Sloppy Joe Sliders Are Not Your Enemy

By Sean-Patrick M. Hillman


January always tends to be more complicated when it comes to preparing meals. Folks tend to be more discerning in January, usually tied to some empty New Year’s resolution that gets ignored. So, rather than make empty promises to yourself, enjoy the foods you love in moderation. It usually does the trick for people who can stick to portion control. Winter often leads to heavier, warmer, and more comforting food choices. What could be more satisfying than good old-fashioned Sloppy Joes? Especially when you get down to portion control, which you can maintain by making sliders vs. burgers.

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Sean-Patrick’s Sloppy Joe Sliders.


• 1 lb. ground beef (80/20 blend)
• 1 teaspoon salt
• ½ teaspoon pepper 
• ½ white onion, diced
• 1 clove garlic, minced
• ¾ cup ketchup
• 2 teaspoons mustard
• 3 teaspoons brown sugar
• 1 package of Hawaiian Rolls (either King’s Hawaiian or Trader Joe’s version)
• ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese (if desired)
• 1 tablespoon melted butter
• Sesame seeds


Preheat oven to 350°F. Add the ground beef in a saucepan over medium heat, sprinkling salt and pepper. Break up the meat in the pan using a spoon or spatula. Add the onion and garlic, continuing to cook until the onions are translucent. Combine Worcestershire sauce, ketchup, brown sugar, and mustard. Stir the mixture until the beef is fully cooked and the sauce is thoroughly blended. Set it aside. 

Cut the dinner rolls in half and place the bottom half in a baking pan. Spread each roll with meat (if desired, sprinkle with cheese). Top with remaining rolls. Brush with melted butter and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake for 10 minutes (if using cheese, it should be melted at this point). Carefully cut into individual sliders.

I serve the Sloppy Joes with traditional coleslaw which gives a nice balance to the sliders. Enjoy!

Bon Appetit!

The Best Burger Is Not Where You’d Expect 

Sometimes, you run into the most fantastic fare at the most unusual location. For example, do you know where the best hamburger in the city is? No, it’s not at a 4- or 5-star, or even a Michelin Star, restaurant. It isn’t at a steakhouse. It is at a food truck on 62nd Street and Madison Avenue in Manhattan called Tony Dragon’s Grille, which has been serving delicious, fresh fare to the local neighborhood for almost 40 years. Starting with a simple hot dog cart in 1986 at the exact location, Tony expanded into a stainless-steel push wagon and eventually a food truck.

I met Tony in 1991 and, for the first time, tried what affectionately became known as the Tony Burger. It blew the doors off my taste buds. This burger was the most amazing one I had ever had, featuring fresh ground beef, fresh produce, and a soft bun. And that’s saying something from a guy who has eaten at the best, most lauded restaurants and hole-in-the-wall joints this planet offers. I have been addicted to the Tony Burger ever since and I have zero shame in admitting this. Even the most discerning chefs from some of the city’s top culinary destinations line up at the Grille to get a Tony Burger. 

Tony’s son now runs a lot of the operations. So, when I tell you I am looking at this with fresh eyes, I am telling you straight—it is still the best burger in town! But this is not your typical food truck. The amount of Mediterranean-Greek fare offered, as well as other unique dishes, is enormous. It is just as fresh, tasty, authentic, and lovingly made as the original Tony Burger I ate over 30 years ago.