Detroit: A Tour of Motown's Sliders

Slideshow

[Photographs: Daniel Zemans]

A few years ago, AHT founder Adam Kuban made a forceful argument regarding the use of the word slider. At the time, there was a trend afoot for restaurants to make mini fancy burgers, often out of animals other than cow, and label them sliders. Adam acknowledged he was fighting a losing battle but felt the distinction had to be drawn. I'm here to join in his losing fight and say those burger stubs are not sliders.

20120420-detroit-sliders-cooking.jpg

A true slider, the kind that makes my mouth water when I think of it, starts with a tiny beef patty, likely made of two ounces of meat or less, that's steamed atop a bed of thoroughly griddled onions before getting a nice sear around the edges. The patty is then placed on a soft bun, preferably with a healthy dose of the aforementioned onion along with cheese and a few pickle slices. There is nothing gourmet about a slider. The meat is typically not all that beefy, the buns are sugar-loaded processed breads, and the cheese is always American. But when cooked properly, sliders can be small bites of beef heaven.

20120420-detroit-sliders-collage.jpg

As a proud Chicagoan, it pains me that my city has a glaring weakness when it comes to sliders. As far as I know, sliders don't exist here other than at White Castle. So when I travel to a place that does offer old school sliders, I feel compelled to check them out. I did it two and half years ago at Eat Rite Diner in St. Louis and again on two recent trips to Detroit, a place that ranks with New Jersey in terms of slider greatness.

Check out the slideshow for some details on seven of Detroit's best-known sliders.

About the author: Daniel Zemans writes for Slice and A Hamburger Today.

Love hamburgers? Then you'll Like AHT on Facebook! And go follow us on Twitter while you're at it!

Serious Eats Newsletters

Keep up with our latest recipes, tips, techniques and where to eat!

Comments

Comments can take up to a minute to appear - please be patient!

Previewing your comment: