This is not one I’m supposed to like, right? The over-the-top burger that is the Elvis Double Grilled Cheese Burger (or was, this was a special that hopefully is back in the rotation again soon) at All Star Sandwich Bar may be one for the ages, if nothing else than for a seemingly very glutenous burger that is actually pretty damn respectable. On paper, this burger is a beast, taking the Elvis inspired burger to a whole new level, arriving tall and proud with a 1/2 pound burger, sharp cheddar, honey glazed bacon, peanut butter, pickled Fresno chiles and grilled banana. Oh, and did I mention it’s served in between two grilled cheese sandwiches? Still with me? I can’t say I’ve ever had a burger like this one before, and the big question hanging over my head was whether or not I’d want to have another burger like this one again afterwards.
Surprisingly this burger is very balanced when it has virtually no reason to be. The beef, cooked a consistent medium-rare, is squishy and loose, with a good amount of juiciness and a pretty robust beefy flavor that is still able to stand out among the other wannabe competing ingredients. The grilled cheese bun is not gushing with melted cheese, and that’s to the sandwich’s benefit. The supermarket bread (think Wonder) is actually perfect here because the top and bottom halves are easily flattened when you push your hands into it, making it soft but firm enough to never be too bready, with the extra hit of cheese making it delicious to boot. The “bun” is also not greasy whatsoever, only slightly becoming too soft at times, but still holding up throughout. The peanut butter is odd at the surface, but is cleverly balanced with a sharp accent of heat from briny, pickled chiles, making it feel like a satay sauce but not necessarily in an Asian way. The grilled banana is borderline too mushy and a little hard to pinpoint, but still, when combined with the peanut butter and chile and copious amounts of beef juices, the warm banana, like everything else, kind of just works. Honey glazed bacon is sweet and salty, and is more successful than most strips of bacon I’ve had on a burger because it’s quite thick with a crispiness and a chewiness all at the same time, sort of like the ultimate chocolate chip cookie in that manner. Fries are the one distraction, as a massive heap of thin potatoes lean to the soggy side and don’t taste like much more than oil and nary a dash of salt either.
The Elvis Double Grilled Cheese Burger at All Star Sandwich Bar won me over with an abundance of flavor, starting with very good and fatty beef that is properly incorporated with a bunch of toppings and ingredients that are far from traditional. Peanut butter, grilled bananas and a grilled cheese bun may seem a little strange and believe me it is, but what you end up with is a delicious symmetry of ingredients that actually come together. Unique and weird don’t always add up to burger success, but in this case, it absolutely does.
Overall Score: 86