Sept. 23 2016 03:41 PM

Frankly, Slater’s 50/50 has noteworthy hot dogs

The Abe Froman
Photo courtesy of Anna Cofer / J Public Relations

Slater’s 50/50 (2750 Dewey Road #193) in Liberty Station can be a polarizing place. On one hand, the often-decadent burgers are designed for people who want to jump on Guy Fieri’s train to flavor town, a place where bigger is always better and subtlety takes a back seat.

Slater’s does this well. As far as living-large meals go, Slater’s Sriracha burger—a spicy, tangy, meaty masterpiece topped with bacon and coleslaw—is sublime despite obviously catering to foodies who consider eating a sporting event.

I like its burgers, but always wished its vaunted 50/50 patty—half bacon, half beef— actually had more of a bacon flavor.

The promotional emphasis on burgers with bold…Bold… BOLD flavors means menu items that are less designed to be spectacles don’t get the credit they deserve.

That’s not a problem with their newest menu item: A line of frankfurters that are stuffed with bacon, that delicious form of meat candy that I’ve grown to love and my cardiologist has learned to hate.

There are five new frankfurters, and I tried two of them. Both were among the best hot dogs I’ve ever had. The Abe Froman, named after a Chicago sausage maker, is a variation of the classic Chicago-style dog, with green relish, yellow mustard, tomato, sport peppers and celery salt on a poppy seed bun.

The bacon comes out stronger than on the patty but isn’t fighting for attention. Instead, the smoky saltiness supports the classic beefy flavor of the frankfurter. It almost makes me want to root for the Cubs in the upcoming baseball playoffs.

The BBQ Bacon Bomb is more in-your-face with the bacon. Not only is there bacon in the dog, but it’s wrapped around the frank as well. Topped with cole slaw, dill pickle chips, fried onions and BBQ sauce, it’s definitely a satisfying frankfurter.

I didn’t try the chili dog, but I did try the chili. Yep, it has bacon, but just the right amount: It’s smoky and meaty, but not too salty. I’ll get this again for sure.

Not everything with bacon works: The Bacon Mary cocktail with bacon-infused vodka is a little too salty and with not enough tomato juice for my taste.

I’ve always been a big fan of Slater’s fried pickles. Tangy, tart and crunchy, although the honey mustard sauce that comes with it is a little sweet for my tastes.

For people who don’t think any of this sounds like there’s any subtlety, I ask you to try the dish we had for a starter, the Pear and Blue Cheese Salad. It was this that made me appreciate the more bombastic dishes: The greens are fresh, the pears are sweet, the blue cheese was tart and the raspberry vinaigrette was barely clinging to the leaves, not drowning it.

If a burger place can make a salad worthy of a fine dining restaurant, they are obviously taking care of the other stuff.

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