Sure, you can call sliders a food fad. But then you'd be forgetting the grand tradition of the pop-in-your-mouth size sandwich. The slider most likely had its start as a finger sandwich, served to proper ladies at tea time, then graduated to a mini-burger at the legendary White Castle. Nicknamed "gut bombs" or "murder burgers", these little meat sandwiches originally sold for a nickel back when the chain opened in 1921. More than a sandwich, White Castle is a genuine phenomenon, People have them shipped fresh, smuggling sacks onto airplanes, buying them frozen, and making movies about them. Slider naysayers who think the mini-sandwich is just a passing craze should bite into that tidbit of trivia.
Chef Michael B. Jacobs agrees with the theory that these one-bite wonders are here to stay -- at least for a month or so, with the opening of Sliders, a pop-up at his Hidden Kitchen at Imperial House in Miami Beach.
Why sliders? Chef Jacobs, who calls them "America's tapas", says he likes to eat "small, exciting food that allows you to try a bunch of different things." We think he's simply sick of eating frozen White Castles from Publix to sate his slider cravings and wanted to do something about it.
Each day, Jacobs will offer a changing selection of the tiny treats between buns for lunch, dinner, and weekend brunch. Expect to find from six to a dozen selections at any time, along with craft beers and wines to wash them down with. For dessert? Sweet, sweet sliders.
The chef-to-the-Heat is also inviting some of his friends to help create sliders, so look for guest creations from the likes of Kris Wessel and Jose Mendin. Slider prices will range from $3 to $9 each, and include choices like a New England-inspired lobster roll, eggplant parm, pulled pork shoulder banh mi with kimchee slaw, and a three-cheese mac & cheese with brisket.
On Saturday and Sunday, enjoy brunch sliders ($4-8) like potato latkes with smoked salmon and poached eggs, dock and waffles, and Monte Cristos -- all bite sized so you can try them all. $20 gets you unlimited mimosas.
There's also a weekday happy hour, with $2 sliders and half-priced drinks Monday - Friday from 5:30 - 6:30 p.m., along with game-watching parties offering $3-5 cocktails and sliders during Miami Heat, UM, and Dolphins games.
The grand opening of Sliders is Sunday, November 10, but if you're hungry you can check it out now at the soft opening. Sliders at the Hidden Kitchen is open for lunch lunch Monday - Friday from 11:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.; dinner Monday - Saturday from 5:30 p.m. - 11 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday brunch is served from 11 a.m. - 4 p.m.