EVERETT — Peanut butter on a burger.
Some people think it’s delicious.
Others think it’s just nuts.
What’s up with that?
My Herald buddy Ben Watanabe and I took the peanut butter plunge. The devil made us do it.
A peanut butter bacon burger has been on the menu for years at Nick’s Jr. Burgers and Gyros on Evergreen Way.
Nick’s is that bright red building with the devil horns. Hard to miss, and now you have a drippy-messy-savory reason to stop.
Ben, a Nick’s regular, had never tried the $8.99 peanut butter burger. The patty is topped with crunchy peanut butter, bacon, lettuce, tomato and mayo on a toasted sesame seed bun.
It is made-to-order, hot-off-the grill bliss.
“It’s definitely peanut butter-forward,” Ben said. “I don’t generally bite into a burger expecting a creamy texture, which the peanut butter burger absolutely has.”
Uh, Ben. It’s crunchy peanut butter. Extra-crunchy Skippy Super Chunk, to be exact.
“The salty-sweet mixture oozes into almost every bite,” Ben said.
It also oozes onto your chin. It dripped all over my shirt, my lap, the table. It took me about 20 napkins to get through the burger that was unexpectedly good.
Ben just never put it down and licked his fingers clean.
He deemed it “snacktastic.”
“But out of their myriad options, I’m likely to stick with the classic deluxe cheeseburger, banzai (pineapple-teriyaki) burger or the gyro.” he said.
Alfredo Rodriguez Jr. said his family’s restaurant sells only about 30 peanut butter burgers a week.
“New people are a little skeptical about it,” he said. “But the ones who have already had it come back for it.”
There is a cooking science to it.
“Peanut butter is added right when the burger is about to be done. It kind of melts onto the patty,” Rodriguez Jr. said.
In February, Nick’s has been known to add bananas to the nutty burger to honor Elvis Presley Day with a Hunka Hunka Burnin’ Love Burger.
Despite its popularity with bread, jelly, chocolate, cookies, celery and noodle dishes, peanut butter has never really caught on as a topping in the burger world. Not many places spread it on beef.
If you want a beer with your peanut butter bacon burger, head to the Diamond Knot in Mukilteo or Mountlake Terrace.
The one-third pound burger has creamy peanut butter, smoked bacon, grilled bell peppers, pickled red onions and sriracha aioli. It goes for $16.29 and comes with a pile of fries or tater tots. A brown ale is the recommended pairing.
Mukilteo Diamond Knot manager Jayden Riley said the waterfront pub sells about 80 peanut butter burgers a week.
“Most of the time people come here and say, ‘Peanut butter on a burger? I’ve never heard of that,’” she said. “It’s the shtick of peanut butter on a burger. That’s the magic of it, the surprise element.”
For Sylvia Fruichantie, the surprise was finding it on the menu on a recent visit to Diamond Knot. She hadn’t had a peanut butter burger since the 1980s at a restaurant in Lower Queen Anne.
“People are so afraid of the concept of peanut butter on a hamburger,” she said. “I don’t know why. It’s a lovely combination of flavors.”
A bonus: The burger was big enough to share with her husband.
Other specialties at Diamond Knot are tater tots topped with pulled pork and a giant tot stuffed with cheese and bacon. These don’t come with peanut butter.
Of course, you can find a peanut butter burger in Georgia, the nation’s top peanut producing state. The Jimmy Carter burger, as it is known at a Macon diner, is a nod to the former peanut farmer president.
According to the internet, the peanut butter burger capital is Sedalia, Missouri. The guberburgers, as they are known, brought acclaim to Sedalia, even for those who “yucked Missouri’s yum.”
A small drive-in burger joint The Wheel Inn sold the peanut butter-slathered delight for 70 years. After closing in 2013, a few local eateries took it upon themselves to keep the guberburger legacy alive.
The city is also known as the “Trailer Capital of the Midwest,” due to the number of trailer manufacturers and dealers in the area.
In Indiana, where Wonder Bread was invented, along with the phrase “the greatest thing since sliced bread,” it’s no wonder that PB&J sandwiches are big.
Herald health reporter Joy Borkholder, Hoosier-born and Chicago-bred, was raised on BLTs with peanut butter.
“I don’t know anybody else who made it that way. Until they tried ours — and pretty much everybody else liked it, a lot,” she said. “A regular BLT tastes so bland and boring.”
That’s a new one for me, and I grew up in southern Indiana, blocks away from the yellow house on the “Roseanne” show.
People in my hometown eat fried pig brains on sliced bread.
If you ask me, that’s nuts.
Is there a person, place or thing making you wonder “What’s Up With That?” Contact reporter Andrea Brown: 425-339-3443; email@example.com; Twitter: @reporterbrown.
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