How appropriate, the 50th restaurant post on this website is on Slater’s 50/50. Har^2. For Greg’s twenty-fifth birthday (which is today by the way – happy birthday Greg!), he chose Slater’s 50/50 in Anaheim. The eleven of us (his entire family + me + Ron) went to the restaurant right around 2pm last Sunday, and we had to wait half an hour. Needless to say, the place was packed. The place is famous for their namesake 50/50 burgers – 50% ground beef, 50% ground bacon, along with a pretty extensive selection of beers on tap, and the choice of building your own burger a la The Counter.
While the 50/50 burger sounds like quite the awesome idea on paper (bacon right in the burger patty? amazing no?), I had my fair share of reservations. The main concern that I had was that anytime you mixed something other than beef into the burger patty, it’s a danger warning. And I was afraid that this blend would take away from the best part of biting into a burger: the juiciness of the burger patty. But the restaurant has favorable reviews from Yelp (of course, take that with a grain of salt – but 1000+ reviews is impressive), and Greg was really looking forward to this. So of course like with any restaurant, I would come in with an open mind.
The whole table split the largest size of the appetizer combination plate, with six fried varieties of appetizers. All of the varieties were standard, oily, and okay.
While just about everyone else chose to build their own burger (and give it cute/funny names), I chose to go with their standard 50/50 burger. Figured that using their signature choice as the benchmark is best. I think that the ground bacon in the patty has both pros and cons. The bacon gave the meat a good smokey, salty flavor. And the bacon that was on the outside of the patty aided in the charring of the patty itself with its crispiness. However, the bacon inside of the patty kind of dried the patty out a bit (a fear I noted earlier re: the blend being not as juicy as a standard burger). And they state that they have to cook the 50/50 patties well-done because of the bacon – don’t they know about the new FDA pork temperature standards? They’re the same as beef now. Enough with the patty, onto the other aspects: there was way too much bun, the fried egg was a decent touch, and the combination of the avocado mash (a.k.a. guacamole), pepper jack cheese, and chipotle mayo went surprisingly well together. Overall, a flawed burger with a novelty concept, but not without its merits either.
Being quite the self-proclaimed burger snob, eating the 50/50 burger was a little damaging to my supposed palate. But the taste of the burger was pretty good. If they can somehow master the actual cooking process (maybe sous vide the patty, then sear it at a very high temperature?), then I can see the burger becoming something amazing. For now, it’s just a place with a decent novelty burger, interesting selection of beers on tap, and the option to build the burger yourself.
Chris Hei grade: B-
Slater’s 50/50 Burgers
6362 E Santa Ana Canyon Rd
Anaheim, CA 92807