Slater's 50/50 (San Diego)

>> Sunday, December 2, 2012

Date of Dining: 12/1/2012
Price: $5 per appetizer, $9-18 per burger
Location: 2750 Dewey Rd, San Diego, CA 92106

The Quick Bit

+ selection of over 100 beers
+ comfortable relaxed atmosphere
+ responsive and high quality service
Δ some technical execution issues
Δ no reservations accepted, so wait times up to 2 hours on busy nights

After opening in Orange County in 2009, Slater's 50-50 has quickly expanded its Southern California empire to San Diego. Slater's 50-50 burger containing 50 percent beef and 50 percent bacon was named Orange County's best burger of 2010 by OC Weekly, which gave the restaurant momentum to open in San Diego. The accolades have continued to pour in from San Diego, being named Best Burger 2012 by San Diego Magazine and Fox 5 News. 
Slater's 50/50 was founded by owner Scott Slater and Executive Chef Brad Lyons - both alums of San Diego State University. Although they started Slater's in Orange County, the location in San Diego was inevitable as each desired to return to their hometown. Chef Lyons started in the culinary industry at the age of 16 and trained at Le Cordon Bleu in Los Angeles. The 50/50 burger was his creation.


pick 2 - beer battered onion rings, sweet potato fries
The appetizers contain a standard assortment of 6 appetizers that can be ordered alone or combined into a larger plate. We settled with just two of the fried items. To spice up the selections, special sauces are included with the order; we received a bacon ketchup and a pumpkin sauce. I found the pumpkin sauce to go well with both fried selections, but especially liked the combination with the onion rings because the added sweetness enhanced the onions to be similar to vidalia onions. I also liked the combination of the sweet potato fries with the bacon ketchup as the savory bacon flavor in the ketchup complemented the natural sweetness of the sweet potato.
Also included with each table was a condiment tray that had an interesting item:
Although named as bacon salt, I felt that there wasn't too much bacon in the salt. There was enough to add a little bit of flavor, but the color likely included some smoked paprika in the mix.


When one orders a burger that is not off the standard menu, there is a paper menu to make several selections such as size of patty, type of bun, and toppings. (This process is very similar to The Counter) At the end of the burger design process, one is asked to name their burger creation.
When the burger is brought to the table, they contain a knife stabbed through the center as pictured below
2/3 lb beef (med rare), honey wheat bun, cucumber, tomato, grilled onions, swiss, green peppers,
fried egg, baconnaise
Unfortunately the first burger I ordered medium rare suffered from some execution issues:
"medium rare" burger
I thought this was closer to a high medium as most of the pink was gone (and all the juices were gone).
real medium rare burger
After a quick refire, I got the burger juicy just as I expected. While the patty was not grass fed, I felt that there was some nice beef flavors in the mix as I didn't think it had ever been frozen. I enjoyed the over easy egg yolk that ran in to mix with the beef juices as well.
2/3 lb 50/50 burger (medium), alfalfa sprouts, mixed greens, smoked gouda, tomato, corn and black beans
We also tried a 50/50 burger whose lowest cooking temperature was medium
"medium" 50/50 burger
While this burger seemed cooked to medium well, we weren't sure if the 50/50 burger was supposed to have any color so we didn't send it back. The burger did have a distinct bacon flavor throughout the patty, but we weren't necessarily sure that it was a good thing. After sampling the medium rare patty versus the 50/50, most of us preferred the juiciness of the beef patty. The 50/50 burger was surprisingly low on fat, which was really missed.


With San Diego's appetite for all varieties of burgers, Slater's 50/50 fits right at home. Slater's adds some innovative ideas such as the 50/50 burger as well as special "burgers of the month" that utilize the Le Cordon Bleu training of Chef Brad Lyons. Perhaps the best quality of Slater's is its diverse selection of over 100 craft beers. While Slater's 50/50 may not have the best burger in San Diego by my opinion, it was certainly a fun and enjoyable experience despite the one hour wait for seating.


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gastro bits is a blog that juxtaposes the geeky with the foodie; it is an attempt to be educational about food, yet entertaining at the same time.
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