Event - Yelp's Meet Slater's 50/50

Ah to learn the innerworkings from the creator himself of how the glorious Slater's 50/50 burger came to be is not an opportunity every soul gets to experience. However, when the amazing Yelp OC community manager, Ryan, wants to make it happen for his fellow Yelpers, it happens. Dear readers, that bacon-filled evening just about a week ago clogged my arteries with deliciousness (bye bye any healthful progress made for the year) and filled my ears with exciting information.


The CMYE event was the last in the series of "Meet the Owners" except this one was cleverly named "Meat the Scott." As always, there was Yelp swag everywhere including a free shotglass for checking into the event. We all got to be served in the private room, and for our particular table, the ever-helpful "Goldfish" (real name Ari) was our awesome waitress. That night, we were graced by the presences of Scott Slater himself, Executive Chef Brad Lyons, and guest moderator Nancy Luna aka Fast Food Maven.


Our heartstopping starters for the night included their fried mac n cheese balls (my favorite), beer chili cheese fries (look at that gooeyness!), the famous Vampire Dip, and a Guinness mint milkshake (they called it our palate cleanser). I also ordered an Oatmeal Stout from Ritual Brewing just to make sure I had something wash down the deep-friedness...and because they always have an extensive beer list.


We got a little bit of description for what we were eating during a pause in the food deliveries, and each word weighed heavy on my stomach as everything was being pinpointed down to the greasy last ingredient. I mean, these were just the appetizers. Once the burgers came out, it was pretty much gameover for the capacity available in this little stomach of mine. Their signature 50/50 burger patty (that's 50% bacon, 50% beef!) came out first followed by their B-B-B-Bacon, a burger inspired from when they had released their 'Merica burger back in July 2012. Basically, it was an all bacon patty with even bacon bits in their bun. Geez. Then one of their most popular also came out - the Peanut Butter and Jealousy. Scott shared with us a pro-tip for the evening with this one which is already sometimes a surprise to people; after all, who puts PB&J in a bacon burger? Anyhow, vanilla ice cream was the special ingredient to amping up the burger and yeah, it actually did!

We were then treated to a live demo (and the unveiling!) of their March Burger of the Month - the Drunken Steak Sandwich. It strayed away from the typical burger model a bit with its toasted ciabatta loaf. On top of that was a spread of smashed Roma tomatoes (which had been roasted in  Jameson Irish Whisky) and a bed of arugula. An aged 1/2lb Choice New York strip steak that had been marinated in Guinness & molassses was the showstopper, accented by melted Provolone, roasted red peppers, and of course, bacon. To top it off, a creamy Guinness and Bleu cheese dressing coats everything. Chef Brad looked so happy making it, and Yelp's Ryan looked so happy eating it. I thought it was the best thing that night actually and a very good change from burgers.


Lastly, the Q&A session took place with plenty of fun and serious questions. Our stuffed bellies got huge helpings of their bacon brownies to taste while listening. If you didn't know, the burger was created during tailgating by Scott as a "solution" to grilling bacon. Ground pork belly became patties and became a hit with all those in his group of friends. So, his entrepreneurial experience of owning hot dog stands in the OC area turned into a larger business venture once he decided to open Slater's 50/50 with the signature 50% bacon, 50% beef patty. When asked about how much bacon is used at all of their locations per month, the answer produced a resounding "whoa" from the crowd; are you ready to hear it yourself? About 25,000 pounds of bacon is used per month by Slater's 50/50 (all locations combined) alone. That's approximately 1,300 pigs! They're rapidly expanding too - the newest location is slated for Rancho Cucamonga and potential out-of-state expansion is being talked about. I loved the energy that both Scott and Chef Brad had while talking about this well-loved restaurant. It was very obvious that they enjoyed what they did and had a lot of fun with experimentation. In fact, a great part of the Q&A session was when they started having ideas and running with it live. We got to see their back-and-forth brainstorming in action! Overall, what a treat to gain more insight into Slater's 50/50. Thank you to all that put this on, and great job! I think everyone walked away happy and stuffed with bacon. More pictures/full gallery available on Facebook here.

Photography by Duc Duong. More photos are available on Facebook.