In Texas you can’t lift a fork without brisket raining down on you, à la Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs. In the trailer scene, slap a bun around that baby and you’ve got the ubiquitously uniform brisket sandwich, ready to be eaten on your way to the bar, stumbling home, or the next day, in recovery. But once in a great while, a sandwich comes along that deserves a moment of pause, or at least sobriety. Behold, the Barbacoa-Style Brisket slider at Along Came a Slider. Sure, the all-natural brisket was tender, the fluffy bun buttered and grilled. But the starring role belonged to the lime-infused crema sauce gently ladled on top of the meat. Believe me, it didn’t stay there for long. Slightly tangy and somehow simultaneously smooth, the crema brought together the flavors of the beef, the generous fresh cilantro, and the pickled onions into one giant, delicious mess. Less messy but just as heavenly was the Natural. It’s hard to beat fresh, organic ingredients prepared with care. The Natural is just what you’d think: a classic burger with iceburg, tomato, red onion, thick-cut pickles, and mayo on a delectable bun. The house-made ketchup was too watery to be a dip for the slider or the slightly dry sweet potato fries, but fortunately, the burger stood on its own. I wish I could say the same for the Chicken-Fried Guac. I liked the bite of the STR (smoked, toasted, and roasted) red pepper sauce and the thin, crunchy tortilla strips. But whoever thought of taking thick guacamole, swirling it with corn kernels, and deep-frying it in a golden crust had probably been smoking something toasty themselves. The concoction needed a solid element, not a condiment, to sink your teeth into. Of course, it’s hard to live up to the meaty goodness of the WD (Wired and Drunk) Pig. The slider’s coffee-rubbed pork shoulder had a deeply rich, sweet taste, and the minimally creamy jalapeño slaw added a needed crunch. The pork was loaded with salt and the sodium-heavy red wine barbecue sauce didn’t help, but that didn’t get in our way. The excursion ended with my lunch buddy and me grabbing the sandwich out of each other’s hands in order to gobble the last bites. My belly full of sliders and my head feeling a little cloudy, I stumbled, WD-like, on my way out of the trailer park on East Sixth. To that I say, Texas, bring on the rainy season. Posted by Megan Giller
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