An old quote goes “Behind every great man lies a great woman.” Perhaps back in the day, this quote held absolute meaning, since men used to typically dominate the home and work environment. Today, this quote has more-or-less dissolved in meaning, and can now apply to more than just two people. Have you ever heard anyone say “Behind every great meal lies a great person (chef/cook/etc)”? When one consumes an outstanding meal, generally an astute person prepared that meal. Many people live through life with little regard to the people behind the food. Sometimes, you just have to know the people behind the food, and as another saying goes, “Knowing is half the battle.” That said, we shall turn our attentions to the curator behind a Southern California legacy known as Slater’s 50/50.
A renowned Southern Californian institution, Slater’s 50/50 continually pushes the bar when it comes to reinventing the wheel of food. Discontent with maintaining a boring, routine menu filled with standard restaurant faire, founder Scott Slater sought to experiment with food to generate the “perfect mess.” With a background and story as epic as their burgers, Slater’s 50/50 hosted a small, private gathering where select lucky guests could sample some of the menu items and partake in a Q&A session with Scott and Executive Chef Brad.
As the night began, servers gradually brought out appetizers for the guests to munch on: Fried Bacon Mac ‘N Cheese Balls, Beer Cheese Fries, and Slater’s Vampire Dip. With all this came a mini Mint Chocolate Shake. Afterwards, servers brought out three burgers to sample: the standard 50/50 Burger, the B’ B’ B’ Bacon Burger, and the Peanut Butter Jellousy Burger (a la mode on the side). This entire time, all guests could walk around freely and mingle with others, including Scott Slater himself, Chef Brad, Erika & Brooke from marketing, and more. Once servers brought out the Bacon Brownies for dessert, Scott and Brad began their presentation of the March Burger-of-the-Month: the Drunken Steak Sandwich (yeah, not exactly a burger).
I do not recall the full list of ingredients on this sandwich, but I do know it contains an unsliced 8oz New York Steak, peppered arugula, Jameson-marinated tomato, provolone cheese, red peppers, and some white sauce that contained Guinness. All five Slater’s 50/50 locations will serve this sandwich throughout the month of March.
Following one final sample of this sandwich from the servers, Nancy Luna of the OC Register began moderation of the Q&A session with Scott and Brad. Neither Scott nor Brad revealed any surprising information – they arrived at their current location in life in a traditional way, in stark contrast to the anti-traditional items found on their current menu. Tailgating at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego prompted Scott to one day use ground bacon as burger patties, and his idea received so much praise that he eventually got into business, but decided to mix in ground beef to tone down the intensity of the 100% bacon burger. Scott did not consider any other names for the restaurant besides simply Slater’s 50/50; thankfully, it worked out, as he now owns the trademark to the 50/50 burger. Prior to the bacon burger discovery at the tailgate in San Diego, Scott ran a food cart in Northern California. After a string of profitable days, Scott opened more food carts in multiple states once he realized his knack and proficiency in the food industry. After that, Scott and Brad answered general interest questions, such as what beer they like to drink and what else they like to eat.
Got anymore questions for Scott? If you do not see him within a month from now, you can meet him and his excellent team at the 4th Annual Mission Valley Craft Beer & Food Festival in San Diego on Sunday, March 24th. Grab your tickets quick, because they sold out early last year! Until then, visit your local Slater’s 50/50, order their Drunken Steak Sandwich, and revel in the magnificence of Slater’s 50/50.