First impressions are so important. And Peanut Butter Paradise made a very good first impression on this blogger!
As I walked up to the Hermitage Food Truck Frenzy, my eyes immediately skipped over all the trucks and went over to this bright yellow and pink truck with peanuts all over it. Yes, I had been wanting to try Peanut Butter Paradise on this trip and I was looking for it anyways. But the truck is very attention grabbing. It is bright. It is bold. It is colorful. It is full of personality. And it was the most eye-catching of all the trucks at the Frenzy. I highly suggest walking around the entire truck to see all of the character peanuts. There is a peanut who bares a striking resemblance to Food Network host, Guy Fieri. Although we were informed that it was “Not Guy Fieri” with a wink. You never know what other animals you will find on this truck! A first impression is made in the first 20 seconds. My first 20 seconds was full of enjoyment checking out the truck and artwork. We were off to a good start!
I got to talking with Lisa and Bill, the truck owner and operators. And since we all know how I love customer service, you know that I was totally diggin’ that they were taking time out to chat with me and my boyfriend! I asked them how they decided on peanut butter sandwiches. Lisa explained that they were both huge food truck fans, coming to Nashville to enjoy the trucks. During their visits, they noticed that there wasn’t a lot aimed at the younger crowd aka kids. So they thought of peanut butter sandwiches. And voila! Peanut Butter Paradise was an idea and on it’s way to being a food truck. Bill also let us know that the truck wrap (the exterior artwork) was created and designed by a relative who attends the Nossi College of Art.
Peanut Butter Paradise has 2 menus. The 4 specialty gourmet PB sandwiches which are written on the side of the truck. And also their more basic menu (Old Fashioned PB & J, Celery Sticks, etc) which is the paper taped to the truck. Now I did not try any from the basic menu. Although I think we can count out a review on the Pickled Paradise only because I’m not a pickle fan. But I’d love to hear from a pickle fan who has tried this sandwich to see what they thought! I’ll even post your review of it here!
One thing I want to note before I go into my reviews of the food items, is that all their sandwiches come with chips. You don’t have to order chips in addition to the sandwich. This earned them bookoodles of brownie points in my book!!! And it added more value to their pricing structure, in my opinion.
I am lucky enough to have a boyfriend who enjoys food trucks as much as I do. And I had asked him the night before the Frenzy if he would split several sandwiches with me. To have a proper review, I really wanted to have several different menu items. And luckily, he said he would. So I ordered 3 of the 4 specialty sandwiches. Yes, it seems like a lot, but split is really only 1 1/2 sandwiches. (See why I say bring a friend!) I ordered The Zen, Hunka Love, and The Pig Pen. I’ll admit that when I ordered the Zen, I was very skeptical. I’ve never had curry before and I know it is a very…um…distinct flavor. My boyfriend is not a fan of curry. I ordered the Zen because it is a very odd menu item. And I felt for a review, you should have a very odd menu item. So here following are my reviews of each of the sandwiches we had.
We started off with The Zen. It was the least dessert type of sandwich we felt. And it was also the one we were the most skeptical about liking. Jim (my boyfriend) took his half, and I took mine. We both took our first bites. Our first 20 second impression of The Zen was basically filled with some moaning. When we finally said actual words, they were basically “That’s ridiculous how good that is.” And my boyfriend noted that curry and peanuts are somewhat a natural combination. The Zen is a curry peanut butter, orange marmalade, and grilled chicken. It was such an interesting and extremely tasty combination. When we ordered The Zen, we got it mild. It comes in mild or hot. Since we were unsure of their spicy meter and I have a light spicy palate, we went with mild. Mild = no spicy. Next time we will try the hot. And yes, there will be a next time…and a next time…and a next time… It was so interesting to me. The curry peanut butter and chicken and then the sweetness of the marmalade. Jim was really shocked how much he liked it, because of how much he doesn’t like curry. The Zen is going to be the Peanut Butter Paradise sleeper sandwich. Any true foodie is going to have to try this sandwich!!!! We went back to tell Bill and Lisa how much we really liked this sandwich. Bill said that with the hot which is a chili oil, it tastes just like pad thai. Yeah. Yep. MmmHmmm. Pad Thai. Yes Please. Sorry, I got off track there.
The 2nd sandwich we ate was The Hunka Love. Peanut Butter, Bacon, Banana Slices, and a drizzle of honey. Peanut butter, BACON, Banana Slices, and a drizzle of honey. So many delightful things about this sandwich. First off, the bacon. Yes, we all know by now that I love bacon. But I loved that they didn’t do strips of bacon. They chopped it in to pieces. It’s easier to cook evenly this way and it’s also quicker to cook. It also means that when you bite into it, you don’t drag the whole slice of bacon out of the sandwich. Bill and Lisa explained that in their test cooking they found that the slices would drag out of the sandwich in one bite. And that mixed with hot peanut butter, you could end up with hot peanut butter on your chin. And that’s no good. So they went with the cooked pieces. And it really works. Secondly, the bananas. They were thick slices and you could really smell the bananas. They really had a strong wonderful flavor. I’ll be honest in that I couldn’t really taste the honey on this sandwich. But then again, it is just a drizzle. Bacon and Banana, I don’t know why I never thought of those two combinations together. And with the melty creaminess of the peanut butter, this sandwich is just…well…delightful.
The final sandwich we tried was called The Pig Pen. The Pig Pen is peanut butter, Nutella, and bacon. I mean for serious. That is such a dirty mind to think of such of a creation. The gooey peanut butter mixed with the chunks of bacon and add in the melted hazelnutty chocolatey wonderfulness. And these sandwiches are all grilled to absolute perfection. The crunchy delicious grilled bread holding together that gooey heavenly sandwich. I don’t feel at all guilty in saying that I gave my boyfriend the small half. This is a perfect dessert sandwich. It is a perfect sandwich when you are looking for something chocolatey and warm. And if you do not like chocolate and peanut butter together than you should stop reading my blog because there must be something wrong with you.
Every sandwich didn’t even need the full 20 seconds to make a lasting good impression on me.
A few items. One, the bacon. The bacon was not very salty. My boyfriend said it almost was like a pancetta. It still packed the taste of bacon, just with out being overpowered by the saltiness. Which is smart, because there is also the saltiness in the peanut butter as well. So you don’t want to overload the salty flavor. Secondly, the bread. The bread on every sandwich was perfectly grilled. It was a wonderful compliment to the sandwich. And more importantly, it held together despite having melted gooey ingredients inside. The third item I would like to bring up is that they can and do make their own peanut butter which is why the peanut butter really did taste so darn good. And they can do that on the truck if they need to! How awesome is that!!! I also like that they get their jams and jellies from the Amish up in Kentucky. The Amish make such quality products. So you know the jams and jellies on these sandwiches are the best around.
All in all, my first visit first impression of Peanut Butter Paradise was a fantastic one. I’m really excited to re-visit them again. Not only to re-try The Zen with the hot chili oil, but also to see what new concoctions Bill and Lisa come up with. They are true foodies who are going to take peanut butter sandwiches to a whole new level. These aren’t your grandma’s PB&Js, but they have those if that is what you are looking for!
Give Peanut Butter Paradise your patronage. It’s definitely worth a first impression…and a second…and a third…