Be Hungry. Be Very Hungry.

Slater's 50/50 lets you wallow in excess

Saturday, January 17, 2015 | 6:38 am

The Hawaiian Burger at Slater's 50/50.

Slater’s 50/50 is not for the weak or the timid. It’s not for foodies, either; it’s for eaties. The chain eatery has staked its claim on a devious idea called the “50/50″ burger patty. That’s 50 percent beef and 50 percent bacon.

It’s as evil and delicious as it sounds.

Slater’s offers a small list of house burgers, if you will, which range from the Old Timey (Closest thing to a traditional cheeseburger) to the Hawaiian Burger to the Frito Crunch. They also make something called an Excessstacy,”  a towering affair, with one of those 50/50 patties,  soaked in bone marrow butter, some white cheddar cheese, a whole bacon grilled cheese sandwich (!), a fried duck egg,  some “drunken onions” and house-made 1000 island aioli, all inside a brioche bun. Decadence writ large.

We didnt indulge in one of those this time, as we did last year. Last year we took most of that home, as delicious as it was.

But back to last night’s choices. As mentioned, we tried the Old Timey, the Hawaiian and the Fritos Crunch. The Old Timey featured the restaurant’s Brandt beef (not the 50/50), American cheese, bacon, grilled onions (which we skipped), lettuce, tomato, and thousand island on a brioche.  The beef is dense and flavorful, sometimes overpowering whatever toppings are involved. But the pure carnivore will be in heaven.

The 50/50 patty, which is featured on both the Hawaiian and the Frito Crunch, is slightly saltier, salty enough to draw you in and hook you. (It’s the salt that makes you unable to put that bag of chips down.)

As long as we’re on the subject, the Hawaiian features a slice of American cheese, a sunny side up egg, some spam (They love Spam in Hawaii, in case you didn’t know), a slice of pineapple, some teriyaki sauce and something else called baconaisse.  This one is sweet and packed with lots of flavors, each one distinctive and provocative. Not a cheeseburger, but who’s watching?

In New Mexico,  schoolkids eat a concoction called Frito Pie. You tear open a bag of Fritos, pour some chili on top, and eat it with a spork. Slater’s version—the Fritos Crunch—is essentially the same, the 50/50 patty, slathered in Fritos and bacon turkey chili, some more thousand island, and once again topped with the brioche.

Slater’s is loud, packed with happy diners, a dozen or so TVs playing sports and a wait staff hopping all night. Want to take your friends to a place where excess is integral to the game plan and eat till you stagger? Add to that hundreds of craft beers, Slater’s is your place, and you’ll get far more than just a cheeseburger.

Slater’s 50/50 is at 61 Raymond Avenue, Pasadena. (626) 765-9700.



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