The Slidebar Launches New Chef-Driven Locally Grown Menu – Will The Locals Reciprocate?

Posted: September 16, 2014 in Beer, Food, Orange County, Restaurant
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Times change, a fact that nobody can deny. People must learn to adapt and keep up with changes, or fall behind in life. For that reason, the Slidebar in Downtown Fullerton has chosen to go in a brand new direction by redesigning their entire menu, both culinary and libations. The Slidebar has brought on Chef Oge Dalken, locally known from his work at Chapter One in Santa Ana, to cultivate a menu driven on local ingredients, a move that many gastropubs around the world have already made. This new menu will contain a handful of gastropub staples fused with traditional bar food, such as Duck Confit Nachos, Candied Bacon Cheddar Cheese Popcorn, Korean Tacos, and Mini Kobe Dogs. In addition to this brand new menu, the Slidebar will start to carry a greater variety of craft beers from local breweries, both in bottles and on draft.

I received an opportunity to attend a beer-pairing menu preview last week, so along with my camera, an empty stomach, and a punk anarchic outlook, I set off to the Slidebar to give them a chance to prove that they have what it takes to turn into a meal destination. Our menu tasting included the following items, plus the craft beer pairing:

  • Ahi Slider: seared sesame-encrusted Ahi, Asian slaw, pickled ginger, wasabi mayo. Pair w/ Clown Shoes Tramp Stamp Belgian IPA
  • Coney Dog: all-beef hot dog, Coney Island chili, tobacco onions, mustard. Pair w/ Ninkasi Tricerahops Double IPA
  • Mac N’ Cheese: cheddar & fontina cheese, mixed bacon relish, truffle oil, toasted parmesan cheese, panko bread crumb gratin. Pair w/ Chimay Trappist Ale
  • Chicken & Waffles: potato waffle, spicy herb panko-crusted fried chicken breast, chicken & mushroom gravy, fried leeks. Pair w/ Noble Ale Pistol Whip’d
  • Coulotte Steak: choice top sirloin cap, coffee & unsweetened cocoa powder rub, bacon-wrapped, beef demi, sun-dried bing cherries, stilton cheese, dijon mashed potatoes. Pair w/ Golden Road Get Up Off That Brown Ale
  • Banana Bread Beer Float: Wells Banana Bread Beer, French vanilla ice cream, fried plantain

Through all these radical changes to the offerings at the Slidebar, can this win over a new crowd? Can this retain the old crowd? Historically, Slidebar has received the reputation at the “frat boy” hangout spot, and lends primarily to the stereotype behind Downtown Fullerton. I never thought to come here on my own volition due to encounters with “bros” here, and the Kelly Thomas incident left a foul taste the mouths of many locals. Due to my connection to the Orange County punk scene, I still hear people boycotting the Slidebar to this day, three years later. The Slidebar has done all they can to separate themselves from that unforgettable night, and it sucks when unwanted trouble stumbles upon your doorstep. Believe me, a similar situation occurred over 20 years ago to a business belonging to a family member, and many people still boycott that business to this day. Do you think Slidebar now has the right resources to leave their past behind and forge new grounds with this menu redesign? Head on in to Slidebar, order some of the new food, and post in the comments section below letting me know what you think.

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