Grilling Right and Eating Right

first_imgRestaurant Cover Column 3 Grilling Right and Eating Right Slater’s 50/50 Chef Brad Lyons talks new menu offerings and top tips on grilling the best burger. By FRANZ A.D. MORALES Published on Wednesday, July 31, 2013 | 5:39 pm Business News More Cool Stuff Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked * Community News Slater’s 50/50’s Executive Chef Brad LyonsSlater’s 50/50 may be best known for its signature “50/50 Burger” made of 50% ground bacon and 50% ground beef, but for those seeking something different, Slater’s offers an extensive selection of food choices sure to please everyone.Executive Chef Brad Lyons explains, “While our over the top burgers definitely take center stage, our menu has numerous options that appeal to everybody. For example, our Design It menu allows guests to truly customize their dining experience. They can choose from literally hundreds of combinations of burgers, salads, and sandwiches to not only suit their personal taste, but also accommodate any dietary restrictions.”In addition, Slater’s also offers a gluten free menu that highlights which dishes meet the requirements of guests who need to avoid gluten. “Of course, we also have classic American favorites including our Old Timey burger as well as our Veggie Burger and World’s Best Turkey Burger,” says Lyons.Slater’s fans will also be interested in a couple of new additions to the menu including a deliciously light Kale Quinoa salad and Twice Grilled Grilled Cheese served with Tomato Basil soup.Why the menu update? Lyons tells us, “We listened to our guests and they were interested in seeing what other creations we could come up with, not only in terms of great burgers, but some lighter items that further expand people’s options when they eat here.”There’s something new on the dessert menu to look out for as well, says Lyons, “We have become known for our delicious Bacon Brownie, but this time we’re going to bring out a Bacon Blondie with a peanut butter frosting. It’s insane. Hey, everything in moderation, right?”To top it off, each month, Slater’s gets really creative, introducing a new Burger of the Month. Says Lyons, “Our Burger of the month for August was created in partnership with the Make-a-Wish and a portion of the proceeds from the sale of this burger – the Supreme Nacho Burger – throughout the month will benefit the organization. I actually had the privilege of getting in the kitchen with Wish Kid, Justyn, to develop this burger that is based on his all-time favorite food – nachos. I’ll give you a hint: think of it as a chimichanga-style burger. Awesome.”The Supreme Nacho BurgerFor those who want to expand their grilling skills and produce a restaurant-quality burger at home, Chef Lyons shares his 10 Top Tips for a Better Burger:1. When you grill in the backyard, Charcoal is the way to go. It provides a greater depth of flavor than propane and isn’t as much of a hassle as you’d think. Put the lighter fluid down and try chimney starter instead so you taste the food, not the chemicals.2. Be sure to season your grill. Wipe it down with some cooking oil to avoid food from sticking and to jump start flavors.3. Using a variety of cuts, meats and grinds can truly transform the flavor profile of your burger. One of my favorite combinations is beef and sausage – either chorizo or Italian – it adds complex taste and is a great way to infuse regional or cultural flavors.4. Let your motto be “Let it Be” – Try not to overwork the meat when prepping and definitely don’t over season – good quality beef doesn’t require too much â€œdoctoring.”5. Flip no burger before its time. We all have our moments and so does your food, so don’t rush it.6. Don’t put a lid on it – to get a good char and that professional quality and taste, grill uncovered.7. Bacon makes it better. Trust me on this one.8. Think outside the bun. In other words, get creative. Burgers are probably one of the most versatile foods on the planet, so let your freak flag fly and pile on your favorite toppings.9. Toasted buns are the best buns. Toss them on the grill for a few seconds and change the way you view your bread.10. Use quality ingredients. All of these tips are useless unless you use quality product. This doesn’t mean expensive ingredients… it can be as simple as using fresh instead of frozen. Get the best your budget will allow.In addition to the delicious food, Slater’s 50/50 has also won rave reviews in the craft beer category, boasting one of the largest and most diverse selections of local and regional craft brews available. Slater’s takes its beer program so seriously that they even employ a Beermonger whose sole focus is seeking out the best, most unique new brews available to bring to Slater’s guests. The 100+ taps are in constant rotation and the restaurants’ Certified Beer Servers can help guests determine what beers pair best with their food selections or just introduce them to beers they haven’t tried before.So, how did Chef Lyons land this gig of dreaming up some of the wildest gourmet burgers in the industry?“I joined the company before we opened our first location in Anaheim Hills in 2009. Scott (Slater) and I went to college together, and I trained at Le Cordon Bleu to become a chef. I was brought on as executive chef to help develop the menu and expand the idea of the whole gourmet style, build-your-own burger concept that he developed,” says Lyons.As executive chef, Lyons is focused on menu development and continuing to push the culinary envelope in terms of developing innovative, delicious menu items for the brand as it expands into new markets.“For us, it is all about the guest experience and our number one goal is to ensure that from the way they are welcomed to the food they eat and the beers they drink that our guests feel as though they had a great time and that they treated themselves to a really great meal,” Lyons adds.No wonder everyone keeps coming back to Slater’s.Slater’s 50/50 Pasadena is located at 61 North Raymond Ave.To see what’s new with Slater’s check out or call (626) 765-9700 for more details. Get our daily Pasadena newspaper in your email box. 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