Sliders are a hit at these Chicago eateries

February 22, 2013 8:51:52 PM PST
The seafood-focused GT Fish & Oyster in River North is known for its hearty dishes. But their tiny sliders are a hit- they're selling 2,000- 3,000 a week.

"Slider for me, since I'm from Italy, first thing that come to my mind is like White Castle," said Giuseppe Tentori, GT Fish & Oyster.

They're a long way from White Castle. Giant oysters are shucked, dredged in seasoned flour, egg and fine bread crumbs with szechuan peppercorn, then fried.

Hawaiian buns are lightly toasted, covered with sesame aioli and spicy pickled cabbage, or kimchi.

"I like pickled vegetable, but we have pickle everywhere, so we decided to use kimchi," said Tentori.

Also, pickled fresno chiles, some toasted peanuts and fresh cilantro, for a jolt of flavor in two bites.

In Andersonville, Marigold produces Indian food as good as anything on Devon Avenue. But the chef's roots in Detroit yielded inspiration.

"White Castle is very prevalent in that area and growing up was more of chicken slider guy more than I was the beef slider guy," said Joe Moore, Marigold.

Ground lamb is combined with Indian spices, plus fresh cilantro, onions and jalapenos.

"We love the smoked, hot paprika; it gives it a nice kick, and then chat masala, which is a blend of amchur - which is dried mango powder and rock salt," said Moore.

He also folds in some homemade cheese, called paneer. While the well-seasoned lamb and cheese is grilled, tiny buns are kissed with clarified butter and toasted cumin. They're plated with some peppery arugula, and served at once.

"The curries are obviously what we're known for, but it's those modern dishes that we put our own little take on, that kind of takes it to a new level, that's kind of what makes Marigold Marigold," said Moore.