Many of you in the St. Louis area already know about slingers, for those that don’t here’s a popular regional dish that we get to enjoy.
A regular slinger as offered up by Chili Mac’s (510 Pine, St. Louis) is two beef patties, a pile of sliced fried potatoes and two eggs (cooked to order, sort of) covered with chili, and served with two slices of toast. Okay, not exactly heart-healthy, but man oh man what a meal!
When I worked downtown Chili Mac’s was a frequent lunch destination. Located just a quick walk form Busch Stadium, the Arch, and many, many office buildings it was a delightful way to break up the day.
A bunch of the old team got together this week and decided to meet there for lunch. It’s a small, hole-in-the-wall, old style diner. The grill is right there behind the counter, the coffee’s always on and patrons squeeze by each other to move around. It’s narrow, cramped, busy and noisy. Chili Mac’s is only open breakfast thru lunch and the food is all-American greasy spoon fare.
The waitresses have been there since the nineteenth century and are friendly and infinitely teasable. They always like a good joke and they all have incredible memories. I’d only been there once in the past year and they still remembered me, by order and nuisance factor. I tease waitresses; I am my father’s son.
They knew I wanted the Junior Slinger, which is one beef patty and one egg, a slightly smaller pile of potatoes, covered in about a quart of their own chili, and two slices of toast. If you just have this with water it’ll put you out a paltry $5.98.
One of the things I started teasing them with a few years ago was my choice of egg preparation. The standard answers are of course, over medium, over easy, or hard. I found that boring. I have since responded to the question “How would you like your eggs?” with one or more of the following: “boiled”, “pickled”, “Easter”, or “Cooked in a nicer place.”
Knowing in advance that I’d be going and would be ordering the junior I felt it prudent to be prepared with fresh material. So I took a break from my normal activities and drew up a list of possible responses:
In one basket (not recommended)
Campfire style (held over an open fire on a stick)
Thrown at your car.
On the house
Yolks fried, whites scrambled.
As seen on TV
On the rocks
In the nude
Sweet and sour
On a clean plate
Hung by the neck until dead, dead, dead!
Wearing a lacy bonnet
Folded and spindled, but not mutilated
In the presence of my attorney
Beer battered and deep-fried
Sanitized (for my protection)
Warm and fuzzy
Bound and gagged
Just like last time, but without the toenail clippings.
And The number one way to order your eggs at Chili Mac’s: “Still in the chicken.”
Rather than choose just one, I pulled out the list and told her to stop me when I got to one they could handle. She rolled her eyes and listened to one or two, maybe three, I kept reading. She interrupted me and declared “You’re getting over medium, like it or not.”
Which is one of the things about this place, the eggs always seem to be over medium, regardless of how you order it.
Please feel free to use this list next time you are at Chili Mac’s, they all think it’s hilarious. And if you have suggestions for more ways to answer the question “How do you want your eggs?” let me know and I’ll update the list.
Seriously folks, if you haven't already, check out Chili Mac's. If I didn't love it I wouldn't keep going back. The food is great, the people are awesome. Just never, ever ever tell them I said so.