At this past weekend’s Bacon and Beer Classic held at Sports Authority Field at Mile High, food offerings ranged from composed dishes of pork belly banh mi to literally handfuls of crispy, smoked bacon. Only one dish had me going back for more each time I passed by, Hey PB&J’s Stone Cold Elvis.
A simple peanut butter and jelly sandwich with a pile of bacon would likely have sufficed for the hundreds of inebriated festival-goers, however chef Matt McDonald elevated the classic brown bag lunch with a bourbon peanut butter and banana-bacon fat jam. Although quite simple in presentation, each flavor component was clearly evident and enhanced by its counterparts. The peanut butter and bacon is savory, smoky and salty, balanced by the sweetness of bourbon and jam. Rather than the toast used on their regular lineup of sandwiches, the food truck went with standard white bread. The paste-like ingredients were able to penetrate into the bread much more than they would have on a crunchier toast, so by the end of the festival the flavors had fully soaked in, not to mention aiding in soaking up the lingering pool of alcohol in my stomach.
A pursuit of the closest late night pizza joint offering huge slices has now likely been replaced by a well-stocked fridge of peanut butter and jelly and white bread. A great sandwich not only tastes phenomenal but incorporates nostalgia of former homemade versions. Hey PB&J’s iterations don’t just make you pine for a particular sandwich, but inspire you to think about simple dishes being reinvented.