The Slider Barron food truck

$$$$ ($14 and under)

Editorial Review

Slider Barron food truck
By Nevin Martell
Wednesday, August 15, 2012

You can smell the ketchup from down the block, but you shouldn’t expect anything less from a food truck called Slider Barron. Painted navy and sky blue and sporting yellow stripes and fake bullet holes, it is designed to evoke fighter planes of World War II. A winged burger insignia and the painting of a pin-up girl -- whom cook and owner Tony Barron, 46, of Westminster, Md., affectionately calls Faith -- rounds out the aero-themed imagery.

Since rolling out in Montgomery County in May, the wheeled commissary has been offering an internationally influenced array of petite patties. For Barron, a veteran of the kitchens at Rainforest Cafe in Tysons Corner and the Dave & Buster’s chain, the format knows few boundaries. “Anything you can put on bread you can put on a slider roll,” he says.

There’s a revolving menu of savory options; there are usually three available. The day I tracked the truck down next to the Silver Spring Metro station, the best-selling Korean pork sliders ($8 for three) stood out. Their marinade is perked up with a splash of wasabi, and a messy heap of fresh carrot toothpicks and daikon strips on top lend crunch. The trio of small sandwiches makes for a surprisingly filling meal.

Juicy chicken breast sliders seared golden on the outside are graced with a sliver of freshly grilled pineapple, lettuce, tomato and a garlic-lime mayonnaise. This helps perk up the inherent dullness of the unexceptional white rolls from Baltimore’s H&S Bakery, a problem that might be solved if the buns were griddled with a little butter.

Unfortunately, that trick might not save the cheeseburgers ($8 for three), which were overcooked and underwhelming. The house-made chipotle mayonnaise and the square of cheddar were sadly sublimated by the beef’s chewy texture.

If you’re in the mood for more, there are a couple of sweet sammies. The Nutella and marshmallow fluff dessert sliders ($4 for three) are simple and sloppy. The truck also stocks water, Gatorade, sodas and Utz potato chips ($1 to $2).

All the sliders are cooked (or assembled in the case of the desserts) to order, so bring along your smartphone for a couple of rounds of Scrabble or chess while you wait.