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Pasadena Burgers: Slaw Dogs

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That's right, Slaw Dogs, not Slaw burgers. True, they are a newcomer to the Pasadena scene, and yes, they specifically focus on hot dogs, but this little spot serves up some of the fattest, juiciest, and most creative burgers in town. In fact, owner Ray Byrne was originally considering opening a burger joint before he opted for dogs.

Their burger is the all-American classic, an Angus ground chuck burger with American cheese, piled high with lettuce, pickles and thick onions so intense you can still taste them hours later. This thing is a monster. But it is only the beginning.

It seems like Ray has to constantly be creating, and every time I just say, "Give me a burger" he comes up with something new and innovative. One day it was "The Less is More Cheeseburger (aka anti-brioche burg)", with American cheese, Dijon-chipotle mayo, double caramelized onion and a Parmesan crisp. On another day the juicy patty was topped with thick slices of pork belly and deep-fried shiitake along with a mystery sauce. I highly recommend just putting yourself in his hands and letting the master do his work.

Slaw dogs is all about spectacular toppings and sauces, but it wouldn't work if it wasn't centered on quality beef and sausages. The Angus ground chuck is perfectly cooked to a medium right through to the middle in spite of the size.

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We have already drooled over their side dishes like sweet potato fries and truffle-parmesan fries in the original Slaw Dogs post, but this time we tried out the onion rings, and they were big, greasy, crunchy and thick.

The burgers are so enormous, the last few bites can be a messy game of burger Jenga. Of course, that may not happen if you don't spend 10 minutes letting the sauce soak into the bun while you take pictures. Ray is also working on customized buns, so he may engineer a hardy bun that will be able to take everything he can heap on it.