Restaurant of the Week: Slater’s 50/50

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Slater’s 50/50, 8009 Day Creek Blvd. (at Victoria Gardens Lane), Rancho Cucamonga

In proof the Inland Valley is getting hipper, or more accurately less unhip, Rancho Cucamonga is now home to the sixth location of a rising high-end burger chain. Slater’s signature ingredient is bacon, its 50/50 burger being half-bacon, half-beef, and they have 100 beers on tap.

Replacing Harry’s Pacific Grill, Slater’s opened July 1 and people discovered it quickly. A friend and I showed up at 6:30 p.m. for dinner midweek and the stated wait was 60 to 75 minutes. Thankfully there’s a Starbucks next door, which is likely to see booming business from people cooling their heels. They’ll text you when it’s your turn, and it was indeed 75 minutes before it was.

The interior is much as I remember it from the sedate Harry’s, heavy on the wood and with its own bar. They’ve added multiple TVs, all tuned to sports, albeit with the sound off, or at least overwhelmed by the classic rock blasting from the sound system and the dull roar from the couple of hundred people inside.

We had an appetizer platter ($6.45, below) of onion rings (a bit greasy, but okay) and sweet potato fries (very good) and two sandwiches ($9 each): a 50/50 for me (bottom), a veggie burger for my friend. Counter-style, you can fill out a slip to choose your patty, bun, cheese, condiments, etc. An indecisive fellow, I’d also rather leave the choices of what goes well together to the kitchen professionals, yet I decided to build my own this time.

The veggie burger was declared “pretty wonderful,” with actual vegetables (black beans, most notably) visible. “I would so get that again,” my friend said. The buns are especially good, the brioche and the honey wheat, being flavorful and substantial.

My 50/50 was fine, but as you’d expect a burger made half of bacon to be, saltier than a typical burger. By the end I was a little tired of it. It was gimmicky, although less so than the chain’s “burger of the month” for July, which is an all-bacon patty, topped with bacon, with bacon dressing, bacon cheese and bacon pretzel bun, plus a fried egg. Maybe they’ll sell you a pancake as a side.

I’m not sure I’d get the 50/50 again, but I would try something else, maybe one of the standard burgers where they’ve already made the choices, or one of the non-burger options. The desserts and milkshakes sound intriguing too. (I might have ordered a shake but the restaurant was chilly.)

Service was attentive, with multiple people checking on us multiple times. There was a glitch on the bill where they tried charging me 50 cents each for condiments that were supposed to be free, but the bill was corrected.

Worth trying to see what the fuss is about, but you might want to arrive at an off-hour. And it helps if you like Starbucks.

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  • SAWZ

    I would not consider a hamburger like that, but those onion rings and sweet potato fries look scrumptious!

  • Eric S.

    I know it sounds disgusting…but….. the Peanut Butter Jealousy is delicious

  • Andy Sze

    on the topic of a sign of hip, 85 C Bakery just opened in Chino Hills… now you can get 85C without leaving the IE, but for IE ppl I wonder if it’s even worth visiting. Both the Covina and RH stores are nearly equidistant. i wonder if opening a 3rd store in this area will finally relieve the over burdened Hacienda Heights / RH store.

    • Andy Sze

      turns not open until July 19th. so far every plaza that 85C has opened has exploded in terms of visitor traffic and tennancy (Diamond Jamboree plaza, irvine, Hacienda Heights, Bixby plaza, Covina). will this turn around that plaza with the costco and former best buy?

      • davidallen909

        Thanks for the update, Andy. I ate at the 85 Degrees in Covina recently and am looking forward to the one in Chino Hills.

        • Andy Sze

          what have you tried? anything you like at 85C? I’ve been wanting to try Slaters.. but afraid to due to the calorie count. The Seafood City you reported on in the former best buy location in Rancho is under heavy construction right now.

          • davidallen909

            We’re getting kind of off-topic! I had a mushroom bread, a tomato bread and an apple pie, all delish.

  • Ronald Scott

    Ive had Eureka Burger and Rounds in Claremont are the burger’s as good as them? I know that they are basically the same concept right?

    • davidallen909

      Yes, it’s another high-end burger joint. I prefer Eureka and Rounds, but Slater’s is comparable.

  • DebB

    It’s a little hard to tell…is the bacon ground up like the beef, or is it in bits or strips or something? Lately it seems as if a lot of food vendors are going out of their way to make their products as unhealthy as possible.

    • davidallen909

      Ground up and mixed with the beef, so you don’t really see it, but you can taste it.

  • Pam Arterburn

    Slaters is hyped as being hip, but other than the consistent theme of “there is no such thing as too much bacon,” I thought it was trying too hard to hit all the hipness bases and thus became a bacon bit of this and that. Is it a sports bar? Well, it serves drinks, has a bar, and in the room we were in, 7 televisions were set to sports channels. Is it a burger place? Well, sort of–if you consider bacon as part of your meat. Is it a “sushi bar” where you fill out a sheet with various orders? Yes, but here you check off condiments and have to think so hard about burger construction that you may feel faint. Fear not–the din of noisy diners will energize you and verify that Slaters embodies the zen of modern (indefinite) hipness, with a side of bacon on your bacon. :) My veggie burger was good, but I kept wondering–what if I’d chosen one of the other 9,051 possible combinations on the checklist instead? Looks like I just found a reason to go back!

  • Bob Terry

    I was fortunate to be invited to their soft opening a couple of Fridays ago so it was nice to be fed for free…all I had to pay for was my 2 beers and my wife’s ice tea, plus tip on the “total” of what it would have been. We started with onion rings and fried jalapenos, the tempura batter on the rings due keep the oil in them but the jalapeno batter was different and very good. I had the 50/50 patty melt which was excellent…but like you said, the 50/50 patty gets old pretty quick and I would have been happy with the beef patty. My wife had the turkey/portabella mushroom burger that was massive and she said the turkey was outstanding but too big so she pushed it aside and finished with a mushroom, onion, lettuec and tomato burger. Some cookie/ice cream dessert made it home with us and she managed to finish that off later in the evening. The place is really nice but incredibly loud, but it was quite busy, too. Not sure if I will return, plenty of good burgers alll around the I.E.