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Monday, October 29, 2012

Jamber's PB&Jam Ain't the Lunchbox Kind

Posted By on Mon, Oct 29, 2012 at 9:30 AM

click to enlarge MOLLY GORE
  • Molly Gore

Jamber is all about keeping the fuss of food low. The intention is American comfort food, and the menu is a revamped selection of family recipes from the upbringing of the brother-sister duo who started the joint, Matt and Jess Voss. The PB&Jam is what you'd expect from a place that only serves wine from a tap in Mason jars: it's playful, accessible, and relies on your amusement in finding something presented in a way you're not quite used to.

See also:

- San Francisco's 10 Best Sandwiches

The Jamber space itself is a repurposed, reconfigured, redesigned elevator repair shop. The wood is reclaimed, the furnishings humble. And the quirky, unassuming PB&J follows suit. We were intrigued with the gimmicky twist of the name, and were pleasantly surprised to find a sandwich that was more deluxe, hearty, and greasy than anything our moms would have packed in a lunch box.

The sandwich layers a portion of tender pork belly with bacon "jamber jam," fennel, peanut butter sauce, and some savory, garlicky seasoning. The pork belly is meltingly tender, succulent in the way that might make your knees give out. Hours before you order it, the pork has been slow-baked in Downtown Brown Ale, which tastes about as forbiddingly good as it sounds. It's all hopped up on those subtle molasses and chocolate notes in the beer, reinforced by the coffee and brown sugar in the "jamber jam," pan-seared so the edges are lightly crisped. The rest of the sandwich is quite tame -- thin sliced fennel, green onions -- all packed on sourdough.

While we should have expected something heavy from a dish that promised us bacon jam, we weren't quite ready for the just-gnawed-on-a-stick-of-butter feeling that slowly deadened our senses after we sopped up the last of the pork juice with our fries. But really, pork belly that doesn't want to make you lie down in a puddle of your own drool afterwards isn't worth eating anyway.

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Molly Gore


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