Burger with bacon and peanut butter? Yes, on Martha’s Vineyard

The Jean Lafitte, from Pirate Jack's Burger Shack: A burger topped with thick sliced apple wood bacon and peanut butter. — Photo by Ralph Stewart

Last week it was brought to my attention (twice and by two different people) that there exists a burger topped with peanut butter. And not only does it exist, but it is served here on the Island at two establishments that are right around the corner from one another.

Pirate Jack’s Burger Shack, on Oak Bluffs Avenue in Oak Bluffs, across from the police station, opened last weekend despite some technical difficulties involving a malfunctioning computer system. The space is completely renovated and decorated with just enough, not too much, pirate décor. The temporary menu, which doesn’t yet include Ed Charter’s much-anticipated fried chicken, did include a variety of burgers and fries. The Initiation is in honor of opening weekend, a juicy fresh-ground burger on a toasted roll “dressed,” which is New Orleans-speak for lettuce, tomato, and mayo, served with Belgian-style fries, for $7.99

The Belgian-style fries are perfectly golden and served in a paper cone. The bar facing Ocean Park has a line of seats and convenient built-in fry-holders. Ketchup and malt vinegar are available for traditionalists but Pirate Jack’s also offers specialty sauces such as wasabi mayo, Parmesan mayo, and honey mustard.

Pirate enthusiasts might recognize the names of the burgers like Captain Benito de Soto, Captain Sam Bellamy, and Blackbeard. Captain Jean Lafitte was a French pirate in the Gulf of Mexico in the early 19th century. I didn’t find anything indicating that he was a peanut butter fan but at Pirate Jack’s his namesake burger is topped with thick sliced apple wood bacon and peanut butter. The menu promises amazing taste despite the unusual combination. An Internet search revealed diner reviews such as “oddly delightful” and “believe the hype!” Most recipes suggested skipping the cheese but definitely including bacon. See for yourself for $8.99 at Pirate Jack’s. For more information, call 508-687-9636.

People are still excited about the Lookout Tavern‘s reopening. It was almost impossible to get in the door last weekend. The new setup is open and airy with good views all around, from the sushi bar to Nantucket Sound. The menu has remained mostly the same, which is not a bad thing. The sushi menu features appetizers such as seaweed salad, miso soup, shumai, gyozas, and spicy tuna salad as well as sushi, sashimi, vegetable maki, sushi platters, cooked maki, and chef special maki like my favorite, the Crystal Roll, with spicy tuna and avocado inside, topped with spicy scallop and tobiko.

Because it has a full pub menu in addition to the sushi menu, the Lookout truly has something for everyone. On the flip side of the sushi menu you’ll find summertime beach fare like fried clams, steamers, raw bar bites, and lobster selections. The burger menu has a Texas BBQ burger, a Flyin’ Hawaiian with ham, pineapple, and cheddar and at the very bottom with no fanfare, no warnings, or disclaimers like “we know it’s weird but try it anyway!” is the P’Nut Butter Burger with your choice of creamy or crunch peanut butter for $12. Call 508-696-9844 or visit lookouttavern.com for more information. The restaurant is located at 8 Seaview Avenue.


Buying local is part of the mission at 7a Foods. They take pride in using Grey Barn and Farm eggs and meat, and in addition to using vegetables from their own 7a Farm and other Island farms.

But for his new special, Bahn Mi, chef Dan Sauer drove to Dorchester in Boston for the perfect roll. Bahn Mi is a general term for all kinds of bread in Vietnamese but generally refers to a specific type of baguette. Mr. Sauer found a Vietnamese bakery in Boston and drove up himself to get the goods. The Bahn Mi is on special this week at 7a, a sandwich with Grey Barn pork done three ways. Mr. Sauer cured a portion by salting it for 45 days and then hanging it for six weeks, then he made a terrine and a pate. The pork is served with pickled veggies, cilantro, cucumbers, jalapenos, and soy mayo on the special bread from Boston, for $9.95. Visit 7afoods.com next to Alleys on State Road in West Tisbury or call 508-693-4636 for more information.