Interview Exclusive with The InSlider
The InSlider opened in March 2012 and specializes in—you guessed it—sliders. Ravenous eaters can choose from Kobe beef, panko-crusted Jidori chicken, pulled kurobuta pork, or Balsamic marinated portabello mushrooms, with homemade sauces and toppings like jalapeno BBQ sauce and caramelized balsamic onions. These ain’t your run-of-the-mill sliders. These are gosh darn tasty. Owner Stacey Werner took the time to answer some questions about The InSlider for SDFT.
How would you describe the InSlider’s food?
We have quality food that appeals to the masses. The small sized sliders make it easy to try a few different menu items in one order.
Why did you decide to open a food truck?
In a million years, I never thought I would own a food truck. Back in the 1930s, my grandpa owned Twin Keys, one of the largest stool bars of the time. After he passed, my father and his two brothers took their inheritance and opened Emma’s, a luncheonette next to a burlesque theater. At the young age of 22, my pops was in heaven! Later on, he sold his part and my Uncle Murray stayed in the restaurant business. Uncle Walt went on to become a bar owner. I always thought I would follow in my dad’s footsteps. After my father became ill, life took a crazy turn. It was his passing which that led me to create The InSlider.
What is your favorite part about owning a food truck?
The best part of owning my own business is being able to give back to the community. Nothing trumps the joy I get from directly supporting charities for veterans. Meeting new people and learning what makes them tick is also a great thing about the food truck business. Our food truck scene in San Diego is made up of hard-working, gracious truck owners who are entertaining which makes work seem like fun.
How would you describe your menu?
The menu is centered on high quality, yummy food for all ages at affordable prices. That might sound like a cliché, but I each menu item that comes off The InSlider is what I’d feed guests in my own home. My style is a part drill sergeant, and all foodie. The InSlider approach is simple, it’s not about money; it’s about the quality and the customer’s experience.
What is your most popular item?
Hands down the “Cali”ente (Kobe beef, tomato, lettuce, grilled jalapenos, pepper jack cheese and chipotle aioli) and our sweet potato tater tots with chipotle are the most popular items. I’m from Jersey and had my first order of tots at the age of 40. Can you believe it? Those lunchroom favorites have since grown on me warp speed.
Is there something off-the-wall you want to serve but aren’t sure would fly?
Eggs. I want eggs on everything. Maybe not the pork, but I want a fried egg or poached egg – on top of just about any slider. I used to make my old man six eggs every morning for breakfast, and I think they are delicious, especially on a slider!
I’m always thinking about new items for our menu. We’ve been under construction for a dessert slider – but I’m not quite happy with it yet. Remember, nothing leaves the truck if it wouldn’t leave my own kitchen.
What do you find are the best events for you?
Wedding receptions and those crazy after parties are the best! When a wedding crowd keeps at it into the evening, they need fuel to keep on going! I also enjoy events with start-ups organizations. Charitable events are a close second.
What is the best reaction someone has had to your food?
The best reactions came from folks who’ve tasted InSlider food and then asked us cater their wedding! It’s a great compliment.
What is the best thing you’ve EVER eaten had from any food truck or cart?
The two best items I’ve ever eaten from a food truck have come from carts, pretzels and hot dogs. My suggestion is to follow your nose. If it smells good, go for it!
Thank you to Stacey for taking the time to do this interview. The InSlider can be found on Twitter at @TheInSliderSD or Facebook or their website.