Don Bauder 9:30 a.m., Sept. 23
PB&J & Lots More at the High Dive
In this day and age of bacon caramel and gorgonzola ice cream, it's rare to find brand new flavor combinations. This is especially true for food writers, who are lucky enough to get a taste of some of the most outlandish flavor profiles around. Chefs are trying to push the envelopes in so many ways nowadays that almost nothing is out of bounds. But like any foodie, the next best thing incites an unrivaled brand of salivatory anticipation.
So, when I heard that there was a local craft beer bar serving a burger that uses two peanut butter and jelly sandwiches in lieu of traditional buns, I made a bee line to check it out. I'll admit, I was skeptical, especially when I heard about the cast of accoutrements gracing this already otherworldly mix - gorgonzola cheese, bacon and onions soaked in Ballast Point Three Sheets Barleywine. But, like any professional, I dove molar deep into the mix and came away pleasantly surprised if not completely won over.
The burger itself was solid. The onions were, as anything that's marinated in a brew as fine as BP's Three Sheets, a thing of beauty. And who doesn't like bacon and cheese? The PB&J, however, was only marginally successful. It cut the roof of my mouth and made the sandwich hard to eat. Then there was the addition of two untraditional burger condiments. Oddly enough, the jelly was a welcomed addition. Not surprising considering gorgonzola and caramelized onions match up well with fruit preserves on cheese plates and, as proven by current trends, crisped pork belly goes with everything. It was the peanut butter that made for the clash that kept everything from coming together. Still, the burger was surprisingly acceptable and even enjoyable.
That said, if you're heading to the High Dive, I'd recommend going for the Spicy Reed, an equally creative burger featuring a half-pound patty stuffed with jalapeño-infused cream cheese, that is much more cohesive and absolutely delicious. And if they have Three Sheets on the beer board you can find out that this very special brew is best utilized as a burger-adjacent beverage.