The St. Louis Slinger Tour
July 24, 2013 12:21 PM   Subscribe

The bloggers at The St. Louis Slinger Tour have completed their comprehensive 16 month review of the Slingers available at 58 different St. Louis area restaurants. Follow them chronologically or check out Tim and Tony's Top 10 for later enjoyment (consensus favorite: The Sidebar). Also available for your convenience is a list of the worst Slingers in St. Louis (e.g. Uncle Bill's), to be avoided or ordered out of morbid curiosity.

"The Slinger is a Midwestern diner specialty typically consisting of two eggs, hash browns, and a hamburger patty (or any other meat) all covered in chili con carne stew (with or without beans) and generously topped with cheese (cheddar or American) and onions. The eggs can be any style. The Slinger is considered to be a St. Louis late-night culinary original."
posted by jedicus (37 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite

 
This is the first time I've heard of the slinger, but it sound pretty tasty albeit in a very greasy way. Sounds like a good way to finish off a night of drinking.
posted by Harpocrates at 12:27 PM on July 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'm surprised they lived to see the conclusion of this project.
posted by invitapriore at 12:30 PM on July 24, 2013 [2 favorites]


I'll agree with their rankings, but none compare to the defunct "Irv's Good Food".
posted by DaddyNewt at 12:33 PM on July 24, 2013


Thursday night special: Free Lipitor with every slinger.
posted by lalochezia at 12:38 PM on July 24, 2013


The Crow's Nest review is filling me with nostalgia for the late Bleeding Deacon.
posted by invitapriore at 12:38 PM on July 24, 2013 [2 favorites]


I was a vegetarian for a while in high school so I ate about a million veggie slingers at the Courtesy Diner on Hampton. Moved away, still haven't had the real thing. I should remedy that.
posted by evisceratordeath at 12:40 PM on July 24, 2013


Looking at the best and worst example photographs, it would seem that the Slinger is something you can safely judge by how it looks.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 12:40 PM on July 24, 2013


Also, I just had the slinger at the Soulard Coffee Garden last weekend, which is overall a place that I have a lot of affection for on account of their awesome patio area and tasty coffee and general good vibes, but I think I agree with the review here. It was just okay.
posted by invitapriore at 12:41 PM on July 24, 2013


I live in Missouri and have had so many of these under varied names (novelty names given by the establishments: "The Superfort", "The Nightmare") and only just now learned that they have an actual unifying name!
posted by sourwookie at 12:43 PM on July 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


Dan Zettwoch, a St. Louis-based illustrator, created a schematic diagram of a slinger, an awesome print of which is in my dining room right now.

My money's on the classic Courtesy Diner slinger. Cheese and jalapenos, no onion. Coffee to drink.
posted by brentajones at 12:44 PM on July 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


Reading the wikipedia article explaining the Slinger, my dander rose. "A St. Louis original? Why, that's but a descendant of the revered Nick Tahou's Garbage Pl--" And then I noticed at the bottom of the page, under "See Also," the Garbage Plate.

Well done, Wikipedia. Well done indeed.

If the Slinger actually predates or inspired the Garbage Plate, I do not wish to know. Allow a son of the Rust Belt his delusions.
posted by Harvey Jerkwater at 12:47 PM on July 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


Jesus. Just thinking about how drunk I'd have to be to eat something like that is making me feel queasy.
posted by pipeski at 12:53 PM on July 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'm pretty gratified to see City Diner get its comeuppance here, too. It sucks! No one wants to admit that it sucks! It doesn't matter that it's open 24 hours, that just means it sucks more often! It would be okay if it were cheap but it's not cheap.
posted by invitapriore at 12:56 PM on July 24, 2013 [3 favorites]


That's precisely when they're usually eaten, Pipeski.
posted by DaddyNewt at 1:01 PM on July 24, 2013


Budweiser is also a St. Louis original.
posted by stbalbach at 1:02 PM on July 24, 2013


My theory was always- The grosser the Slinger looked, the better it tasted. Case in point - my favorite was Eat-Rite.

Now I miss St. Louis.
posted by saul wright at 1:02 PM on July 24, 2013


I believe my friends split a slinger at #2 ranked Big Ed's Chili Mac's Diner, conveniently located downtown as the only non-chain option we could find near our Arch-adjacent hotel. I cannot say I was powerfully tempted to try it, but I can verify that the restaurant was super cheap, mostly full of locals, and that they made a solid $4 BLT.
posted by maryr at 1:02 PM on July 24, 2013


I love that there is still (some) regional food left in America. But I'm totally not eating that.
posted by JoanArkham at 1:08 PM on July 24, 2013


It doesn't matter that it's open 24 hours, that just means it sucks more often!

