Courtesy of @slaters5050_dtr via Instagram

After a much anticipated wait, Slater’s 50/50 has finally opened its doors to the Riverside community. Located in the hustle and bustle of downtown Riverside, Slater’s 50/50 is just a 10 minute drive from campus, making this location a new restaurant venue for students to try out. This new burger restaurant specializes in the 50% ground bacon and 50% ground beef original patty as it pays homage to in its name. The restaurant also houses a variety of food choices, ranging from ahi tuna poke nachos to nashville hot chicken sandwiches. 

Slater’s boasts about its passion for bacon, burgers and beers, so it is no surprise to find their extensive beer on tap selection on the walls as soon as you walk in. It gave off a sports bar atmosphere with every TV playing the same sports game and employees  cheering for their preferred teams. The vibe of the eatery was laid-back and casual, and what instantly stood out to me, other than the beer wall, was how the employees double-checked to make sure the tables they were offering were properly sanitized. It was relieving to see that this establishment took cleanliness seriously. 

Instead of offering physical menus, Slater’s 50/50’s offered a QR code to scan in order to see the menu from the comfort of your own smartphone, ensuring safety for both employees and customers. After scanning the code, I was a bit surprised at the prices, with the most expensive item being a $21 burger. All the other burger options ranged between $14 to $16, landing them on the higher end of the food spectrum. 

To start the night, I decided to try their $16 Ahi Tuna Poke Nachos that comes with spicy sushi-grade ahi tuna, cilantro slaw, toasted sesame seeds, pickled jalapenos, chipotle crema, scallions and chile-lime hominy. I was a bit skeptical about the nachos considering the price tag, but as soon as they arrived, I was shocked to see a huge portion of food. This dish was so large that it could easily be shared by at least three to four people. Additionally, my friend and I instantly noticed that the Ahi Tuna was extremely fresh and that the quality of the fish was high-end. Without the tuna however, this appetizer would be pretty standard and not worth the price tag.

Next came the entrees. I opted for the Best Damn Cheeseburger for $15.49, which consisted of an angus beef patty, thick-cut bacon, grilled onions, American cheese, lettuce, tomato and a Thousand Island sauce served on a brioche bun. The burgers all came with french fries, but I opted for the tater tots, which tacked on an extra $2, since it came with a specialty queso dip. The food was piping hot, a sign of it being fresh off the grill, and there was a delicious bacon aroma emanating from the burger. At first bite, I noticed how juicy and flavorful the patty was. The bacon and caramelized onions all created a delicious flavor profile that made me mouth the words “Oh, my God.” The tater tots were also fresh and crunchy. Once dipped in the queso sauce, the entire flavor profile changed. The tots became cheesy and delicious. Overall, this entree was a win in my book, and the portion was generous. 

The second burger was one that caught my eye called the P.B and Jellousy. This burger came with an angus beef patty, thick-cut bacon, peanut butter and strawberry jelly on a honey wheat bun. The burger itself also came with french fries and a signature Slater’s bacon ketchup for $14.99 with an optional scoop of vanilla ice cream for an extra $1.50. The french fries were pretty standard, but the signature house ketchup made the flavor stand out. The burger, on the other hand, made for a savory meal. The sweetness of the peanut butter and jelly was not overpowering, and overall, was a well-balanced burger much to my surprise. However, according to our server, this is a burger that people either love or hate. For me, this was a love considering the quality of beef and bacon was way up there and the flavors all mingled well together. 

Having known nothing about Slater’s, this restaurant was a gamble for me considering the price. Nevertheless, the experience and quality of the food made it all worth it. The staff were all attentive, making the experience all the better. I could see myself coming back to this location for a bite to eat and maybe some drinks.