Like many foodies I have a not so secret love affair with bacon and my addiction is now being enabled by the opening of Slater’s 50/50 down the street from me in Lake Forest. This new Slater’s 50/50 will only fuel my bacon passions. If you’ve never been to a Slater’s 50/ 50, it is a gourmet burger restaurant that is famous for their burgers made with 50% ground beef and 50% ground bacon. The result of this concoction is a is a delicious and juicy burger. Slater’s 50/50 is also a really great place to hang out with friends as they have a massive tap beer selection, fun ambiance, friendly staff, and some of the best burgers in the country. I recently had the opportunity to experience the newest restaurant opening in Lake Forest during their grand opening and tried some of their best dishes. Here is what we ordered.
The Vampire dip is my favorite appetizer on the menu due to its intense flavor profile and impressive size. A French bread bowl is filled with a dip made with roasted garlic, artichoke and several types of cheese. It is served with fried pita chips. This dip’s flavor is intense from the garlic. I love the creamy texture of this dip with its chunks of garlic and artichoke. This appetizer is meant for sharing, so be careful that you do not to fill up….your burger is still coming.
About the burgers
The burgers at Slater’s 50/50 are pretty substantial because the burgers are weighed after they are cooked. They use 12% aged 21 days choice beef which results in leaner, yet juicy and flavorful burger. You have your option of the standard patty, 50/50 or the Red Hot patty that packs a serious punch. If you don’t feel like beef or bacon, there are other options like chicken, vegetable, Portabello, fried chicken, and turkey.
Peanut Butter Jellousy Burger
No one ever said that Slater’s 50/50 was conservative with their hamburger concoctions. They most famous burger is their Peanut Butter Jellousy burger that is made with your choice of meat patty, thick cut bacon, a generous smear of creamy peanut butter and a dollop of strawberry jelly!
Yes you did read that correctly…peanut butter and jelly on a burger. Just in case you thought this might be completely unhealthy, they do serve it on a whole wheat bun :). I have to admit that I didn’t expect this burger to taste very good due to the funky pairing; although, the flavor pairing is spot on when you take a bite. The savory flavor of the beef, bacon are strangely balanced by the strawberry jelly; although, another flavor is needed to bring balance to the force. That is where the peanut butter acts like the peace negotiator between the opposing flavors and provides a happy medium between the flavors on your palate. The Manager of the restaurant told me that another variation of the dish involves adding a scope of Ice Cream to the burger, “a la mode” style! He recommended the “Red Hot” patty for this customization, as the spicy beef helps offset the sweet ice cream. There was a little boy who sat next to us and ordered this burger and the ice cream his arms! The Manager said, “Now that’s the way that burger should be eaten!” I loved the sentiment and I could tell that that the force was strong in that one…too bad I didn’t take a picture.
Build your own burger
When possible I pick the build your own burger option. Why? Not that I am a food control freak, but I prefer to craft the perfect burger for my mood; the day I visited Slater’s 50/50 I was feeling very inspired to go big on all things bacon. I ordered something that contained a reference or contained bacon from each category whenever possible. I also added some toppings that best matched my personality or simply for shock and awe purposes. Here are the items that made it on my burger:
Bread: White Brioche (if they had bacon bun I would have gotten it)
Toppings: Thick Cut Bacon, Fried Egg, Bacon Cheese, Bacon-aise sauce. I also added some healthy items for ruffage – Arugula, Onion, tomato.
The flavor of this dish was pretty intense with the varieties of protein flavors. Although as gluttonous and overly umami the burger may sound, the beef, bacon, cheese and egg protein flavors actually provided a variety of flavor layers. The fried jalapeno really kept the dish interesting and the produce kept the burger cool and fresh on the palate. Overall this was an awesome burger that was almost as big as my face. Just like the little boy sitting next to me with the a la mode burger, my hands and arms were dripping with juices as I bite down into the burger. I felt a set of eyes on me and noticed that the junior Jedi Foodie next to me was giving me an an approving nod as I bore down on the burger. I felt proud.
After all that hamburger madness, yes I did order dessert. We chose a dessert was inspired by the Girl Scout Cookie Caramel Delight, Samoas if you grew up before 2005. The dessert consists of toasted coconut, caramel and chocolate cookie baked in a cast to perfect crisp in an iron skillet. If this dessert is not rich enough for you, it was topped served à la mode style with a heaping scoop a vanilla ice cream. This dish was incredible and I think I slipped in a momentary sugar shock! My recommendation is to ask for bacon on top to break up the sugar and add flavor contrast.
My Final Thoughts
Since Slater’s 50/50 has moved to Lake Forest I knew that my bacon and hamburger addiction was about to get worse. I have taken the preventative measure of increasing my exercise routine and introducing oatmeal into my diet. Slater’s 50/50 delivers with their signature 50% Bacon and 50% beef patties. I really enjoyed their massive draft beer selection and positive energy of the staff and customers. If you have not tried Slater’s 50/50, you have to do it at least once. Since it is now in Lake Forest, it just got easier for the South Orange County folks. Let me know how your experience goes!
See Dani’s Decadent Deals Post on Salter’s 50/50: http://danisdecadentdeals.com/2013/03/18/slaters-5050-sexy-seductive-burger-mania-burgers-by-design/