I have no dog in this fight, but man, that's a beautiful sentence.
posted by Now there are two. There are two _______. at 1:33 PM on July 24, 2013 [3 favorites]


Jesus. Just thinking about how drunk I'd have to be to eat something like that is making me feel queasy.

Yeah, I think I'd have to have like half a beer, at LEAST, before ordering one of those with glittering tears of anticipation in my eyes.
posted by Greg Nog at 2:02 PM on July 24, 2013 [2 favorites]


huh. So it's like a cold-weather-region loco moco.
posted by oneirodynia at 2:02 PM on July 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


The slinger, the garbage plate, poutine, okonomiyaki and, to some extent, ful medames and the Frito pie I grew up with, are all foods that really appeal to me. What is it they have in common besides being stuff on stuff? Is there a broader term for this collection?
posted by mudpuppie at 2:18 PM on July 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


"Unhealthy"?
posted by maryr at 2:19 PM on July 24, 2013


All of those would be correctly described as comfort food, but that may be a broader term than you'd want?
posted by gilrain at 2:28 PM on July 24, 2013


"Meat glop on starch bits?" That's a little more specific than "stuff on stuff"....
posted by Now there are two. There are two _______. at 2:29 PM on July 24, 2013


The slinger, the garbage plate, poutine, okonomiyaki and, to some extent, ful medames and the Frito pie I grew up with

At the far end of the spectrum there is the Scottish munchy box (examples).
posted by jedicus at 2:31 PM on July 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


"Comfort food" certainly describes the category, but not the architecture. That's kind of what I was thinking of.
posted by mudpuppie at 2:39 PM on July 24, 2013


Smothered stuff.
posted by saul wright at 2:42 PM on July 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


"Unhealthy"?

All of those would be correctly described as comfort food...

"Meat glop on starch bits?"

Smothered stuff.


or (E) Deliciously awesome achievements of western culture.

(The answer is (F) all of the above.)
posted by MCMikeNamara at 3:23 PM on July 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


Hmm. The slinger they had at the Eat-Rite Diner is much prettier than the one I had 9 years ago. But maybe that's just the fact I took that picture with a camera phone 9 years ago. And yeah, saul wright, it was delicious.
posted by zsazsa at 4:09 PM on July 24, 2013


Either the City Diner has gone downhill since I left St. Louis (a decade ago, oh god) or St. Louis is just spoiled rotten for diners, for I can truly tell you that Los Angeles doesn't have a diner its equal. Los Angeles diners suck and now I miss St. Louis.
posted by Bookhouse at 4:41 PM on July 24, 2013


Daddynewt: Irv's was the first I had about 20 years ago (They might have been the one who called it "The Nightmare"--or perhaps that was Eat-Rite). I scanned the list for them first and was disappointed to see them gone. They were where I would end up after playing a show when I was in town and The Nightmare is what I would always order.

I am pleased to learn this is a food can can claim as our own and argue that it's far cooler that "Toasted" Ravioli.
posted by sourwookie at 7:47 PM on July 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


The first time I heard of it was when local boy Jeff Tweedy asked from the stage whether they were still a thing. The description reminds me of the horseshoe (http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Horseshoe_sandwich), though.
posted by Occula at 9:49 PM on July 24, 2013


I love how their first five stops include The Buttery, Eat Rite, and the Courtesy. Huh, Maybe I used to know these guys...

EAT RITE OR DON'T EAT AT ALL!
posted by evil otto at 3:28 AM on July 25, 2013


saul wright: "My theory was always- The grosser the Slinger looked, the better it tasted. Case in point - my favorite was Eat-Rite.

Now I miss St. Louis.
"

Thank you for reminding me. When I was married, we honeymooned in St. Louis. Before we left, I saw something on the Blue which lead me to read about slingers, which lead me to research them and where to get them. I ended up having my first (and a few subsequent ones) at Eat-Rite.

It was messily lovely and I have sent many people there since then. Of course, knowing the name now helps.
posted by Samizdata at 9:15 AM on July 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


This is the first time I've heard of the slinger...

I've lived here for ~18 years now and have never heard of them.

But then I lived here for something like 12 years without being introduced to Gooey Butter Cake. And I've never had a St. Paul Sandwich, either.
posted by Foosnark at 3:08 PM on July 25, 2013


Foosnark: "This is the first time I've heard of the slinger...

I've lived here for ~18 years now and have never heard of them.

But then I lived here for something like 12 years without being introduced to Gooey Butter Cake. And I've never had a St. Paul Sandwich, either.
"

Y'all need to fix that tomorrow morning when you get up. It's a Saturday, so scheduling should be cake.
posted by Samizdata at 9:53 PM on July 26, 2013


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