Saturday, September 22, 2012

Stop #26: Sandrina's

Tim's Review: Another day, another mediocre slinger. Sandrina's is normally one those places you end up when you've had too much to drink at a 1:30 bar and start making poor decisions. This place always....ALWAYS smells like deep fryer! In the past, when I would push my way through the crowd after 1:00 am, everyone was smoking, the kitchen has been going all day, I'll let it slide. But when it's 6:00 pm on a Thursday with 5 people sitting at bar, what's the deal?? Get some air circulating in there.

Aside from the smell, Sandrina's isn't a terrible place. Their slinger wasn't bad, but I'd rate it slightly below average. For some reason they really hold back on the chili and tease you with pathetic 2 tablespoons worth. The chili was actually pretty good, probably the best part about this plate. Plus, it's a slinger, get a ladle and slop that shit on there! I want the rest of my breakfast swimming in that chili. The home fries was the other thing that really annoyed me about this plate. They were potatoes, diced up pretty small and overcooked, so they were a little crunchy. Normally that's not too much of an issue, but with crunchy potatoes and minimal amounts of chili, it was next to impossible to mix this thing up and the potatoes kept falling off the fork. Had there been a healthy amount of chili on there, the home fries would just need a few minutes to get nice and soggy and we wouldn't have any problems.

Maybe if we were back in week 12, Sandrina's might have made top ten, but at this point in game, slightly below average just won't cut it.

Tony's Review: Tim almost summed this up perfectly but he left out the burger! What an asshole! The burger on the slinger wasn't bad, it was a big, thick homemade patty that had a decent flavor but lacked a bit on the slinger. The potatoes were tiny and crispy but I didn't mind them as much as baby pants Tim. One thing I do agree on is the lack of chili on this, if it was a slinger burger it would of been fine but it was served on a plate with tons of room to put that poo poo juice (aka chili) all over the plate.

Overall it wasn't bad but it was forgettable, I'm sure there are better things on the menu to fix your hunger at 2:25 in the morning. And sorry about the photos the lighting in this place sucked. 

Friday, September 14, 2012

Stop #25: Copia

Tony's Review: For our 25th anniversary Tim and I decided to go somewhere fancy and very romantic. No we didn't go to Pasta House but we did have a very private lunch at Copia on Washington. This place oozes class from only offering their slinger during lunch, accommodating wait staff and only cloth towels in the bathroom. Whoa. Our friend Greg has been bugging the hell out of us to check this place out and claiming it's the best slinger he's had...well Greg now you can leave us alone.

This baby pulled out all the stops on it's way to Flavorville, USA and adding real bacon strips to the mix was top notch, Market Pub House should take note how a classy place does bacon. The slinger was surprisingly traditional offering two cheeseburger patties, over easy eggs, home fries, homemade chili, cheese and the previously mentioned bacon. No onions on this one, you probably have an important meeting if you're eating at this place for lunch. The burgers may be some of the best we've had so far, they somehow captured the taste of a diner burger but made it 1,000% better and they were full of awesome cheesy bites. Bonus points were added when I started cutting up the bacon and adding them to my burger bites, aka bacon chee. Really all of the ingredients were great, potatoes were well cooked and seasoned, eggs were good and the chili had a really nice taste though it would have been nice if there were more chili on that big plate.

We debated if this was the coveted new number one, which is high praise already, after some debate it comes close but won't grab the crown. First, this thing costs $13 which is good for a restaurant like Copia but fucking insane for a slinger. And there was something missing from the slinger it could of been the onions but I think it was how it was served with all of the ingredients on their own only joined by the chili, maybe if they stacked it and let all the bold flavors get to know each other it could of been even better. Without a doubt this was one of the best we've eaten and there were only picky things about this one so if you're a millionaire you should check this one out.

Tim's Review: I've had a couple people tell me that Tony and I are kind of mean in this blog. My only defense for that is: “hey, we've choked down a lot of shitty slingers!” They do make me a little angry sometimes (I'm looking at you Market pub house). Luckily, that's not always the case. Every once in a while, we eat something great. Copia was definitely a high point on the tour and I left happy.

I'm pretty much on board with everything Tony said on this one so I'll be quick. Every ingredient on this plate was top notch. I still feel like I could have used a little more chili, but this thing was probably a perfect size. I really don't need to stuff my face with crazy amounts of chili in the middle of the day, then go back to work and pretend like I'm not a piggy. Shhhhhhh. I actually didn't even notice the missing onions until I read Tony's review, so obviously they weren't really needed anyway. I do need to emphasize how awesome that burger was though. This is one of the very few burgers we've had that I would actually love to eat outside of the slinger. On a bun, melted cheese, lettuce, tomato, and if that bacon was there, I'd be in heaven.

So the line bottom line: Copia delivers a great slinger and a solid contender, but you got to pay for this masterpiece. It's definitely worth a try, but when someone else can serve up a comparable plate for close to half the price, I can't say I will choose Copia on a regular basis.  After some serious thought, Copia is the third best slinger around.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Stop #24: Market Pub House

Tony's Review: Well it's finally happened, Tim and I are in complete disagreement on a slinger and it only took 6 months to happen. I've been to the Market Pub House in the Loop once before we went for our Sunday Brunch slinger, it was only for drinks and it was probably one of the worst places I've been to. Not for the usual reasons like full of jocks, too smokey or bad food/service it just had the worst overall atmosphere which didn't make me want to get drunk with my buds, that shit don't fly. But I had to return for the slinger which is only served on Sunday and comes with a free mimosa, one bonus point.

