Do not try this at home.
If you do, just don’t tell your doctor.
That’s the message I came away with after spending a few days in New Orleans recently.
The Big Easy — or Who Dat Nation, as fans of the Saints call it — is easy on the eye and palate when it comes to food. And I seem willing to give in to temptation every time.
There’s never enough time on any trip, though, to sample the amount of food there is to be had, so I told myself I would just have to squeeze in an extra meal somewhere.
That meant two dinners in one evening.
I’m a professional, I told myself. I can do this.
Well, the first, at a soul food restaurant called the Praline Connection, consisted of a mountain of fried fish, fried shrimp, fried oysters and deviled crab perched atop an equally daunting pile of french fries. On the side – yes there were side dishes – was an overgrown order of crowder peas with rice as well as a bowl of the most sinful-looking macaroni and cheese I had seen in some time. (I say sinful, because as a diabetic, pasta is strictly verboten. I shouldn’t have the breaded seafood, either, or the carb-heavy potatoes, but that’s another story. Suffice it to say, I avoided the rice because I simply had to make some slight acknowledgment to my diet.)
Though I filled a large to-go container for breakfast the next morning, I still managed to put away more food than I would have liked. And yet I just had to get to Yo Mama’s,
Because of the Peanut Butter Burger.
That’s right, a burger with warm peanut butter on top and then crowded with plenty of crisp bacon. It’s one of the specialty burgers at Yo Mamma’s, alongside the Burger Romanoff with sour cream and caviar or the Texas Burger with barbecue sauce. (Is that all Texas has to offer the outside world? The owner needs to discover the bean burger as a better representative of what the Lone Star state has to offer.)
But back to the peanut butter burger: If the idea sounds terrible, then think about who peanuts are used to such great effect in Thai food.
The thought of that sent me dashing off from the Praline Connection at one end of the Quarter to Yo Mamma’s toward the other.
I was glad I made the effort. The burger itself was spectacular. I wish I knew the secret of what made it so great, served medium to order and bursting with more flavor and juice than you find most places nowadays. It really landed in the top five burgers I’ve had in my life.
I just wish the peanut butter had melted just a little more into the meat. The two didn’t quite coalesce into a whole. I kept tasting the peanut butter and the beef separately. But it really didn’t matter. I can play with the recipe and the idea at home.
I just wish I knew what made the burger so good. The entire half-pound patty was gone all too quickly, even though my stomach was telling me, “Enough, already.”
I took the salad on the side to go. I could eat it on the ride home the next day, I told myself. Except I left it in the refrigerator. And there would have been no room. I had the leftovers of a pulled pork po’ boy, and that was enough for the road. Well, that and a cupcake with almond frosting. And the 10 pounds of sausage I picked up on the road …