Sweet & Savory

sweet savory SEPT14

WHETHER IT’S A HAMBURGER sandwiched between two glazed doughnuts or a cupcake with fried chicken in it, Jacksonville eateries are home to some pretty unusual combinations. Jax Mag, for one, loves it.

Peterbrooke Chocolatier pretty much has the local market cornered when it comes to salty and sweet. Their many outposts offer chocolate-covered pretzels, graham crackers and potato chips—but nothing is as famous (or, let’s face it, as addictive) as Peterbrooke’s chocolate-covered popcorn.

Community Loaves is known for several varieties of its hearth-baked loaves of sourdough bread, but perhaps none quite as intriguing as the baguette stuffed with house-made marmalade, dark chocolate and butter.

If you’ve been to Hawkers Asian Street Fare in Five Points, you’ve probably ordered the roti—a signature Malaysian style flatbread served with an addictive curry dipping sauce. What you might not know is that Hawkers sells a sweeter version of the dish. The Cinnamon Roti includes the same flatbread—which is sort of a cross between a crepe and Indian naan—but stuffed with cinnamon cream cheese filling and served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Two house-made glazed doughnuts serve as the buns in M Shack’s doughnut burger, which is perhaps one of the most gluttonous items on our sweet and savory list. The fact that it’s only available on Sundays is probably a good thing—the combination of sweet fried dough, an in-house-ground beef patty, cheese, egg and bacon is mighty delicious, but not exactly kind to our waistlines.

The Kobayashi dog at Chomp Chomp sort of deserves its own category with its medley of flavors. The dish includes a quarter-pound Hebrew National hot dog topped with Thai papaya salsa, sriracha and aioli with white anchovies. So, not only do diners get the salty-sweet combo—thanks to the hot dog and papaya—but they get a hint of umami (the so-called “fifth taste,” after salty, sweet, sour and bitter), courtesy of the anchovy. The Kobayashi is a special not on the regular menu so, if it's not available, try the jerk chicken sandwich—a savory and sweet combo of grilled chicken, carrot-cucumber slaw and pineapple (pictured on page 43).

Bacon’s been scorching hot over the past few years (heck, there was even talk of a bacon shortage in April 2014, if you can believe it)—and pairing it with sweets is nothing new. But it’s still delicious, even if the trend has waned a bit. During Sunday brunch, Ovinté takes perfectly good applewood smoked bacon, and somehow makes it even better by dipping it in milk chocolate. One order comes with three pieces, so it makes a good starter—though you might not want to share.

3 Sisters Chocolate‘s basil lime dark chocolate truffle is an altogether decadent combination, and includes a dark chocolate ganache center infused with fresh basil, lime and a dash of vodka, all encased in a layer of premium dark chocolate.

You probably wouldn’t think to order an ice cream sundae topped with beans but at Three F(x) Ice Cream and Waffles, it’s pretty standard. Red beans are traditionally served in dessert dishes throughout Hong Kong (where they’re mashed and combined with sugar syrup and evaporated milk). At Three F(x), ice cream “chefs” expertly scrape and blend liquid cream with various toppings in a dish so cold that it freezes the concoction right in front of diners’ eyes. Red bean is available as a filling for both ice cream and taiyaki (a Japanese fish-shaped waffle stuffed with various sweet or savory fillings).

As if fried chicken and waffles weren’t an interesting enough combination on its own, the folks at 4 Rivers Smokehouse had to throw a wrench in it—by adding the already sinful combination to a cupcake. The Chicken N’ Waffle Cupcake is composed of butter cake blended with waffle batter that is folded in fried chicken crispies. The cupcake is then drizzled with house-made bourbon maple glaze, frosted in maple butter cream and topped with a waffle cone wedge.