Answer Man

Down the Hatch




Krystal is known for the traditional-style “sliders”

Courtesy of the Krystal Co.

Who came up with “slider’’ as a name for those miniburgers we see in restaurants everywhere?

Ah, the ubiquitous slider, current darling of the dining scene. The term likely originated with the U.S. Navy, probably in the 1940s or 1950s, to refer to the greasy little military burgers that once popped into your mouth, slid down easily, says Barry Popik, one of the country’s premier etymologists (one who studies the origins of words or sayings). At some point afterward, White Castle, the country’s oldest burger chain, trademarked the term “slyder’’ for its square burgers.

Today, restaurants across the country offer designer sliders. In Central Florida alone, you can get a lamb slider at Kouzzina by Cat Cora; a trio of chicken, turkey and chopped sirloin sliders at Terrace 390; and Kobe beef sliders at Eleven at Reunion Resort. We’re talking upscale menu items at upscale prices.

Not a bad outcome for a once-humble comestible that bore the nickname “gut bomb.’’

“One restaurant starts serving sliders and it just kind of snowballs—all of a sudden it becomes an upscale dish,’’ says Popik, who maintains the fascinating word history Website barrypopik.com out of his Austin, Texas, home.

But what if you crave the cheap, original article? You need go no further than the nearest Krystal. The chain refers to its miniburgers simply as “Krystals,’’ and you can load up on a sackful of 12 or a “Steamer Pack’’ of 24.
Please excuse Answer Man as he slides on over to the drive-through.
 


 

Now that WLOQ-FM is off the air, what happens to the jazz concerts that the  station has produced for years?

Although the smooth jazz station at 103.1 was sold for $8 million to TTB Media Corp. in July, WLOQ retained the right to, among other things, its Website and the concerts it produces. WLOQ’s general manager, Pete DeSimone, says the company still plans to put on the Orlando Food & Wine Fest at Lake Eola in November. WLOQ also produces Smooth Jazz Under the Stars in the spring in Baldwin Park and the summer series Jazz Jams Uptown at Cranes Roost Park in Altamonte Springs, but they’re too far out to think about right now,
DeSimone says.

Although WLOQ continues to stream online at wloq.com, the DJs are gone. The station’s fans were further crushed when the new owner of 103.1 debuted on Aug. 1 with a radio lineup of all Elvis, all the time (one WLOQ Facebook fan pleaded, “Shoot me now.’’). However, “Elvis 103.1’’ gave way to Spanish-language music station KQ103 on Aug. 3.

[OCTOBER 3 UPDATE: WLOQ officials now say the Orlando Food & Wine Fest will not be held this year, although they are looking into staging it next year. Also, the station is no longer streaming on wloq.com.]
 

Answer Man welcomes your questions. Send queries to answerman@orlandomagazine.com

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