True food savants will likely point to the word “slider” as a very specific form of burger with steamed onions and soft and very squishy buns with a credit card thinness of a beef patty as the mainstay. Anything less (or more) than that verges into the mini burger category, and let’s not miss that distinction. Newish Snappy Patty’s in Medford is somewhere in the middle, not quite a slider, not exactly a mini burger and hints of patty melt territory even if they insist on calling them patty melt Sliders (direct from their website). It doesn’t matter though, they are quite tasty, a little flawed, but satisfying.
There are six patty melt sliders to choose from, most of which are riffs on traditional combinations, all built on house made olive oil brioche bread, more on that in a second. You can order individually for $2.50 or a set of three for $6.95. The sliders are tiny, but adorably so. They are only 1.8 ounces each, so eating three is about a third of a pound. I found that to be the right amount for me but I could see some people going to town and eating several. They are well constructed, the bread is the star, buttered and griddled I could eat that and that alone and be a happy camper. It is thick for a sandwich of its size, but that doesn’t deter what’s inside. And what’s inside is less than perfection, although A for effort I suppose. The playing card thinness of the beef patty would be a disastrous meat to bun ratio on its own, but with a generous showing of toppings, it manages to squeak by and be a success from a construction point of view. The meat, from tender-form ground chuck, is as tightly compacted as can be. It’s seemingly been over-handled and pressed to the point of no return, which yields an anti-tender patty to say the least. It’s got ample juiciness, however, and does boast its own beefy character and ultimately has a unique personality. The seasoning is there and a gentle saltiness/beefiness is prevalent across the board, but the tough and borderline chewy patty doesn’t help its cause. Toppings make two of the sliders very sweet. The Original comes with American cheese, lots of ketchup and a very sweet relish. The BBQ is a combo of Colby cheese (mostly unmelted), bourbon bbq and pickled red onion. Here the bbq sauce dominates and is again on the very sweet side. The Texan includes young cheddar (again mostly unmelted) and a bacon secret sauce that seems to mostly be mayo with a ton of bacon folded in, not that there’s anything wrong with that. I would have loved to have seen a thicker patty and less sauces and condiments, because as currently constructed there is way too much sauce and not enough beef. French fries comes as a side and are perfectly crispy, salty and heavy on the potato flavor in a way I’ve never had before. Slightly hollow in the inside, they could have been a little creamier but they are an excellent version and worth the price of admission.
Snappy Patty’s deserves a ton of credit for creating a completely unique product. I guess bread makes it a patty melt in their world, but I miss the rye, pickle combination of what I would normally deem patty melt territory. Nevertheless, there is a lot of love behind these sliders and it starts with the delicious bread. The beef has the flavor and potential but with less handling and a thicker patty it could truly be one of the greats. The sauces are too sweet for my liking, but others might like the juxtaposition from the rich and salty meat. I would have liked to see more originality on the slider creations but the slight riffs on classics is their approach and that is just fine. It may not be a true slider or a patty melt but it is enjoyable and Snappy Patty’s easily stands alone in creating something that has yet to be done on the Boston burger scene.
Overall Score: 82