The only thing that made Elvis Presley more famous than his music was his penchant for excess, and one of his most famous ways to overindulge was right here in Denver. The now-defunct Colorado Mine Company restaurant’s Fool’s Gold Loaf—an obscene concoction consisting of a hollowed-out loaf of bread slathered in butter, oven-browned, and spread with a jar each of peanut butter and jelly, with a pound of bacon folded in, all for a mere $50—inspired Elvis to make a midnight run to Denver in his private plane at least once. (It also, no doubt, played an artery-clogging role in his untimely death at the age of 42.)
Today, Stapleton’s Berkshire Restaurant (theberkshirerestaurant.com) pays tribute to those high-fat, halcyon days with a slightly tweaked—but still decadent—version of the sandwich, which sells for the less-than-princely tab of $9. To celebrate what would have been its namesake’s 76th birthday, we deconstruct the King. 7352 E. 29th Ave., 303-321-4010
BANANAS—These caramelized discs go down like candy—particularly when you pull them out to eat individually—but they get a bit subsumed amid the potent flavors of the sandwich’s other ingredients.
BREAD—This spongy, slightly sweet Hawaiian bread must be what sandwiches are served on in Alice’s Wonderland or Willy Wonka’s factory. Though probably best suited to French toast, it’s perfect for this savory-sweet delicacy.
PEANUT BUTTER—The creamy, flavorful glue that holds the sandwich together has the consistency of grilled cheese, which makes that first taste of Skippy all the more surprising. (Although the Berkshire uses crunchy peanut butter, the presence of nuts isn’t overly obvious.)
BACON—Legend has it that Elvis defied cardiological common sense by frying his sandwiches in bacon fat. The Berkshire sticks to good old butter and puts Daily’s brand thick, center-cut bacon on the inside. Cooked to crispy, smoky perfection, this was the undisputed highlight of the meal, fully worthy of a restaurant whose logo prominently features a pig. We didn’t finish the sandwich, but we finished the bacon.
BOTTOM LINE: The Kind is a worthy heir to the Fool's Gold Loaf's throne, though it does remain more of a cultural-historical curio than a food-lover's staple. (But we're definitely going back to the Berkshire for another round of that bacon.)