If you’re familiar with my blog, you know about my long-standing feud with mini burgers masquerading as sliders. You also know that real sliders require a very specific cooking style involving a griddle, onions and steamed buns. And finally, you know that Detroit has some of the best. Yet, sliders are not exclusive to Detroit, and New Jersey is known as a bastion of such burgers. Perhaps no location is more famous than White Mana in Jersey City, which has been making the things since 1939 (although not at the Jersey City location because the slider making began in the New York World’s Fair).
New Orleans is, without a doubt, a city that defies the rest of the United States. From the French influence to the third world-esque devastation of Hurricane Katrina to the fact that women are willing to take their tops off for beads (okay maybe that one’s not so different), it is unquestionably a unique city. Yet, as a first time visitor with a meat blog, I was far more interested in the culinary aspects of NOLA than anything else, beginning with The Ruby Slipper Cafe.
Down under the Ambassador Bridge that connects Detroit to Windsor is a wait that challenges that of the border crossing. It’s called Green Dot Stables, on the Detroit side, and when we arrived we were told the wait would be more than an hour. Considering the fact that the majority of Detroit is abandoned, we were shocked, but also excited by the prospect of people finding more excuses to head into the city.
Bates’ Hamburgers in Farmington Hills has a history with my family. As my step-dad’s favorite burger place in the area, I kind of inherited his love for their classic sliders. In the same vein as Greene’s and Hunter House, Bates’ is the third and final spot I had to review in the greasy trinity of awesome sliders of Metro Detroit. And just like in those other two reviews, it is important to note that these are real sliders: skinny patties prepped on the griddle with onions and the bun on top so that they get that tasty burger steam inside.
Like its cousin in Farmington Hills, The Hunter House in Birmingham is home to a true slider. It sits in a building reminiscent of White Castle with simple black lettering proclaiming its specialty: Hamburgers. But not just any hamburgers, these sliders are the stuff of legend. Skinny, greasy patties with buns steamed on top while cooking at The Hunter House were enough to get them named the best hamburgers in Michigan in 2009 by the Food Network Magazine. But for a place that’s been around since 1952, the accolades were hardly necessary.
The 8 oz. Burger Bar in Melrose has intrigued me for a long time. It combines two of my favorite things, burgers and bars, into one, so I knew eventually I would have to see how well that combination works. I recently got my chance and even went online to check their menu before going. On that menu I saw something that made me want to go even more: Fried Wisconsin Cheese Curds. Cheese curds are one of my favorite things in the world and although I prefer them un-fried, I will eat them anytime I see them offered. Excited about these curds, I stepped into 8 oz. Burger Bar.
Then I looked at their menu and almost cried.
In an area saturated with delicious sliders like Greene’s Hamburgers, I never felt any need to visit White Castle in Michigan. Yet, somehow, on my last visit to my homeland I was convinced to take a drive out to Grand River and 8 Mile Road (yeah the same one that Eminem is from) in Farmington Hills to pay a visit to White Castle. The adventure getting there wasn’t worthy of creating an entire film, but still felt like a hike.
Click on that picture to the left to get a free Pulled Pork Slider coupon from White Castle. The coupon is good through June 30th and looks pretty damn good.
I have a hard time believing you can make a real slider out of pulled pork, but since White Castle burgers are true sliders, maybe they are on to something…
*Update: It looks like they are also offering free regular sliders through July 12th. Check out the coupon here. Thanks to AHT for the info.
The Metro Detroit area seems to have been blessed with a number of great slider joints. Although Hunter House in Birmingham seems to get the most public acclaim, Greene’s Hamburgers in Farmington is no less worthy, if only for the fact that they are open 24 hours a day.
Greene’s resides in a little unassuming porcelain tile-covered building with the words Greene’s Hamburgers written in a basic black font, with the emphasis on Hamburgers. Inside, the place smells like burger heaven, with no large number of stools placed around the counter and against the windows. The menu barely contains more than hamburgers and fries, but there’s really no need to look beyond those items, because they are the real reason people come to Greene’s.