Sometime during elementary school, you start to notice people with weird food preferences. I say "weird" because they obviously conflict with the rules set down at your home. "Can I have OJ on my cereal instead of milk?" "No! Are you crazy?" Mom and Dad make the decisions about dinner, and there are certain Things You Just Don't Do. Then one day during lunch a kid breaks out a peanut butter and pickle sandwich and you look on in horror while he chomps away. Of course, he's just following the rules of his household, and your bologna and mustard sandwich looks equally weird.
I bring this up because, after a lifetime of living in the south and a lot of experience with pimento cheese, I only recently found out that some folks put it on hamburgers. Even better: there was a place nearby that sold these things. Childhood revulsion at breaking the food rules eventually gave way to, "Why not, I'll give it a try before I criticize it."
Now, I might have to explain this for the Yankees and other Ausländern. Pimento Cheese is a mix of shredded cheese, mayonnaise, sweet peppers (like inside olives), and various seasonings. Traditionally it's served with crackers, celery, or in the most common form, sandwiches. Just a layer of the spread between two slices of white bread, often with the crusts removed and then cut into triangles. Anyone that's ever had to make a hundred of these for a church gathering knows the joy of snacking on the crusts while you try to make perfect finger sandwiches.
Jim & Nick's is a Birmingham, Alabama based chain of BBQ restaurants, and it takes some guts for a resident of the Yellowhammer State to come to Memphis and try to sell 'Q. But even I must admit that they do a great job, and I'm quite fond of their beef brisket. Don't believe me? Check out the review by my friends the Knipples, who note the restaurant's support of the Southern Foodways Alliance.
What about the burger? I felt strange ordering it, felt strange looking at it when I got home, and bit into it with some trepidation. Lesson #1: pimento cheese went everywhere and Wolfie got some of the bits that hit the floor. It's messy if you're not paying attention. That being said, it was really good. Good as in, two hours later, I wanted another one. Unlike most supermarket pimento cheese, this had some real bite to it, with sharp cheddar and some hotter than normal peppers. The cheese doesn't really melt over the burger; if it did so it would most likely separate in an unpleasant fashion.
I really don't know why this isn't more popular, aside from the mess factor. It's a stupidly obvious food combination and a perfect way to use up leftover pimento cheese after you've finished making three hundred triangle sandwiches for Wednesday night Bible Study. My fellow Southerners: you don't have to try this at Jim & Nick's, but I urge you to try it sometime this spring or summer. I believe you'll be pleasantly surprised.