Triple Take: Sliders Gone Wild

Who doesn't love sliders? With a few bites , you can get all the satisfaction of a burger without stuffing yourself silly. And they're neat and easy to eat — while walking, while chatting, while kicking back and enjoying a cocktail — without covering your hands and face in burger grease and shame. Sliders are ubiquitous around town, but not everyone does them right. Here are three of your best options.

Known for unpretentious bar food, Jasper's Corner Tap keeps its sliders traditional: ground beef, cooked to a juicy, pink medium rare, served with a handful of greens and a melting layer of blue cheese inside a salted and seeded pretzel roll, garnished with a tiny pickle. The bread soaks up the burger's juices without falling apart and the cheese adds just the right amount of creaminess and flavor without overpowering the beef. The perfect accompaniment? Jasper's soft pretzel served with gouda fondue — a rich, warm cheese sauce known to some patrons as “crack” — just made for dunking the last bites of your slider into.

For a Mediterranean twist, look no further than newcomer Brasserie S&P's lamb sliders. Fallon Hills Ranch lamb is ground, grilled to medium rare, and served on a soft toasted bun with greens, grilled red onions, and the kicker: tangy, creamy, herbaceous mint aioli, made with a pinch of cayenne pepper for just enough heat to balance the coolness of the mint. It's an ideal upscale bar snack, perfectly suited for lounging back and sipping on one of Priscilla Young's impeccable gin and tonics.

Ask any Haight-er about the food at Maven, and the first thing out of their mouth will invariably be “duck sliders.” These exotic little poultry burgers are practically legendary, and with good reason: succulent bits of rich duck meat are piled high on a brioche bun and topped with bacon, bitter Chinese greens, and shiitake mushrooms. A beautiful balance of flavors — salty, sweet, savory, bitter, and umami are all represented — these sliders are as good on their own as they are paired with a handcrafted Maven cocktail or specialty beer.

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