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Electric slide


With gourmet burgers on the table and hipster-approved music from the speakers, S & B’s has street cred to burn.

Joshua Boydston April 6th, 2011

S & B’s Burger Joint
5929 N. May, 843-8777
www.sbsburgerjoint.com

The Electro Lounge has been a go-to spot for the hipster sect for a full decade now, but a recent venture inside its unassuming, bottom-floor office building spot is bringing in more customers than ever.

Inventive sliders and sides fill the menu at S & B’s.

Owner Bryan Neel was looking to cater to his aging regulars by adding a family-friendly addition to its interior, and he has done so with co-owner/ executive chef Shannon Roper. You don’t have to love The Smiths to appreciate the gourmet hamburgers that S & B’s Burger Joint is dishing out, and it’s becoming a favorite burger dispensary in a town (and state) inundated with fantastic ones.

Peg it to specializing in sliders, a wonderful idea that is rarely realized, with the exception of S & B’s. Instead of an offering of identical and common flavors, S & B’s sliders are available in myriad wonderful and unique flavors, so you can get a taste of anything that sounds good without being left with two-thirds of multiple half-pound burgers.

You can order most options as either a slider or full-sized burger ($4/$7, unless otherwise noted). Two sliders is plenty, three will work for the ambitious, but some might not want to stop in the single digits after they sink their teeth into these fresh and tasty sliders that are lacking in neither size nor quality. The patties are thick, the dressings are top-notch, and the sliders are basically high-quality, gourmet burgers, but miniaturized.

“Everything is cooked to order. It’s always fresh meat and all the sauces are house-made,” said Denise McConnell, S & B’s general manager. “It’s just good and fresh food.”

Yep, this isn’t your White Castle steamed slider, although stoners may be willing to go on similarly epic quests to get their hands on the fun and funky flavors of S & B’s burger bites. Those flavors include options like the Elvis, which features the standard bacon, lettuce and onion combined with a peanut butter sauce, or the Colombian, a tangy combination of fresh avocado, smoked Cheddar and cilantro-lime salsa paired with a sea salt- and coffee-crusted patty.

There’s also the appetizing Asian, built around gingered onions, a misosoy glaze and wasabi mayo, or the exotic chili-lime burger topped with a chili paste, fresh avocado cream and bright cilantro-lime coleslaw. All these unique creations come as the result of constant experimentation in the kitchen.

“(Roper) is always cooking and introducing a new special slider every week. You can come here every week and find something new,” McConnell said. “It keeps the public excited. It lets them know that there are other ways to make a burger other than bacon, cheese and onions.”

But for every zany and unexpected slider, there’s an equally tasty tried-andtrue one. The Fatty ($3/$5.25) is the standard — and still delicious — cheeseburger with grilled onions, pickles and mustard. Then there’s the Porker, which adds a thick cut of bacon to the mix. S & B’s equivalent of the chili cheeseburger is the Lava, oozing with a sweet and zesty Cincinnati chili, raw onion and sharp Cheddar. And people (and this person) love the Fire, a pleasantly spicy stack of roasted green chilies, Cheddar, fried onions and spicy ranch.

The sliders are high-quality, gourmet burgers, but miniaturized.

The pièce de résistance, however, has to be the Frenchman, a rich and savory delight of mushrooms, Swiss and stringy fried onions pasted together by a creamy French onion sauce. It manages to feel both traditional and completely new at the same time; it’s an absolute joy.

Of course, there’s a number of alternatives for those looking to hold the beef. Besides a vegetarian burger, look for other slider sandwiches, including the teriyaki Hawaiian ($4/$7) made with chicken, the chicken cordon bleu ($4/$8) and the pulled pork and grilled ham Cuban (slider only, $5).

A robust side-item menu helps build the perfect meal. The crispy french fries ($2) are good, but the sweet and salty sweet potato fries are even better.

As a bonus, you have a number of smothered fry options like the P.B. & Fry ($4). The P.B. stands for not only peanut butter but also bacon … all of this upon a bed of sweet potato fries. It’s a ridiculously rich, peculiar and addictive dish. The lightly breaded spicy cheese cubes ($4) are another pleasant surprise, a peppery bite boosted by an unexpected but perfect honeymustard dipping sauce.

The pop art-lined walls, Rolling Stone decoupage and sleek plastic chairs all recall the lounge the diner was born from, but the two are working well together now. There’s a full bar of beer, wine and Bloody Mary selections to pair with your slider, and the gap between the restaurant and club crowd continues to grow smaller and smaller, which seems only right. With burgers this great, demand never goes down.

 
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