"The Slopper" at James Coney Island

Aerial view of my Slopper burger.
Aerial view of my Slopper burger.
Photo by Joanna O'Leary

When I first saw a picture of James Coney Island's new limited-edition burger, "The Slopper," I realized two things: 1) I had to try it. 2) Public decency laws dictate I should do so in the privacy of my own home.

The "Slopper," as its name might suggest, is very, very sloppy. As a cheeseburger covered in about two cups of chili, cheese and onions, this sandwich makes no attempt to be neat.

Sounds just like me. (At least in terms of eating.)

Those in the know will easily testify to the fact that I cannot consume any food item without spilling at least a quarter of it either on myself or on the floor. And sometimes, on very special occasions, I spill 1/4 on the floor and 1/4 on myself, thereby wasting 1/2 of my dish...yet another reason I appreciate large portions.

My messiness is due neither to laziness nor to ignorance. (I assure you, my parents did try to teach me how to use a fork and knife properly.) I am simply a huge klutz when it comes to handling food and drink in the act of consumption and will spill, sprinkle, drip, etc. all over myself. Bibs help, but they need to be floor-length with long sleeves.

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Looks delicious and manageable for the average person but not me.
Looks delicious and manageable for the average person but not me.
Photo by Mark Hanna

So as not to cause permanent damage to JCI's eating area, horrify its kindly employees and embarrass myself, I had my "Slopper" to go. My excitement to try the burger, by the way, easily trumped any shame I felt in having to retreat to do so at my dining room, which I had covered in newspaper.

With such precautions in place and in the company of my husband, who is very familiar, for better and for worse, with my propensity for spillage, I ate "The Slopper" with my hands. Thank God I was able to get more of it in my mouth than on my lap and hands because it was fabulous. The already juicy patty covered in melted cheddar became all the more decadent with the scoop of mildly spicy chili, readily absorbed by the fluffy white bun. Chunks of tangy white onion paired well with the feisty pepper and paprika in the sauce, while a dusting of grated cheese provided additional fatty creaminess. I probably don't need to tell you that I went through a lot of napkins in the process of eating "The Slopper." And I probably shouldn't tell you that I licked some of the napkins so as not to waste any precious burger juices.

There's little more to be desired with "The Slopper." Except maybe a fried egg.

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