Peanut Butter Jelly Time!

I have rekindled my love affair with PB&J burgers. If they’re on the menu (and the likelihood of this is pretty high now-a-days), I’ll order one. If I can create my own burger, you bet I’ll turn it into some variation of PB&J. I mean, I really can’t help myself. The sweet, savory combination just makes so much sense to me!

I think it all started in 2008. Henry and I were at Teddy’s Bigger Burger in Oahu and the guy at the register suggested we give a new burger a try. It wasn’t on the regular menu or even the specialty burger menu. He just… made it up. “Just trust me”, he said. And we did. The burger had peanut butter, grilled pineapple, bacon, fried onion rings and cheddar cheese. It was amazing. Life changing. I knew bacon made everything better, but peanut butter and pineapple? Who knew?!

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I loved that burger at Teddy’s so much, I recreated it at The Counter… this time with caramelized onions for extra sweetness!

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Recently, I had the Peanut Butter & Jealousy burger at Slater’s 50/50. It was different than the peanut butter and pineapple burgers for sure, not only because of the fruit (pineapple vs strawberry), but also because of the texture (slice of pineapple vs jam). I liked the traditional combination of peanut butter and strawberry jam, but felt the burger needed some crunch.

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What was lacking in the Peanut Butter & Jealous burger, I found in the Dee Snider burger at Grill ‘Em All…

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Crunchy peanut butter?!? Genius!

If you know of a burger joint that serves a great PB&J burger, please let me know! It doesn’t have to be local. Will travel for food. 😉

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I eat: UMAMIcatessen

I’ve been craving burgers lately. Like, a lot. Apparently, eating In-N-Out on the weekends while watching playoff hockey has not been enough. I NEED MOREEEE BURGERS!!! So on one of my off Fridays, Henry and I headed to DLTA to try UMAMIcatessen, a food-court-esque eatery, which houses UMAMI Burger (yes, I’m totally stating the obvious :P). Having never eaten at UMAMI, we both wanted to see if the burgers were worth all the hype.

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As we looked over the menu, we knew we had to try their signature burger, the Umami Burger. Choosing our 2nd burger was tough. We were interested in both the Manly and Hatch Burgers. This was a battle of bacon vs. chiles, which we both LOVE, but ultimately, bacon won, as it usually always does. Always.

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Umami Burger, $11
shiitake mushrooms, caramelized onions, roasted tomato, parmesan crisp, umami ketchup

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Manly Burger, $11
beer-cheddar cheese, smoked salt onion strings, bacon lardons

We ordered the burgers medium rare, as suggested by our waiter, but when we split the burgers, the patties looked more like medium, almost medium-well. I couldn’t really complain because the burgers were actually incredibly tender and juicy.

To my surprise, I liked the Manly burger a lot more than the Umami. Simply put, the Manly is a high end, refined version of a Western Bacon Cheeseburger. I really enjoyed the combination of smoky + sweet and the contrast in texture provided by the fried onion. Unfortunately, I was not impressed with the Umami Burger. The flavors just didn’t mesh well and I did not care for the roasted tomato or the Umami ketchup. Am I only one??!! I’ve read many reviews raving about the ketchup.

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Smushed Potatoes, $4.50
dutch yellow creamers, double fried

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Crispy Pig Ears, $7
parsley, lemon, brainaise

In addition to the burgers, we also ordered two sides. If you love potatoes as much as I do, you must order the smushed potatoes. Starchy, salty goodness! And if you’ve never had pig ears and are feeling adventurous, I recommend the crispy pig ears; they’re a great alternative to fries.

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FG&J, $8
foie gras mousse, forest berry jam, peanut (yeast)

I gotta say, even though UMAMI is a burger joint, I was most excited about dessert. I love foie gras and I love doughnuts so the FG&J sounded amazing on paper. After a lengthy wait (longer than we waited for our burgers), I took one bite and was immediately turned off. My taste buds were so confused – the delicate flavor of the foie gras mixed with the tartness of the jam just didn’t make sense in my mouth. It was such a shame because the doughnut itself was quite good!

Verdict: 3.5/5
UMAMIcatessen
852 S. Broadway,
Los Angeles, CA 90014

Nor Cal

Since I’ll be heading up to Nor Cal later today, I thought this would be a good time to finally write about my last trip to Napa/SF (in October 2010).

Henry’s brother, David, is now teaching abroad in Korea. I planned a trip to Napa/SF as a last hurrah before he left. As with my trips of the past couple of years, this was heavily based on food and being a fellow fatass, David did not mind at all.

We started out in Napa and had some great burgers + yummy pumpkin milkshake at Gott’s Roadside.

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We also lunched at Cindy’s Backstreet Kitchen during our stay. I was really excited about the duck burger, but unfortunately, it didn’t live up to my expectations. The best item was the rabbit tostada appetizer.

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Going to Napa can’t be all about food. We visited a few wineries, of course.

Ceja
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Duckhorn
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Trinchero
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and Henry’s favorite, Trefethen
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After our wonderful time in Napa, we headed down to SF to eat some more. I swear I would have gained a gazillion pounds if it weren’t for us getting some exercise by biking across the GG.

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No matter how many times I’ve seen/driven/biked over the Golden Gate Bridge or whether it’s cloudy or sunny, I am still amazed by its beauty. It is definitely my favorite bridge in the world!

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As you can see from the picture below, we clearly were not dressed properly for the bike ride over the bridge. The day started out cloudy with temperatures in the high 50s/low 60s. Because we exerted a lot of energy biking over some big hills, we weren’t really cold until we got closer to the bridge. The strong winds made it feel like the temperature was in the 20s! Good thing the sun finally came out in the afternoon or else we probably would have frozen to death on the bike ride back.

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I always have a great time in the Bay. This weekend will be no exception 🙂

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Napa/SF Eats & Wineries (+our verdict):
Gott’s Roadside, 4/5
Cindy’s Backstreet Kitchen, 3/5
Ceja, 3/5
Duckhorn, 3/5
Trinchero, 4/5
Trefethen, 5/5
Firefly Restaurant, 3/5
Fish, 4.5/5
Just For You Cafe, 3/5