I’ve been bothered (too much) by the use of the term “Slider” in Las Vegas. Everything on a small bun is called a slider in Vegas. It’s not correct, it’s obnoxious and possibly false advertising. I called on an old pal, The Rev who writes the blog Burger Conquest, to explain the difference between a slider and a mini burger. Learn a little from The Rev.
MMMMMMMMMMMM HAMBURGERS! Everyone loves themselves a tasty burger. It’s a world wide sensation and while you may think the globalization of the hamburger is due to a particular chain of Golden Arches, know that they didn’t start the fire. In fact, the first burger chain of note opened in 1921, a full 19 years before McDonald’s started serving food in San Bernardino, CA. The year was 1921 and a small short order diner in Wichita, KS opened it’s doors and thus the revolution known as White Castle was born. It was the first of its kind here in our lovely country.
White Castle Cook Walter A. Anderson is credited with inventing the hamburger bun and the kitchen assembly line. He is the father to the modern fast food movement that has fully taken over the planet. He is also the man that made the word “slider” something every burger lover salivates like a Pavlovian dog upon it’s utterance. Walter and the White Castle staff took small balls of ground beef and smashed them on a grill covered in thinly sliced onions. The patties were flipped, onions in tact therefore cooking them into the beef itself. The bottoms of the bun were placed on top after a flip which created a steaming effect that softened the bun and drove the amazing flavors beneath into the squishy bread. Back then they came topped only with pickles while mustard and ketchup had to be added by the customer themselves. Thus was born the “slider”.
Nowadays, White Castle has moved onto frozen beef which require no flipping but any burger junkie will tell you, they still crave White Castle sliders. If you’re like me and from Michigan, they’re also known as “Belly Busters,” and although a slider could be considered a mini-burger, the opposite does not apply. Let’s be clear on this; A slider is a form of burger made from a thin patty that is flat griddle along with onions, whose steam helps to cook the burger. It’s served on a squishy white bun with or without cheese and pickles. Why do I tell you this?? Because nothing and I mean NOTHING gets my burger-goat when people improperly label a mini burger as a slider.
A mini burger is just that, a smaller version of a burger. They can be cooked any way you want, served with any toppings and at the end of the day are exactly what the name entails. While by no means do I condemn a mini-burger, in fact, I love all burgers, but a slider is a very unique and special preparation. Imagine if you asked for a Dachshund and you were brought a Pomeranian.Sure they are both small dogs but the latter is not the former. (Note – I do not endorse eating canine.)