Sunday, October 9, 2011

Slider Bar...We're Back!

It all started with this beef rub.  Tyler and I went to the Incredible Food Show in Lexington this past Saturday, where we picked this rub up from one of the vendors.  We received it as a prize after correctly naming different cuts of meat (darn you brisket, I only ever see you cooked).  I also received a "I love beef" bumper sticker which is now lovingly attached to my fridge.  Let me rewind just a bit.  We found out about the Incredible Foods show the other night from a friend, and we watched the promo online and decided it would be a fun Saturday afternoon activity.  Basically I wanted to go because in the promo there were sliders being given out as samples, and I desperately wanted a slider.  Long story short, there were no sliders.  There was beer cheese, and salsa, and honey.  Every sauce known to man.  I did taste some tasty bbq, but alas, no slider as I had hoped.  Therefore, when I received this beef rub, I knew what I needed to do. 

We decided to create a slider bar, where we each make several different sliders and review them.  It is only right, after we have been gone for...months.  Sorry :)

Slider Bar

The Burger:
80:20 ground beef
Worcestershire sauce
Beef rub (seen above) 

The Toppings:
Onion straws
Feta cheese
Blue cheese
Provolone cheese
BBQ sauce
Pepper mayo
Hot sauce

The Bun:
King's Hawaiian honey wheat rolls

The Verdict

Tyler's Take:
1. Bacon, jalapenos, avocado, and provolone: 9 out of 10
2.  Bacon, BBQ sauce, and onion straws: 8.5 out of 10
3. Onion straws, avocado, and feta cheese: 5 out of 10
4. Bacon, onion straws, blue cheese, and hot sauce: 4.5 out of 10

I must give you all a disclaimer for this post.  I have unfortunately come down with a bit of a cold so my sense of taste is not as good as it usually is.  You always hear that eating utilizes many of your senses, taste and smell being what I think are the most important two, especially in regards to our blogging.  Having this darn cold is basically forcing me to mainly eat cardboard.  I will let you know though that between sniffles I was able to get a hint of everything that I ate tonight, thank goodness.

The contenders.

1. Bacon, jalapenos, avocado, and provolone

I'm going to go second grader all over this post and not delay any gratification for you since we have been AWOL for quite some time now.  This was surprisingly my favorite slider as you can see from my rating, which was 9 out of 10.  So, in order to try to make some amends with you I will start with this one.  The jalapeno and avocado really complimented the meat and the burger overall.  It brought two of my favorite flavors together in jalapenos and avocado and mixed very well with the bacon and provolone.  Coupled with the sweetness of the hawaiian roll this slider was very much top shelf.  I didn't think that this would be as good as it was but this is one I vote on making a full blog about.  

2. Bacon, BBQ sauce, and onion straws

This contender came in a pretty close second (8.5 out of 10) because you really can never go wrong with a western BBQ burger.  That concept just doesn't exist in the real world.  In fact, if you don't like this traditional pairing then you get out of 'Merica cause you are obviously not one of us.  If you don't like it then Team America will probably be visiting your neighborhood within the hour to demolish everything in site in order to bring you down.  However, I now finally digress and get back to the slider.  BBQ sauce compliments beef and pork so well in pretty much all regards so of course this trio just works.  Adding the crunch of the onion straws adds that always good extra somethin' somethin'.  The sweetness of the bun also worked well with the BBQ sauce and just made this burger a true award winner in my eyes.  I am absolutely sure we will add some components to this burger in the future and make something truly epic.

3. Onion straws, avocado, and feta cheese

This burger was truly lacking.  I figured that the feta cheese would add to the meat and make this one truly unique; however, I was let down on this one.  It was truly aberrant; it was away from my expectation.  I am trying to utilize big boy GRE words these days so I figured I would at least put one in here for the development of your lexicon (haha there's two!).  The girlfriend just said I was silly, this is so very true indeed.  I really don't have much to say on this one other than this though because I couldn't really taste it very well.  I got hints of avocado and feta cheese but it just didn't mesh very well.  My ingredient choice on this one shows you all why I am not the chef and I am here merely to rate and man the grill while drinking an ice cold beer.

4. Bacon, onion straws, blue cheese, and hot sauce

This one was truly the most disappointing because I thought it would be one of the top.  As you may or may not know, I love blue cheese and I love hot sauce.  This burger had all the components but fell so far short.  I realize that this was complete operator error and my eyes got a little too wide on the prospect of blue cheese.  I just added way too much and from the first bite I knew that I had completely gone array but it unfortunately was too late.  Coupled with my already challenged taste all I could really make out was the cheese.  Eating blue cheese is good but when you expect to taste a burger with blue cheese as only one of it's ingredients,  you feel let down.  Next time I do a hot sauce and blue cheese burger I will remember to use just a baby bit of blue cheese and add a lot more of the other toppings to make sure that we can taste everything.  

Overall the burgers were cooked phenomenally and really could not have come out better overall.  This slider bar idea was probably one of our best ones to date.  So many choices, so little space to fill.  Maybe one day we will try to do a full burger bar.  I promise that I will eat at least two during this crazy time, even if that causes me to get my stomach pumped.  Until next time readers, have a good one.

Courtney's Take:
1.  Blue cheese, hot sauce, lettuce:  4 out of 10
2.  Provolone, bacon, onion straws, BBQ sauce, jalapenos:  8 out of 10
3.  Feta, pepper mayo, bacon, avocado:  9.5 out of 10

Look at this plate of tastiness.  

1. Blue cheese, hot sauce, lettuce.

I only gave this one 4 out of 10.  The blue cheese and hot sauce combo is great for hot wings and chicken tenders, but it's not really working with the beef.  I couldn't taste the beef at all.  I also thought that the burger needed some crunch, perhaps my favorite burger ingredient (bacon, duh) would work perfectly here.  The sweet hawaiian roll didn't really work with the saltiness of this burger either.  I think this combo would be perfect in disguising a bland healthy tasting turkey burger, but it shall never go with beef again in my house.

2. Provolone, bacon, onion straws, BBQ sauce, jalapenos.

This burger got an 8 out of 10 from me.  Have you ever been to Cheddar's restaurant?  They have a smokehouse burger that tastes very similar, so if you're not into cooking, you can go to Cheddar's and say that you experienced our burger.  The tangy bbq sauce worked well with all the other ingredients; it really brought them all together into a cohesive burger.  We had fun making the onion straws as well.  We may or may not have fried the onion straws in leftover bacon grease...whoops.

3. Feta, pepper mayo, bacon, avocado.

This was my favorite slider, coming in at 9.5 out of 10.  I wish I had combined all of these ingredients before into a tasty sandwich.  I called this one "The Californian," probably because it has avocado on it.  I'm sure people in L.A. don't go around eating bacon.  It would go straight to their non-existent butts, and no one wants that.  But anyway, back to the burger.  The creamy avocado, salty crumbly feta, peppery mayo, and crispy bacon made for one delicious slider, and I was sad when it was finished.  I went back to the kitchen and ate another piece of avocado, but it just wasn't the same.  I need another one of these STAT!  


Thanks everyone for coming back and checking out our blog.  Hopefully our next post won't be 6 months from now.  I mean, I can't resist making burger for that long ever again.  I would go into burger withdrawal, and no one wants to see that.

The end.