The first thing that you should know about the new slider-based food cart Slide is emblazoned right on the side of the cart: It's not a burger.
Although the term "slider" primarily refers to diminutive hamburgers, it can refer to any small sandwich in a squishy white bun, another pretty much standard element. Slide features six different sandwiches, and none are traditional burgers.
Slide Food Cart and Catering owner Christine Ameigh is also the chef. Though a Madison native, she got turned on to the mobile food phenomenon during years living in California, where food carts -- there, full-fledged trucks -- came to various neighborhoods on different nights. Wednesday night was Ameigh's night to head out to the local food truck and it became a loved tradition for her.
Now she's combining her passion for food and her business background with the Slide cart, which parks in front of Grainger Hall during the noon hour (11 a.m.-2 p.m.) weekdays, in the 400 block of Broom Street over Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights from 11:30 p.m. to 2:30 (Thursday) or 3 a.m., and other events and sites from time to time.
The most popular slider is the Wilbur, says Ameigh -- that's pulled pork with homemade barbecue sauce and slaw. Ameigh's own fave is the Powerball, a cheese-stuffed meatball topped with marinara. Two vegetarian options are the Beets the Meat, a roasted beet slice topped with grilled onions and dressing; and the Italy On Wisconsin, essentially a caprese salad (tomato, basil, mozzarella with vinaigrette) on a slider bun.
I sampled the final two sliders: the Buff Chick, which is sort of what you'd get if buffalo wings mated with pulled pork; and the "How Do You Say the Name of That Pepper," slow-cooked sirloin topped with pepperoncini and provolone.
The Buff Chick, slow cooked chicken with a generous slathering of buffalo sauce and topped with a dice of carrots and celery and crumbled of bleu cheese, is absolutely delicious, its hot blast piqued by the bleu cheese and tempered by the sweetish, brioche-like bun (baked by Weber's Bakery of Lodi).
The "How Do You Say the Name of That Pepper" was also a good sandwich, though it suffered a little bit from playing second banana to the Buff Chick.
Two sliders will run you $7, certainly in line with pricing at other area food carts; plus, it comes with a choice of sides -- right now, potato salad, fruit, or homemade pickles. The pickles -- two of them! -- are not-too-tart dills made from not-so-large cukes. The sliders of the dill pickle world, more or less.
Ameigh, looking forward to the upcoming food cart review, is thinking about trying for a spot on the Library Mall for next year, but for now is happy in front of the epicenter of the business school, where, she says, she's already gained regular customers. And business late night is picking up, too, she says.