, they offer ciabatta and lettuce wrap options.
The burger I ate from Slater's 50/5o was outstanding and I will return with friends to sample the bar and service and post that review when it happens. But I absolutely recommend to any carnivores out there that the signature 50/50 patty is worth your time and money. My burger at 1lb with 1 extra sauce and 1 topping was $15.45. But a 1/3 lb patty is $5 less so you're getting what you pay for. And I'll pay it again very soon. Insert Primal Grunt Here.