Courtesy Diner's Slinger

After midnight each Friday and Saturday night, the party crowd eases onto full-swivel stools at the original Courtesy Diner at 3153 South Kingshighway and at the newer location at 1121 Hampton Avenue. They come for coffee, for jukebox tunes, for easy banter with the waitresses. They devour slingers by the dozens.

These towering platters of fried eggs nested on a bed of hash browns, topped with a hamburger patty and diced raw onion, slathered in chili crowned with mounded grated cheese are the St. Louis late-night fave. Those who dare super-sling it by adding jalapeño slices, a tamale, a burrito and more chili.

"We'll serve 70 to 90 slingers each weekend night," says Courtesy owner Larry Rugg. "Some restaurants like to call themselves diners, but when you can see your food cooked right in front of you, that's a diner."

Pat Eby contributed to this report.

Courtesy Diner's Slinger

Yield | 1 serving |

  • 1 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 cup shredded hash brown potatoes (refrigerated or frozen)
  • 1 3-oz hamburger patty, cooked to desired doneness
  • 2 eggs, fried or cooked in preferred style
  • 2 Tbsp diced yellow or white onions
  • 1 cup prepared mild chili with beans (such as Edmond's Chile), heated through (see variation below)
  • ½ cup grated mild cheddar cheese
  • 2 slices buttered toast

| Preparation | Melt butter in a 6-inch skillet; add hash browns and pan-fry until crispy and browned. Spread hash browns in a layer on a large plate or oval platter.

Place hamburger patty in center of hash browns. Set two cooked eggs over hamburger. Sprinkle with raw onions.

Cover everything with chili, then top with grated cheese.

Serve with buttered toast.

Variation: To make a super-slinger, in step 2, top the eggs with 8 to 10 jalapeño slices, then with a cooked tamale (removed from its wrapper or corn husk) and/or a cooked small bean burrito. Increase the amount of chili to 2 cups.


Inspired by August's FEAST 50, this recipe was featured in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch's Let's Eat section. Be sure to check out Let's Eat every Wednesday this month for more recipes from FEAST on St. Louis classics!