TROY — Slidin’ Dirty, a portable purveyor of small tasty sandwiches and flavorful salads and snacks, has expanded its food truck business to include a restaurant in downtown Troy. The exposed brick walls and infrastructure, and pared-down industrial decor fit in with other new, hip businesses in the city. Slidin’ Dirty has slid right in.
The building at 9 First St., once well-known to regular readers of the local police blotter, is now a nattily renovated restaurant and bar, tidy despite the name. I was sipping a dry Sauvignon Blanc at the bar while waiting for Virginia, dinner service at Slidin’ Dirty in full swing, the bartender busy mixing drinks for those who weren’t ordering from the large chalkboard of local and craft beers.
The first floor of the early 19th-century building is cavernous and airy, the facade almost all tall, arching glass windows. The bar takes up most of one side; two rows of high plastic-topped tables and ornate metal columns bisect the room.
Four-tops line the opposite, raw-wood paneled wall. More seats line a bench that separates dining room from compact kitchen.
We took the last table, although it hadn’t been cleared. That took a few minutes, then a few more for menus. It was a bit noisy. It’s casual, no doubt; you’re there for good food and drink and bohemian ambience. The paper menus had seen better days and our server was wearing a T-shirt that read, “Dirty Old Man.”
Slidin’ Dirty Restaurant
WHERE: 9 First St., Troy, 326-8492, www.slidindirty.com
WHEN: Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Wednesday and Thursday 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., Friday and Saturday 11 a.m. to 1 a.m.
HOW MUCH: $32.08, with tax and tip
MORE INFO: Credit cards: Master Card, Visa, American Express. Children’s menu. One step up into the restaurant, no ramp.
Choose from a dozen sliders, each available in Cow (local beef), Chicken (all natural), or Hippie (black bean). One is five dollars, two are $9, and a trio is $13. You can get The Dirty Hottie (pepper jack cheese, arugula, tomato, jalapeño, red onion, avocado, and chipotle cream), or a Dirty Ninja (sautéed bok choy and shitaake mushrooms, scallion, sesame seeds, and Asian mustard).
Seafood sliders: crab cake, seared tuna, or The Dirty Po’Boy (buttermilk fried shrimp, coleslaw, tomato, fried onions, chipotle cream) are a bit more. There are many salads, and gluten-free tacos.
Inventive starters include a Philly egg roll with beef, sautéed peppers, onions, and mushrooms, two kinds of cheese and horseradish cream ($7). As you can see, prices are entry-level. It’s a good deal.
Any doubts were quickly dispelled when the food arrived. My chicken Soprano slider came on a expertly baked sweet, yellow toasted brioche bun, topped with toasted sesame seeds and a shiny egg wash.
The prosciutto was crispy around the edges, the arugula fresh, mozzarella pleasantly melty, sliced and seasoned chicken moist, and the top bun was soaked but not saturated with a slightly sweet balsamic reduction.
Delectable crunchy fried tomato bits added texture. This was a lot of good quality, homemade flavor for five bucks. Sliders come with house-made pickled veggies. Everything is served on trendy white square tableware.
We shared an arugula salad with shrimp for $7, fresh peppery greens evenly dressed, tossed in a light lemony vinaigrette that was pleasantly tart. The panko-coated shrimp were crunchy outside, pink and sweet inside. Thin strips of fried tortilla chips were seasoned with exuberance and heat.
Virginia’s slider was a beef patty on The Spartan, with feta, arugula, tomato, red onion, cucumber, black olives, and tzatziki. The beef was full-flavored and juicy, she said. We both liked the pickled veggies, although the vinegar creeps up on you.
We ordered a side of mac and cheese ($3), like someone’s great homemade stuff, a bit of extra cheese melted over the top. It’s white cheddar, no artificial dyes here. A side of avocado fries ($4) pleased, the texture coming right through although the flavor was a bit overwhelmed by the tasty coating.
The tab for our excellent meal with one decaf (not refilled) came to $32.08 with tax and tip. Slidin’ Dirty’s restaurant is yet another reason to visit the new and improved downtown Troy.