By Eleni Upah
Appetizers come in all shapes, sizes, flavors and forms. Some of the more traditional ones have been on the menu for years: mozzarella sticks, chips and salsa, and onion rings to name a few.
For most restaurant-goers, appetizers are the snack before the meal — something to keep your mouth busy and stomach satiated before the main course arrives. And for others, this first course is just as important as the entrée. It is like the opening act at a concert; it sets the tone for the rest of the meal.
At the Saints Pub in Beaverdale, sliders aren’t just the first act, they’re a crowd favorite and a weekly special. French dip, breaded tenderloin, BBQ pulled pork and beef sliders hold their reign at the top of the Saints menu best-sellers list, where one appetizer gets three of the mini sandwiches. Think of them as samples of the restaurant’s regular versions; the beef slider uses 2.5-ounce burgers, for example, with the same toppings and optional add-ons as the half-pound originals.
They’ve become so popular that Saints even has them on special for $1 each on Wednesdays. An appetizer with so much fan base it’s now served in unlimited quantities? That’s nothing less than a winner in our book.
The Beaverdale Saints Pub also has a little friendly competition for the mini burgers on Wednesdays.
“We actually have an ongoing contest,” said Heather Hamilton, general manager of Saints Beaverdale and Beaver Tap. “If you beat the record of sliders in one meal, they are on us.”
The current record is 14 — more than four appetizer plates of the mini sandwiches.
It’s not hard to guess why these treats would be ordered in bulk, especially with all the toppings and cheeses — American, provolone, Swiss, pepper jack, blue cheese or cheddar — added by request for the ultimate personalized mini-burger. It’s also not surprising that people want them in large quantities; our minds have been tricked into thinking smaller portions allow for more portions. But remember, just because they’re “mini” doesn’t mean they’re not filling. A standard order is three sliders for a reason. Even though they come on a smaller bun, they still pack a flavorful, satisfying punch to the appetite. RELISH