Pork-a-Palooza – Bacon Salt & Vinegar Chicharron, Salted Caramel Bacon Kettle Corn, Sweet & Sour Agave Pork Wings, Crispy Pork Belly with Jalapeño-Bacon Jam, Slater’s Giardiniere
Bacon Mac and Cheese Balls – Housemade Bacon Mac and Cheese Balls, Panko Breading, Tapatio Ranch
Best Damn Bacon Cheeseburger – 50/50 Patty, Thick-Cut Bacon, Grilled Onions, American Cheese, Lettuce, Tomato, Thousand Island on a Brioche Bun with French Fries and Slater’s Bacon Ketchup
P.B. & Jellousy – 50/50 Patty, Thick-Cut Bacon, Natural Peanut Butter, Strawberry Jelly on a Honey Wheat Bun with Vanilla Ice Cream, Sweet Potato Fries and Pumpkin Sauce
Bacon Chili Crunch – 50/50 Patty, Melted Cheddar Cheese, Slater’s Bacon Chili, Potato Chips, Lettuce, Tomato, Red Onions on a Brioche Bun, Sweet Potato Fries and Pumpkin Sauce
Ultimate S’more Shake – Toasted Marshmallow Shake, Marshmallow Fluff, Crumbled Graham Cracker Crust, Chocolate Syrup, Campfire Roasted S’more
The King Shake – Peanut Butter and Roasted Banana Shake, Peanut Butter and Bacon Crust, Caramelized Banana, Chocolate Sprinkles, Smoked Bacon
Happy Happy Birthday Shake – Funfetti Shake, Vanilla and Sprinkles Crust, Dum Dum Suckers, Twinkies, Birthday Cake, Finished with sparklers
While it seems unlikely anyone has said “Las Vegas sure could use another Burger joint” with a straight face lately the fact remains that locals and tourists love a good Patty between Bread and in late July 2018 Slater’s 50/50 brought their brand from Southern California to Sin City in a sizable shopping complex at 467 East Silverado Ranch Boulevard.
Originally opened by Scott Slater in Anaheim Hills around June 2009 and slowly expanding since, a sizable Beer list and Scott’s famous blend of 50% Ground Bacon and 50% Ground Beef earning numerous accolades and countless fans along the way, guests entering Slater’s newest location are immediately greeted by smiling faces at a hostess podium before being led to seats, a collection of banquets, tables and high-tops spreading right-to-left from the Bar and surrounded by TVs.
Playing on the subtitle “Bacon. Burgers. Beer.” across the menu, a several page pictorial homage to Meat with an occasional Salad thrown in for good measure, it was with Iced Tea and Water poured that items were perused and decisions made, the extensive Beer list saved for those who might appreciate it – in particular the sort who might benefit greatly from a $30 subscription allowing them one Beer every day of the week for a full month.
Focused on guest experience even in its franchising phase, locations in Texas and Hawaii the first outside of California with Nevada next, it was with drinks always kept brimming that a polite young server offered suggestions before the table came to a consensus, the only major issue of the evening largely beyond his control and related to the manager’s irrational decision to leave one whole section closed while several tables were exposed to 85ᵒF temperatures thanks to sunlight pouring through a window still awaiting its custom shade.
Eventually forced to demand a change of seats, the “closed” section immediately half-full and all affected much happier, it was just moments later that an Appetizer entitled “Pork-a-Palooza” arrived, the five item spread highlighted by sweet and salty Kettle Corn riddled with crumbled Bacon as well as Pork Belly sliced thin and topped with sticky Jalapeno Jam.
Equally enjoying gooey Macaroni and Cheese flecked with Bacon before a trip to the deep-fryer, an unexpected lightness speaking to fresh and hot Oil that also gives Slater’s Fries a far better texture than the average Burger spot whether one chooses Idaho spuds or the sweeter orange version, it was here that focus turned to three Burgers, all with the 50/50 Patty subbed at no additional cost and first bites of the “Best Damn Bacon Cheeseburger” showing excellent juiciness throughout a fine grind that tastes largely like Beef but with a bit more salinity.
Taking no shortcuts even with Sauces, everything from Bacon-spiked Ketchup and Tapatio Ranch to Pumpkin Puree and Peanut Butter made in-house, it was after a few bites of the fork & knife Bacon Chili Crunch Burger given texture by Potato Chips and Red Onions that things got a little weird, the “P.B. & Jellousy” exactly what it sounds like but better as the thick Bacon and a Patty cooked Medium play well off PB&J with an extra $1.50 allowing guests to go one step further in terms of combining some of America’s favorite things.
Busy even on a Thursday night with kids back in school, the average check and portion sizes a bit larger than nearby competitors reflected by a more mature clientele, that fact certainly did not stop many tables from indulging in one of Slater’s five Milkshakes, the “Happy Happy Birthday Shake” enough to make anyone feel like a child at heart when it arrives super sweet and ablaze with Sprinklers while “The King” and “Ultimate S’more” concoctions are each a little more balanced in terms of flavor, though at a place so big on Bacon the obvious choice is Elvis’ favorite blended to a velvety texture with a Bruleed Banana on top and Peanut Butter all around.
FOUR STARS: Although one might think the Valley’s market for Burgers is saturated Slater’s 50/50 offers something unique by way of not only its famous Patty but also an experience that feels more Sports Bar or even “sit-down” Restaurant than Fast Food, and were it not for the seating issues that went without apology thus forcing diners to stand up and move themselves the diverse menu would be well worth re-visiting sooner rather than later.
RECOMMENDED: Pork-a-Palooza, Bacon Mac and Cheese Balls, Sweet Potato Fries, P.B. & Jellousy, The King Shake.
AVOID: Due to the west-facing windows and lack of shades anytime within three hours of sunset makes at least four tables entirely uninhabitable and management should realize that. Also, the Pumpkin Sauce and Bacon Salt are a bit much…
TIP: Open 11a-10p Monday through Thursday, till midnight on Friday and Saturday with Brunch also offered on weekends beginning at nine o’clock – just in time for kickoff this football season.
WHAT THE STARS MEAN: 5 World Class, 4 Excellent, 3 Good, 2 Fair, 1 Poor.