Everybody gets a pickle. Sliders. Lefty's Chicago Pizzeria.
4030 Goldfinch Street, San Diego
Every time I walk into Lefty's Chicago Pizzeria, I hear Sean Connery's voice in my head, growling "That's the Chicago way!" Granted, his Untouchables character wasn't talking about deep dish pizza. But then, neither am I.
Lefty's on Goldfinch. You won't find sliders at the North Park location.
Sure, Lefty's is well known for their Chicago-style pies and Italian beef sandwiches, and offers pasta named for Al Capone as well as polish sausages topped by sport peppers. But I'm pretty sure their latest offerings have little to do with the Windy City.
Lefty's recently began serving sliders. On Hawaiian sweet buns.
How can you improve on this? Char-cheddar cheeseburger. Lefty's Chicago Pizzeria.
I've been going to Lefty's for years to get what I think is one of the better burgers in town, so when I heard about the new miniature versions, I had to rush over to the North Park location to try them.
No luck. They're only served at the larger Mission Hills restaurant.
So I grabbed a slice from North Park before resuming the rush to Goldfinch, where they've continued to offer what was originally a Burger Week promotion.
The $9 set nets you three mini burgers, each topped by grilled onion, cheddar cheese and pickle. You also get a side of fries.
I don't know what the deal is with this "decorative" weirdo. Maybe eat in the rear dining room if you want to avoid its gaze.
A Lefty's char-cheeseburger with fries runs about 8 bucks, which makes it just a bit cheaper. And a bit enviable when your roommate ditches the whole slider concept at the last minute and goes for a standard char-cheddar with extra pickles. What a D.B. He also happens to be from Chicago, so maybe that's the Chicago way.
Still, when the sliders showed up at my table they looked terrific, and the beef held that same char flavor, just in relatively bite-size portions. The Hawaiian sweet rolls excel at being soft and fluffy as well as sweet, and I have to admit the chewiness of it all turned out to be pretty satisfying. So did the slight contrast in flavor, balanced with the salty fries.
But sitting across the table from a bigger burger, loaded with toppings and savory as can be, I couldn't help but feel let down.
I think the sliders work okay as a group order — share a table, fight over sliders and fries as a complement to a slice of pizza, maybe some buffalo chicken tenders.
But if you like burgers, skip 'em. Lefty's original char-cheeseburgers are just the size you want 'em to be. You might even say they're... untouchable.