They say White Castle invented the slider back in 1921, selling each tiny burger patty on each tiny bun with grilled onions and pickle slice for a nickel. These days, sliders are usually sold three at a time, or in pairs — which is great if you're getting an order to share. But if you're ordering for yourself, I see little reason to eat three mini hamburgers rather than a single, regular sized one.
534 Broadway, Chula Vista
San Diego Sliders Company in Chula Vista offers a number of good reasons to go slider. In addition to the classic burger slider, its menu offers more than a dozen slider variants, replacing beef patties with the likes of chipotle salmon, buffalo chicken, and pulled pork (served on a Hawaiian sweet bun).
You may order a pair of each individual slider for six to eight bucks, but the real fun starts when you go for what the counter service restaurant calls the Tour de Sliders: pick any three for $11.99.
After much deliberation, I started with the fried chicken on waffles slider and the spicy Philly — a mini cheesesteak with thinly sliced ribeye, grilled onions, peppers, mushrooms, jalapenos, and melted provolone. Of course the third choice proved the toughest. I thought about trying the classic cheeseburger to get a baseline reading, but then realized I could get more bang for my buck with the mac'n'cheese slider, which takes the cheeseburger and adds bacon, barbecue sauce, and a puck of deep fried mac'n'cheese.
Served on waffles instead of bun, the fried chicken slider didn't have any sauce on it, but when a server brought my order to the table, he left me with a bottle of pancake syrup. The griddle-cooked Philly went down too quickly, and left me wanting more. Fortunately, the mac'n'cheese slider, the largest of the bunch, had enough going on that I forgot all about the others.
Sliders Company sits in the former shopping center site of a place called Center Cuts Steak House, and hasn't entirely worked out its signage and décor. While it resembles a fast food set-up, it's really more fast casual, and really more causal at that, as cooking three distinct sliders can take a few minutes.
All three executed the slider concept fairly well, though I'd say variety is the best reason to visit. On special this day was a Cubano slider, and another featuring lobster. Along with french fries, you may pick up some lumpia and even musubi — the Hawaiian snack of spam tied to a wad of sushi rice with a strip of nori. With so many options, returning to try the whole of the Slider Company's menu remains a distinct possibility.