From the Double Down to the doughnut burger and everywhere in between, obscene sandwich trends seem to be more fun to ironically discuss than they are to actually eat. And no matter how good something tastes, the trendier it gets, the easier it is to pick on.
Because of all these things, you'd be forgiven if you were anything less than super-stoked about the Lower Garden District's District Donuts Sliders Brew, whose menu consists almost exclusively of those three things (putting aside, for a moment, our frustration with the near-ubiquitous abuse of the term "slider"). But then you'd eat your words.
The size of the Fried Chicken Slider ($3.50) is really the only kitschy thing about it. Juicy chicken thighs in a thick, audibly crisp crust come piled with a simple cabbage slaw tossed in Steen's cane syrup. Thin slices of candied jalapeños give the sandwich an edge—it fits in your palm, but you can take it seriously. The same is true of the Five-Spice Duck Slider ($4.50), in which five spice-marinated duck breast cuddles up with julienned Granny Smith, and, cleverly, pork cracklins, which add an addictive crunch. A heavy-handed dose of sauce does no favors for the already very soft bun, but the busy flavors and textures otherwise play nicely in the tiny sandwich format.
The Croquenut ($4.75) doesn't go over so well. An unglazed yeast doughnut is filled with Nueske's ham, gruyère, béchamel, and Dijon mustard, then griddled. It's weird, but not for the reasons you'd expect. The ham is excellent and the doughnut gets a doubly crispy crust from the griddle, but it's so downy on the inside that the béchamel gets lost, and the Dijon ends up overpowering the rest. The novelty wears off quickly, and one is left with that unsavory feeling of having been outwitted by one's own sandwich.
For the same reason that it's a flop, though, the doughnuts themselves excel—tender with ethereal golden crusts, in flavors from no-nonsense glaze to more buzzy, tweetable ones like maple sriracha or Vietnamese coffee. A hipster-friendly coffee menu (that's the "brew" in their name; they're BYOB) adds to the case for adding this to your Garden District breakfast rotation, but the sliders might just bring you back for dinner.
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