A Little Help For My Out of Town Readers…What is a Slinger?

Posted: October 26, 2009 in slinger, St. Louis

Ok.  I’m kind of surprised by this, but I have noticed that I am starting to get a significant contingent of out of town readership.  So, I began wondering, well everybody knows what a dive bar is, but what about slingers?  I remember visiting some friends in the Twin Cities over 4th of July and they had no idea what I was talking about…of course being 600 miles away from St. Louis and I had a craving for one, something awful.

Slingers are native to St. Louis.  They are the perfect drunk or hangover food.  I’ve heard tale that it was an O.T.  Hodges creation.  I can neither confirm nor deny this statement.  I’ve also heard tale, that originally they came in beanless chili, again, I can neither confirm nor deny.  Personally I think a beanless slinger is like shooting a gun full of blanks, but that’s just me.

Typically a slinger consists of this:
Chili
Meat patties (sausage or hamburger is acceptable)
Hashbrowns
2 eggs
cheese

I would really have loved to have been in the room when this was created.  We always picture a really drunk or hungover guy just ‘slinging’ the remnants of a half eaten breakfast together.  Then feeling better.  As the British TV show Brainiac showed in an experiment, greasy breakfasts will cure hangovers the best.  Well I really can’t think of  a greasier meal than this, and it’s just become a part of St. Louis, which is why I review them.

What’s beginning to get funny is this…about 2 or 3 weeks ago, I was sitting on our sunporch having a drink with our roomie and long time friend.  At which point, we began talking about slingers, and I’ve realized just how jaded I’ve become with this dish.  I’ve had a slinger at I think 8 different places now, eight.  Each place is very different, and I’m starting to get angry at the bad ones.   Get me started, and you’ll get a wonderful soliliquy on slingers, that may have you a bit surprised.

In time I’ll find the perfect one, and may go back, but until my search is over, I’ll continue seeking them out.  For you, my readers.  I also encourage anyone from out of town, if you come through the STL, get a slinger.  They’re not hard to find.  Pretty much any small, non-chain restaurant will serve them.  I’ve been beginning to wonder if I can get one at the Waffle Hizzy…er House.

The slinger is just one of those goofy things about a city that only the locals know.  So, this site is really for St. Louisans who like slingers, or wanna hit wanna the cool dive bars that are around, but if you’re from elsewhere, you’re very welcome too!  Just try a slinger when ya hit the Gateway to the West, and don’t say St. Louie…we hate that. (more inside information.)

Thanks for reading, and please share the story if you enjoyed it.

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