Monday, August 07, 2017

Slider Shack

Update Review, July 2017

It has been years since I visited slider shack.  I recalled not liking the signature tator tots, but loving the kalua pork.  So when I was invited to an event catered by the truck, I gladly accepted.
Mini Feast!
Our hosts provided full meals, 2 sliders and a side, from a reduced menu.  Food was made to order, served from the truck like normal service.

I didn't really like anything I had this time around though, besides the bbq sauce.
Since this was for an event, they served from a reduced catering menu.

Our options were 3 types of slider combos (each with 2 set sliders, a choice between 2 sides, and a drink) or a Bento Box served over rice instead of slider buns.  The combos were the "Carnivore", with the original beef slider and moa-fried chicken slider, the "Imu" with one of each of the pork options, or veggie, which was just two of the same portobello sliders.  Absolutely no mixing allowed, e.g. you could not order a beef slider and a pork slider.

I easily ruled out the veggie option and the bento, but was a bit torn between the others.  I liked the Kalua pork when I had it before, and I did want to try the bbq pork, but even though I don't like chicken, the panko fried cutlet did sound potentially tasty, and for some reason, a simple cheeseburger (with pickle!) did also sound tempting.

I was equally torn with the sides.  I thought the tots were not good when I had them before, but I know the tots get rave reviews, and, the slaw was vinegar style, not mayo, so it didn't sound great.  I didn't quite want either, but my combo came with one, so I had to pick.
Imu Slider Combo with Shaka Slaw. $11.50.
In the end, I opted for the Imu combo, with one of each of the pulled pork sliders, and the Shaka Slaw (ok, yes, I asked to try the tots too).

The slider rolls were soft and fluffy, but very plain, just mini burger buns.  I wanted them to be King’s Hawaiian rolls, and have some added sweetness.

Both sliders were stuffed full, to the point where it was impossible to pick them up.  Fork required.  Not a complaint, but certainly not quite finger food.

The pork was … fine.  It seemed the same in both sliders, just with different sauce.  It would have been better if cooked with the sauces, particularly the BBQ.  I did get a little bit of nice fat, but mostly it was fairly bland pulled dark meat pork.
Kalua Pork Slider. $4.50.
"Slow cooked a minimum of 15 hours with Hawaiian Alaea salt for a distinctively smoky Hawaiian imu flavor, dressed with Slider Shack’s spicy Polynesian green sauce and topped with pickled red onions."

The green polynesian sauce was good, and did have some kick to it. Not quite as memorable as the first time I had it, but still, lots of flavor.
BBQ Pulled Pork Slider. $4.50.
"Slow cooked for 10 hours until the meat falls apart at the mere appearance of a fork. Slathered in Slider Shack’s homemade BBQ sauce, it’s Honolulu meets Memphis. Topped with even more BBQ sauce if you like."

The bbq sauce was awesome, but my slider had barely any on it.  I mostly had a plain pork slider, which was quite sad, as I did like the flavor from the bbq quite a bit.
Shaka Slaw (Side). $3 + Tots!
"We shred our coleslaw ingredients every morning to provide the freshest possible taste. You won’t find any mayo in this slaw either. The slaw is dressed with our unique vinegar based marinade and sprinkled with Slider Shack seasoning. Bon app├ętit!"

The slaw was unfortunately vinegar style, rather than mayo, so just not my thing.  I couldn't really taste the special seasoning, although it was clearly sprinkled on top.  Boring, and I wouldn't get this again.

"An overwhelming crowd favorite. Tots seasoned with Slider Shacks special blend of spices. They’re fried potato puffs of goodness. Tater-tots + Lava Sauce (our house ketchup) = Magical. Voted best tots in 2014 by SFist!"

Although I picked slaw as my side, I also asked if I could try a tot, and the server was nice enough to give me a handful (I ate the others before snapping the photo).

The tots were, well, tots.  Not too oily this time, but fairly boring as well.

I wouldn't really recommend, nor want, either side again.

Original Review, March 2013

It has been a while since I've reviewed a food truck.  I just haven't been visiting them much lately.

But a few weeks ago, we were strolling along Sunday Streets, and the unmistakable smell of fried potato wafted through the air.  Ojan stopped dead in his tracks.  He looked around frantically.  I saw the Slider Shack truck parked off on the side, and immediately knew that it was where the smell was coming from.  I hadn't even been there before, but I know people always rave about their tots.

So, we rushed to the truck, an adorable thing with a serious beach shack vibe going on.  I noticed the LevelUp sign on the truck, and made our purchase that way, even though they were one of very few businesses I've ever seen that doesn't add any initial LevelUp credits to your account.  No freebies here, but still easier to pay than dealing with cash!  LevelUp worked with no problems, and we quickly received our order.
Tator Tots.  $3.
The famous tots, with dipping sauce.

We were all pretty disappointed with them.  They were very, very greasy.  We expected oily, greasy, street food, but it was a bit much.  They were also heavily salted.  But my biggest complaint is that they were barely lukewarm.  I've heard such good things about these tots that I can't help but think perhaps we just got the end of a batch or something?  Not only were these not special, they just weren't very good at all.

The sauce that came with them was hard to identify.  It seemed like a cross between ketchup and cocktail sauce maybe?  I love sauces, it this just didn't do it for me.  I also asked for a side of BBQ sauce to try something different, but found it to be too intense for the tots.  I'm sure it went better with the pulled pork slider which it was designed for.

$3 got us this fairly small serving of tots, and I wouldn't get again.

[ No Photo ]
Kalua Pork Slider. $4.  

"Slow cooked a minimum of 15 hours with Hawaiian Alaea salt for a distinctively smoky Hawaiian imu flavor, dressed with Slider Shack's spicy Polynesian green sauce and topped with pickled red onions.”

Given the name of their truck, "Slider Shack", you can kinda guess what they are primarily known for: the sliders.  They offer several varieties, including classic beef, chicken, or veggie burgers.  They also have two pork varieties.  The person taking my order said the Kalua Pork was the best one, hands down, so I went for it.

The pork was incredibly tender and fell apart easily.  It had a smoky flavor, and was really delicious.  And I don’t usually like pork.  The sauce was out of this world, incredibly flavorful and went perfectly with the pork.  I was really surprised, but this was downright delicious.  Would totally get again.
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