The burger: “This is a four-napkin burger,” said my friend, as he tried – without much success – to keep control of all the components spilling out of the two-fisted bacon cheeseburger he had in his grip. I nodded in agreement. We were deeply immersed in a tremendous quick-service burger experience at Slim’s, and soon enough I was running neck-and-neck in the paper napkin tally.
What a smart entry in the fast-food burger wars. The Slim’s version sports a hand-formed patty , its hefty 6 ounces pressed into a relatively thin shape (one that hugs the edges of the plus-size bun) and seared on the flattop until the rough-hewn outer edges take on a crisp, flavorful char.
It’s piping hot, and that heat makes quick work of the melty blanket of American cheese. Aside from the chewy beef bacon – a thoughtful add-on for the pork-averse – toppings include tangy red onions, a heavy dose of vinegar-ey pickle chips, a crispy Bibb lettuce leaf and a few forgettable tomato slices, all working in concert to create a quintessentially all-American fast-food experience, Grade-A division. The malts and shakes, hand-scooped and mixed to order, are an added bonus.
The highly agreeable soft white-bread buns, swiped with butter and given a light toasting, hail from Denny’s 5th Avenue Bakery.
How good is the Slim's burger? “I had every intention of eating half and then walking away from the rest,” said my friend. “And look: I ate the whole thing.” Same here.
Price: Hamburger $4.50, cheeseburger $5, bacon-cheeseburger $6, all a first-rate value.
Fries: An additional $2, and worth it. They’re skin-ons, cut fresh daily. Their rich potato flavor is enhanced by a light sprinkle of a house-made seasoning blend.
The back story: Brothers Omar (“Slim” is his childhood nickname) and Yunes Abuisnaineh renovated and expanded a former Starbucks into their cheery year-old restaurant (pictured, above), which also cranks out chicken wings, pizza, gyros and cheese steak sandwiches.
The brothers are locals. "I grew up here, this is right in my neighborhood," said Omar, and he's not exaggerating; he graduated from Park Center Senior High School, which is just down the street. Their business started in 2011 as a tiny chicken wings-and-pizza takeout joint before traded up to their big 69th-and-Brooklyn Blvd. location last winter. A convenient drive-through opened in earlier this month.
Another deep-fried specialty is the basket ($4) of crisp, liberally seasoned potato chips, cut long and skinny and paired with two sauces. “Take me straight to North Memorial,” said my friend, as he began to tackle that pile of chips in earnest. Don't miss them.
Address book: 6901 Brooklyn Blvd., Brooklyn Center, 763-512-2000. Open 10:30 am. to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, 10:30 am. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
Talk to me: Do you have a favorite burger? Share the details at firstname.lastname@example.org