The slinger was a far step from traditional consisting of biscuits, sausage, tater tots, cheese, eggs, sort of bacon and white gravy but still had the tradition of piling a bunch of garbage onto a plate and calling it a slinger. I personally don't mind the "biscuit and gravy" slinger approach and find it a nice change of pace from the normally disappointing chili and burger experience. The biscuits were pretty lackluster but they didn't totally suck and the gravy I really liked, it wasn't that pre-made white crap that a lot of places serve that is always lame. As usual the eggs were basically just eggs, not the best not the worst. Now onto the problem areas, first the sausage, while it tasted good there weren't patties or links on there it was just a few random chunks of meat that showed up from time to time to remind you that you were barely eating it. Second the tater tots, again they tasted good and weren't as problematic as the previous tots we had from Marley's mainly because I had about 5 of them on the slinger. And finally there's the bacon on top which was a complete joke, it was old busted ass bacon and I think someone actually cut up a 1/4" of a real slice of bacon and drizzled it over eggs.

Even though I think this place is pretty whack as an actual bar/restaurant and the slinger had a few flaws to it, I still did enjoy eating it and I would mainly like thank the gravy for carrying the whole dish to the land of satisfaction.

Tim' review: Shit sandwich ................... ................... ...................................  ...........................Goddammit!!!! I really wanted to leave this at a two word review, but since Tony seemed to like this slop, I feel the need to explain myself.

For starters, this was the farthest thing from a slinger yet. It was biscuits and gravy with an egg and according to the menu, it's supposed to have tater tots in there. I can't tell if it was a good thing or a bad thing that they forgot mine. I'm pretty sure a few stupid tots would not have changed my mind about this garbage. Second: I know I've mentioned this a couple times in the blog before, but it's worth restating: Biscuits don't belong in a slinger! If you remember, 12th Street Diner had biscuits in their slinger and they are in the hall of shit. To make it even worse, these biscuit completely sucked. You know those frozen breakfast meals you can get at the grocery store? Jimmy Dean sausage, egg and biscuit. Microwave ready in 30 seconds! I think market pub stole some biscuits from Jimmy Dean. And just so we're clear, Jimmy Dean frozen biscuits suck.

Let's see... what else...... how about the bacon? Bacon is always good right? Well Market pub managed to drop the ball with the bacon as well. Look at that picture. I think they cut one slice of bacon in half, chopped it up, and then split that up between me, Tony and two other tables. I'm pretty sure I ordered off the big boy menu, can I get at least one full slice of bacon?! We don't want to forget about the gravy. I guess I can see Tony's point of view and this gravy was probably the best thing on the plate, but it's all relative. Let's say I drop a turd into a hot dog bun, smother the whole thing in gravy and chow down like it's greatest summertime bbq ever. MMMmmm, the gravy is the best part! See what I'm saying?

So to sum it all up, this thing was junk all around. If you ask me, I would nominated this guy for the hall of shit. Oh yeah, and fuck that stupid mimosa!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Stop #23: Lafayette Fire Company

Tony's Review: Well, well, well look what we have here. A restaurant/bar run by local firefighters and paramedics? YOU BETCHA! This place was full of historic and current EMS stuff all over the place including custom photo tables which weren't distracting at all. But who cares about the decor right this isn't a St. Louis Interior Design blog is it! NO!

I had been to this place once before maybe two years ago and had some egg scramble thing that may have been one of the worst breakfasts I had suffered through at that point so going into this I had extremely low expectations. This slinger gave you the option of 1/2 lb. beef patty or two sausage patties...I'm a man so of course I chose the beef patty...and you had the choice of traditional hash browns or "home fries" I remembered the "home fries" from last time and they sucked so I when the classic route. As soon as that dumb waiter put the plate on the table I was impressed. The chili was great, super meaty and you could tell that a firefighter made it in the kitchen. Another slinger with jalapenos on it! I don't know if these restaurants are reading this blog and know that we love jalapenos on slingers but a lot of mother fucking places are doing this! It's 2012 put a jalapeno on it! The hash browns were spot on with their bold traditional flavors and once you mixed them up in the chili mess you knew you were doing things right. Now lets talk about the burger, a lot of places think that if you put a 1/2 lb. burger on a slinger its instantly good, well they're wrong. Again we had another slinger that was on the right track and dropped the ball with the burger. But to be fair the Lafayette Fire Company barely dropped the ball with their burger it was the least offensive "big" burger that we've had but it totally ruins the magic that happens on the plate. 

All in all I was really impressed with this slinger and these EMS people can make a good one. Not sure how the rest of the menu is but I'll give it another shot before I call 911 on that place. Boom.

Tim's Review: I was definitely not as excited about this place as my friend Tony. I guess that's why it took me so long to write about it. Tony is getting this huge boner over firman decorations and a mediocre slinger. Calm down dude. It was just ok. I'm not mad about eating there or anything, but I wouldn't say I was really impressed either. Let's just say there are plenty of other places that are my list to get back to before this one.

It had some pretty decent chili. Hash browns were the standard diner style. I think the only reason they were even good was because we haven't had hash browns like this in a while. Nothing special. I do think the jalapeno's are always a great addition. I guess I would say this is slightly above average as far as slingers go. It is worth emphasizing that the burger was the weak link once again. I think these places figure that with all the other crap you're dumping on top of this plate, the burger doesn't need to be anything special. If this dish had a good burger, it may have nudged its way into the top ten. Oh well. I'm done thinking about this slinger.

I did get to try some wings at this place though and they weren't bad. I brought my nephew along, and thought he might like to get down on his first slinger, but he's really into hot wings. He's only 12, but this kid is the hot wing king. You can get the 3 alarm wings if you're a sissy. My little buddy goes for the 5 alarm and he took them down like a champ. In between these “hot” wings, he was even taking in a few of my jalapeno's. I hope he remembers uncle Tim when he grows up and becomes a champion eater.