Thursday, May 1, 2014

Episode XXVIII: Slideways (ATL)

Every once and again a Reuben will catch me by surprise. I heard Slideways had a Reuben on the menu but I had never seen it myself, so I was pleasantly surprised to walk in and see that they were featuring one that day.  Slideways is a sliders place but I went ahead and got the full size to really see what this Reuben was made of.

“Smoked beef Brisket topped w/melted Swiss, Sauerkraut, & Russian Dressing.  Full size on Multi grain Bread.”

We have possible RINO here (Reuben In Name Only)!!!

Appearance – (4.3/5.0)
I think the natural outdoor lighting helped this one out. They went with a simple but effective stacked presentation and the tots look great. I know that in the last review I dogged the straight-from-the-freezer- fries, but I really like tots. The Russian dressing and sauerkraut are playing a prominent visual role here which is ok, but I think overflowing melted cheese is more appealing.

Quality Of Ingredients – (4.7/5.0)
No surprise here for anyone who has been to Slideways.  The straight up smoked brisket is an interesting choice for a Reuben. It is the same underlying cut of meat as traditional corned beef but the end flavors are very different. The brisket had good fat content and it was not overdone with smoke.  Unfortunately there was not enough Swiss cheese for me to get a good sense of its quality. The Russian dressing was tangy and homemade. You could see the finely diced pickles in it. The sauerkraut also had a homemade kick to it. The multigrain bread had lots going on but I could not tell if any of it was caraway.

Price – (4.8/5.0)
$5.69! Even when you add the tots and a drink it is only $7.69. Throw in a nice al fresco dining experience and this is a wonderful value. It is very easy to drop more than $10 when you go out to lunch with co-workers. Even $15 after is not out of the question.
The portion size was also just right.  Occasionally I go out to lunch with friends and come home to tell my wife that I am not hungry. This can be very upsetting to someone who had to cook dinner with a terrible-two-year-old clinging to their leg asking to watch another episode of Daniel Tiger.  A reasonable lunch avoids this issue and keeps everyone happy.

Je Ne Sais Quoi – (3.7/5.0)
This sandwich lost its mystery when I reached for the top bread to look under the hood. The bread itself was way too flimsy.  Eating a Reuben is not an easy thing to do. It should be right up there with French Onion Soup as far as things not to order at a business dinner. The only thing harder than eating a Reuben is eating one with flimsy bread supporting it. Sure enough it was a messy experience. The allure of the homemade Russian dressing faded when I realized how much of it there was.

Taste – (8.3/10.0)
Wow, this review went south fast.  Such a promising start, too. Please let me explain.  This sandwich is kind of a RINO and you take a risk when you stray from the formula. The smoked brisket was fine but it just did not mix well with the other components. The Swiss cheese was mostly MIA and as good as the Russian dressing was, there was just too much of it. The sauerkraut was also a bit too strong.  Throw all of that on a thin piece of bread and the thing just never had a chance. It was like a team of all-stars that could just not play well together.

Overall – (25.8/30.0)
Would I order it again, no. There are just too many great things on the menu here to pass up. They have red-eye gravy on their breakfast sandwiches! I love Slideways and I will be back for sure.
A couple of tweaks here and there and they could have a great Reuben. First things first, they need to get bread that can stand up to a Reuben. Go easy on the Russian and sauerkraut; throw on some more Swiss cheese and a champion Reuben will appear. This is why the Reuben is so unique. It is all about the balance of the flavors.

Chin up boys! I am still a fan I look forward to coming back.
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