Wednesday, March 12, 2008

P.O. Pears We Hardly Knew Ye

We take a brief respite from baby news for this important bulletin:

March 23, Easter Sunday will (ironically enough) be the first day Lincoln is without one of its dining landmarks.

Yes, the venerable P.O. Pears will be closing its doors.

P.O. Pears is quite possibly the coolest restaurant ever. There are some out there with better food (though Pears IS the home of my fave hamburger...more on that in a minute), there are some out there with a better bar, better bands, better decor...but there's nobody that put it all together in the unique way and with the devil-may-care sensibility that P.O. Pears did.

Where to start...well, there's the front door. I have to admit to falling prey to the "PUSH other side" wording on the door handle more than once.

Then you get to where you order your food, which in P.O. Pears' case is a giant set of lips which, according to their website, was originally used as a promotional device by the Rolling Stones on one of their tours. Apparently the rumor is that Keith Richards got *ahem* "acquainted" with one of his wives on that very set of lips.

The decor of the place is peppered with old movie artifacts, including a sleigh from Dr. Zhivago, a scale model ship from Tora Tora Tora and this wheelchair, which played a notable part in Psycho.

In fact, there's all kinds of crap hanging from the ceiling throughout the whole place, which is notable because P.O. Pears did this and made it look cool well before corporate places like Applebees started using that style of decorating in each of their 10,000,000,000 restaurants.

Then there's the food itself. This is probably my favorite hamburger ever:

It's called the Jiffy Burger. A big ol' juicy hamburger patty with lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, onions, bacon, jack cheese, and...peanut butter. Look at the picture again. What may appear at first glance to be yellow cheese, is in fact the gooey goodness of peanut butter.

That's right. Peanut butter is what puts the "Jif" in "Jiffy Burger."

And my GOODNESS is that burger good. Probably takes a year or two off your life expectancy each time you order one, but well worth the potential health risk.

So Monday, Sweetie and I went to P.O. Pears for lunch one last time, and I ordered what was probably my last Jiffy Burger.

I may be in mourning for quite some time.



Rev Scott said...

My band mates sent out several emails this week mourning the loss of P.O. Pears. I mean, that was OUR bar. I remember the night before the Oklahoma trip in 94 or 95 - half the pep band going on the trip wasn't at Westbrook to help pack the bus for our departure at 1:00 a.m. But on the stroke of 1, the Pears bus pulled up and poured out the remainder of the pep band - all the "of age" folks. Turns out they'd been partying at Pears and the owner offered to drive them over and let them leave their cars in the lot until we got back after the game. Loudest bus ride ever; but proof that the Pears' gang just knew how to take care of their customers.

david said...

Man...look at that burger!

Hot Cup Lutheran said...

aahhh damn! i too have fond memories of this place and CANNOT believe someone else's fave is the jiffy burger! whoot!

and for the record jiffy & bologna do NOT make a tasty treat... just sayin'

LutherLiz said...

Hmmm peanut butter and burgers....hmmmm.

If it hadn't closed I would have had to do a road trip just find out about such things. Too bad (or good?...for the arteries at least).

LutheranChik said...

Am I hallucinating this, or did Guy Fieri of Food Network's "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives" (cool dude with spiked beached hair, tats and retro shirts) visit P.O. Pears for a show? The peanut butter on the burger rings a bell.

mark said...

i don't think i ever ate at PO Pears, though I'm familiar with it. Sad.
I have had peanut butter on a BLT sandwich on two separate occasions. It was at a day camp host family (different day camp than the one we worked together, although the first time was that same summer. The second time was two years later at the SAME host family when I happened to go to the same day camp site). I remember it being surprisingly good. The peanut butter accentuates the flavor of the bacon quite nicely, and it supports my opinion that both peanut butter and bacon make just about everything better.

Rev Scott said...



Patrick said...

Been there many times before Husker games and a few others. I will miss it too, I wish I had a chance to get one of those burgers. I can still remember when I was a young kid with my parents and aunt before a game: I tried these wings which I didn't know they were 1)spicy and 2)vinegar. That was a great day.