The Next Act Pub recently introduced a new menu, seeing the return of a few favourites as well as something really unique – the PB&J burger.
The burger comes with a generous amount of crunchy peanut butter spread on the bottom bun and an in-house prepared bacon jam that coats the juicy beef patty in lieu of bacon strips. The peanut butter melts into the bun, turning a food holder into a food enhancer. Meanwhile, the texture of the bacon jam makes a world of difference, especially if you’re a bacon aficionado who simply can’t stomach an imperfectly cooked strip of pork. The two classic foods create a unique flavour combination, permeating your mouth, and carrying you away to your childhood when the only two things you would eat were peanut butter and jam for breakfast and hamburgers for dinner.
Now that we’re adults, though, we’re not opposed to eating our greens. Which is a good thing, considering the house salad is so delicious. A bed of greens hosts a myriad of shapes, textures and colours: Slivered almonds, pea shoots, sliced grapes and strawberries, with a slightly tart, slightly sweet white balsamic honey vinaigrette. We also order a bowl of the house vegetable soup, a hearty blend of tomatoes, potatoes, carrots, onions, parsnips and white beans that could almost be marketed as chili.
Few meals are as comforting as traditional macaroni noodles smothered in cheese, and The Next Act brings its own twist to this classic by baking the dish with a blend of cheddar, Swiss, Monterey Jack and provolone, and suggesting the addition of diced jalapenos and real bacon bits. The jalapenos add a kick that some (my dinner companion included) could do without.
After our meals and preferred Alley Kat brew, we order the sole dessert on The Next Act’s menu: The skillet-baked chocolate chip cookie. I had to loosen my belt a notch to finish it; there was no way I was leaving even a single crumb behind. (8224 104 St., 780-433-9345, nextactpub.com)