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Nothing against the late, great Pantera guitarist Dimebag Darrel, but when I saw a burger on the menu of the Slidebar named the Cowboy From Hell, after the metal legends' 1990 album, I began to wonder: How would Dimebag feel about a monster of a burger--a humongous patty topped with slices of sautéed jalapeños and habaneros, plus onion rings as gnarled-looking as timing belts, all drenched in Velveeta and barbecue sauce--sold in his memory? Would he approve of the mini version, the Sliders From Hell? Might he think the latter an insult to his gargantuan shreds, and the former an affront to his intricate pickings? Yeah, I'm a nerd.
And although I cannot communicate with the dead, I do believe Dimebag would approve of both the Cowboy and Sliders.
Either way, the burger is fabulous: patty perfectly charred within a soft yet sturdy bun, peppers packing the heat but not overwhelming the meat's flavor, barbecue sauce sweet and sticky, onion rings battered as though they were Vinnie Paul's drum kit after a show. The Velveeta sometimes overwhelms, and the bacon is a bit much, but it's all welcome and wonderful, and hey: Isn't that Dimebag in a nutshell?
And while the Cowboy From Hell is great, I prefer the trio of Sliders. No flavor is lost--if anything, each is more concentrated--and they come with a plate of crunchy tater tots. Even better? Come Happy Hour, you can have them for $5.50--the finest steamed-ham deal in the county right now. Somewhere, Dimebag is smiling . . . while playing the umpteenth version of "Walk" alongside St. Peter, no doubt.