Everybody loves a burger, but they sure can be awkward to eat. Some are such heavyweights they require serious strategic thinking before you can even attempt a first bite. Enter the slider. Sort of like the baby sister to the classic, colossal burger, these dainty, manageable minis are easy to consume. You can hold them in one hand. The filling doesn’t slide out the other side as you eat them. And these burgers in miniature have become all the rage on bar menus throughout Plymouth.
Cajun Gator Sliders
In the “sports theater” environment for which Joe Senser’s is known, sliders serve as the perfect snack food for sitting in the bar and catching a game. The menu also offers an alligator burger, but manager Deann Wies says the Cajun gator sliders ($10.95) are popular for people who are a little gun-shy about trying alligator. With three miniature sandwiches in an order, the meat is ground and seasoned with Cajun spices, then grilled and topped with pepper jack cheese, pico de gallo and a creamy gator sauce, served on a mini-bun with natural cut fries. You’ll also find mini Buffalo chicken sandwiches on the chalkboard menu in the bar ($5).
From the popular slider menu at Cowboy Jack’s, the meatloaf sliders sell the most, says Jesi Mosny, director of marketing. Four sliders come in an order, topped with a house-made cowboy ketchup and seasoned tobacco onion strings. The sloppy sliders are a miniature version of a sloppy Joe, with a rich flavor and a bit of a spicy touch, while the braised BBQ chicken sliders are made with tender braised chicken and Cowboy Jack’s barbecue sauce. The regular price for all of the sliders is $9, but they sell for $4.50 during happy hour, which is daily from 3 to 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. to midnight.
The mini burgers at Woody’s Grille are just that, a classic cheeseburger done diminutively. They are topped with cheddar cheese, chipotle mayonnaise, onion straws and a pickle, and served on silver dollar buns. Three of the minis sell for $7 at happy hour, weekdays from 3 to 6 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. The mini burgers on the dinner menu ($9.50) come four to an order, with the choice of homemade chips, fresh fruit or coleslaw (fresh-cut fries or sweet fries cost just a bit more). Executive chef Mark Stankey says they are about as generous in portion size as ordering a whole burger, but the ease of sharing makes them a hit.
Doubling as both a happy hour option and part of the pick-and-pair combo options at lunch, the cheeseburger sliders at Applebee’s are beef burger patties topped with American cheese, diced yellow onion and a mayonnaise-based signature chipotle mayo, known as slider sauce. Three come in an order, which is served with french fries, and you can add bacon for an additional 50 cents (usually $8.99 but half price at happy hour from 2 to 5 p.m. and 9 to close every day). Pair them with soups, salads and pastas from the lunch combo menu, which starts at $6.49.
The giant sandwiches at Dickey’s Barbecue Pit might seem like they’re only made for big appetites, but there’s actually one option for those who are in the mood for something light. The Lil’ Hoagie ($3.75) can be made with any of the signature meats except the ribs, like beef brisket, pulled pork or tender turkey. It can also come with pickles, onions and barbecue sauce, along with add-ins like jalapenos or shredded cheddar, and is served on a miniature sesame seed hoagie bun.
Filet Mignon Sliders
The filet mignon sliders ($16 for three or $20.50 for four) at BLVD Kitchen and Bar are like the Grand Poobah of sliders. Breadsmith mini-buns are topped with 2 oz. of choice-cut beef tenderloin, cooked to temperature, and served with shallot herb butter and frizzled onions. The slider trio offers your pick of one of three varieties: mini-burgers, topped with caramelized onions and pickle, fried chicken with bacon mayo and tomato, or pulled pork with house barbecue sauce and homemade coleslaw ($12, or $6 at happy hour from 3 to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday).
Pulled Pork Sliders
There’s no real secret to St. Louis Park Woodfire Grill’s mesquite-rubbed pork shoulder: it’s cooked slowly on a wood-fire rotisserie for four to five hours, then chef Eric Rudelius-Palmer adds a Moroccan spicy barbecue sauce and cooks it for another hour until all the flavors combine. The result is moist, melt-in-your-mouth tender pulled pork. For the sliders, the pork is placed on top of little toasted pretzel buns and topped with cornichons. There are two in an order, priced at $7 or $6 during happy hour, which runs from 3 to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and all day on Sunday.