The atmosphere is laid back at Easy Slider’s new Deep Ellum restaurant, but there’s a faintly nervous energy around co-owner and operator Caroline Perini as she walks the room. It’s the anticipation that stems from transitioning from a food truck into a full-blown restaurant. Perini approaches customers, curious if the sliders live up to the food truck. They certainly do, and juicy, flavorful angus beef patties are the star.
Sitting at the bar, you can’t help but root for the joint. Rolling from the tiny footprint of a food truck to the do-or-die, rent-ain’t-cheap Deep Ellum restaurant scene makes Easy Slider feel like the city’s next great underdog poised to hit. Easy Slider trucks will still roam the streets of Dallas, but opening a physical location in one of North Texas’ most cut-throat culinary neighborhoods takes guts.
The new space fits nicely in Deep Ellum. The decor is simple but stylish; the tables hold centerpieces of halved Topo Chico bottles, a succulent or cactus in each, and a cherry red neon sign declares “EAT SLIDERS.” There’s an easy-breezy patio, which is essential in Deep Ellum at this point, a mini beer and wine selection and, coming soon, a cocktail menu.
Easy Slider is laid-back but focused. Perini and crew make mini burgers (two for $9) look easy. The Roadside is cheddar, bacon, a sweet and thick barbecue sauce, grilled jalapeños and crispy onion strings. It’s speared down the center, a cornichon skewered with it. My patty, though slider-sized, is cooked perfectly medium rare and seasoned with just salt and pepper. It’s delicious.
Same for the Sweet and Lowdown, a bacon, goat cheese and strawberry jam-topped burger. A big pile of crispy tater tots, beer-infused onion rings and a wedge salad round out the meal, served with ranch dressing and delivered on a metal tray.
With a cold beer, things are looking good. Maybe it’s the Americana decor, but after a few minutes here, I’m sorely in the mood for an ice-cold Lonestar.
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Easy Slider will keep late-night hours when it matters most (sliders and ranch-dipped tater tots sound phenomenal after too many Velvet Hammers), and the cocktail menu is evolving. In the meantime, they’ve got the music going, metal eagles on the walls and their Nutty Pig slider with bacon, lettuce, tomato, onion and peanut butter.
Easy Slider, 2701 Main St. Open 11 a.m. to midnight Sunday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. Friday and Sunday.