We stuff our faces at the first annual “Shake, Rattle and Grill” event hosted by the Museum of Glass – a slider competition featuring 7 local restaurants and some of Tacoma’s grooviest patrons. Be sure and read the written recap after the movie!
Click below to read our thoughts on the event and the sliders!
Oh Tacoma. I’ve so rarely seen this side of you – all dolled up and pretty-like, almost as if you never abandoned the comforting confines of poodle skirts and high heels for skinny jeans and Chuck Taylors. I must admit, there are few things more patriotic than watching droves of wealthy white people consume mass quantities of meat and bread while wearing their favorite 50’s attire. But what was up with that one guy? The one with the mullet and the NASA jacket? A strange mashup of eras, one: a decade off, the other: three. Whatever the decade, your love for sliders was evident that night, and we were happy to come along for the ride.
We dig deep into the recesses of our minds to provide you with some yays, nays and mehs in honor of this most groovy of Tacoma happenings.
Rather than break each slider down by ingredients and vendor, we’d rather you took a quick detour to Jennifer Johnson’s fine preview here where you can read all the deets – a surprisingly thorough piece on each of the chefs and sandwiches. We don’t know how Jennifer does it really. Where’s the time for this…what do you call it? Research.
Now that you’re all caught up, you’ll notice only one is an actual burger (Asado). Somewhat ironic when you consider the fact that this entire event was an ode to a glass sculpture featuring a burger. It turns out this is because the health department requires all food in a public setting like this to be served well done – a kiss of death for many burger elitists. For this reason, the menu showcases a lot of slow roasted pork, which may not reflect the true ability or preference of many of the chefs.
Our favorite slider was from Social Bar and Grill. We obviously weren’t alone, as Social was voted best overall along with Asado in the peoples’ choice. The BBQ brisket topped our list mainly due to the excellent flavor of the brisket and the fantastic roll it was served on. The slaw was a nice addition.
The Asado slider tied with Social in the peoples’ vote for good reason, it was a big sandwich featuring a 20/80 mix of chorizo and beef, heaps of roasted pepper and onion, and some damn amazing crisped ham. It’s a micro-sized version of the already fantastic Asado burger, so we knocked this one down a peg for originality sake.
There were a few sliders that really suffered from the requirement to overcook the meat, and perhaps none more than the Adriatic Grill Caprese slider. The pork was dry, over seasoned and, well…over cooked. The house made mozzarella and tomato weren’t enough to save it either. This however was in contrast to the sandwich prepared in the cook-off for the judges panel. The judges fawned over the flavorful sausage and buttery mozzarella, and I couldn’t help but notice it was served on a focaccia roll instead of the uninspiring and dry bread served in the main room. Definitely a sandwich that would be better in the restaurant.
The fish filet from Bite too suffered from being a touch dry, but we give them kudos for tossing up the odd duck.
In general the bread was overlooked this evening. The biggest exception being Social who’s buns were baked fresh that morning. Something to consider very seriously when it comprises more than half the total sandwich, except Maxwell’s, who’s ingredients to filling ratio was all whackadoodle.
It’s pretty safe to say that everything else kind of ended up in this category: things I’d eat again, but nothing I’d go out of my way for. The one surprise was the Maxwell’s slider. It was the winner in the judge’s tasting, and we heard others who said the same, but we weren’t as bowled over for whatever reason. The Kahlua pork and Hawaiian slaw was good, but not as flavorful as the Asado or as well put together as the Social. We too are über picky about our bread, and this wasn’t as big a win for Maxwell’s. Maybe we’re missing something….it’s very possible.
The best part about the evening was meeting so many great people. The chefs were all without exception very nice to speak to. The restaurant owners were very pleasant, and the patrons were as well. (There were some folk out there who were off their rocker, but that was part of the fun.) We met a lot of readers, all of which were great people, enough so that we are considering arranging a meet up sometime in the near future. If you have any ideas please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d love to hear from you.
We do this because we love it. And we need food for sustenance. Food is good.
A big heart-felt thanks to Jennifer Johnson and Dirty Oscar’s Annex for the invite and tickets to this great event. We wouldn’t have gone if it weren’t for all of you.~ Derrick and Adam GCF email@example.com