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Lick the Plate: Bacon nirvana at Slater’s 50/50 in San Marcos

The first thought that came to mind when I looked at Slater’s 50/50 menu in San Marcos was, “well this is over-the-top.”

And given that they use those words specifically twice on their website homepage with the lines “all sorts of over-the-top options” and “over-the-top food favorites” then that’s what this dining experience was going to be like so I was just going to go with it.

With a column called Lick the Plate I better be able to go big once in a while right? That’s what this place is all about so I planned a day of light eating in preparation.

In case you were unaware, the 50/50 comes from their original differentiator of their burgers having an even mix of 50% ground bacon and 50% ground beef.

That ensures a moist, flavorful burger regardless of the temperature you order it. Much like buying the fattiest blend of beef for your burgers at home, 70/30 has always been my preference.

My point is, lean blends of burgers are not my thing so Slater’s is doing it right with their signature hook.

As I’ve mentioned in the past, I’m more of a simple burger kind of guy, I want to taste that moist, fatty blend with minimal distractions but since this is an over-the-top kind of place, I was ready to indulge.

Before I get into the food I should note that their San Marcos location has the most beer taps I’ve seen.

They claim over 100 and that all their bartenders and servers are Cicerone certified, which bodes well for all you crafty beer drinkers out there.

In case you are unfamiliar with the term Cicerone, (sis-uh-rohn) it “designates hospitality professionals with proven experience in selecting, acquiring, and serving today’s wide range of beers.

To claim the title of Cicerone, one must earn the title of Certified Cicerone or hold higher certification as Advanced Cicerone or Master Cicerone. Those with a basic level of expertise gain recognition by earning the first-level title Certified Beer Server.”

This level of beer knowledge was evident with our bartender/server who brought out several tasters based on my request for something that would accompany the forthcoming feast.

Slater’s Vampire Dip was recommended to start our meal and it was a fine pick. The combination of roasted garlic, artichoke hearts and creamy melted cheese served in a sourdough bread bowl with crispy pita and veggies for dipping was delish.

I could envision eating a lot of this stuff watching a sporting event on a lazy Sunday.

They also offer up Crispy Brussels Sprouts (see, there are healthy options), Ahi Tuna Poke Nachos, 50/50 Sloppy Joe Sliders, Kona Chicken Lettuce Wraps, Bacon Mac and Cheese Balls,  and of course the pork centric Pork-A-Palooza, their signature bacon flight with Bacon Chicharron, Bacon Kettle Corn, Sweet & Sour Agave Pork Wings, Crispy Pork Belly with Jalapeno-Bacon Jam and Slater’s Giardiniere.

Yep, that would fit into the OTT category.

The salads at Slater’s are hearty and definitely an option for those of you not up for the OTT experience.

We added the Southern Fried Chicken Cobb into our mix for a slice of healthy and it was solid. Other salad options include the ultimate BLT, Tomato Basil, Strawberry + Burrata and Ahi Poke.

Burgers are the stars at Slater’s and all 1/3 Burgers are served with your choice of: French Fries + Slater’s Bacon Ketchup; Sweet Potato Fries + Pumpkin Sauce; or Slater’s Salad; and any burger can be served on organic mixed greens or in a lettuce wrap.

I’d suggest it in a bun but just wanted to put that out there.

And of course you can “Slaterize” your fries for that OTT experience with beer cheese or bacon chili cheese.

Impossible burgers are available to replace the 50/50 blend, but that just seems counter intuitive to this whole experience. I counted 13 burger options so there is something for everyone.

The signature 50/50 includes that magic beef and bacon blend with pepper jack cheese, avocado, sunny-side up egg and chipotle mayo on a brioche bun.

Shakes seem to be the way to go for dessert and they go big with those as well. The Ultimate S’more Shake, King Shake, Candy Shop Shake and the adult Mint Chocolate Guinness Shake will complete your going big experience at Slater’s in fine fashion.

It’s a fine place to watch sports with TVs everywhere and a nice outdoor patio perfect for happy hour that runs Monday through Friday from 3 to 6 p.m. and Friday through Sunday 9 p.m. to close.

My advice is to bring an appetite and let loose a bit as we all need to indulge on occasion right? 

Find Slater’s at 110 Knoll Road, San Marcos. Call (760) 759-2900 or visit www.slaters5050.com

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