Who doesn't love sliders? You can hold these mini-burgers in your hand and pretend you're a giant. With a few bites, you can get all the satisfaction of a burger without stuffing yourself silly. And they're neat and easy to eat -- while walking, while chatting, while kicking back and enjoying a cocktail -- without leaving your hands and face covered in messy layers of burger grease and shame. Sliders are ubiquitous around town, but not everyone does them right. We've rounded up three of your best options.
The Traditional: Mini Burgers at Jasper's Corner Tap
Known for unpretentious bar food, Jasper's keeps its sliders simple: ground beef, cooked to a juicy, pink medium rare, served with a handful of greens and a melting layer of blue cheese atop a salted and seeded pretzol roll, garnished with a tiny pickle. The bread soaks up the burger's juices without falling apart and the cheese adds just the right amount of creaminess and flavor without overpowering the real star: the beef.
The perfect accompaniment? Jasper's soft pretzel served with gouda fondue -- a rich, warm cheese sauce dubbed by some bargoers as "crack" -- just made for dunking the last bites of your slider into.
The Twist: Lamb Sliders at Brasserie S&P
For a Mediterranean twist, look no further than newcomer Brasserie S&P's lamb sliders. Fallon Hills Ranch lamb is ground and grilled to medium rare and served on a soft toasted bun with greens and grilled red onions, then topped with the kicker: tangy, creamy, herbaceous mint aioli, made with a pinch of cayenne pepper for a just the right touch of heat to balance out the coolness of the mint. It's an ideal upscale bar snack, perfectly suited for lounging back and sipping on one of Priscilla Young's impeccable gin and tonics.
The Exotic: Chinatown Duck Sliders at Maven
Ask any Haight-er about the food at Maven, and the first thing out of their mouth will invariably be "duck sliders." These little poultry burgers are practically legendary, and with good reason: succulent bits of rich duck meat are piled high on a mini brioche bun and topped with bacon, bitter Chinese greens and shiitake mushrooms. A beautiful balance of flavors -- salty, sweet, savory, bitter, and umami are all represented -- these sliders are as good on their own as they are paired with a handcrafted Maven cocktail or specialty beer.