Just because we're grown-ups (well, more or less), doesn't mean we've stopped constantly craving sugary cereals, gooey orange mac n’ cheese, and sticky-sweet PB&J. These restaurants have our number, and they're turning our favorite kiddie foods into scrumptious menu items we wouldn't be totally mortified to order in public.
At the laid-back Osso in Los Angeles, one of our favorite childhood sandwiches gets an ingenious update. The patty melt here is made with grass-fed brisket, caramelized onions, Swiss cheese and cheddar, and it's served on nutty rye-beer bread. Pair it with a cocktail like the Portola, a mix of bourbon, castor sugar, honey candle wax, angostura bitters and orange bitters—because you can.
Recognize this cereal? We thought so. At Chicago’s DMK Burger Bar, indulge in the rotating weekend special known as the Cereal Milkshake. Ice cream gets blended with the chef's pick of a favorite super-sweet breakfast food, probably one your mom didn't allow in the house. Make it an official adults-only treat by adding a shot of booze.
Peanut Butter and Jelly
The butterscotch cake at Saltaire Oyster Bar and Fish House in Port Chester, New York, pays tribute to two lunchbox staples: the peanut butter and jelly sandwich and the Fluffernutter sandwich. Homemade concord grape jelly, marshmallow crème anglaise (custard sauce) and peanut butter cup gelato combine in this irresistible throwback to the junior high school cafeteria.
The meaty options at Italian restaurant Chi Spacca in Los Angeles include the beef and marrow pie, a sophisticated spin on those buttery, crusty pot pies we used to take out of the freezer and stick in the microwave. Chi Spacca's housemade version involves beef cheeks, cippolini onions, mushrooms and rich gravy, plus a marrow bone peeking out of the center of the golden-brown pie. It comes with a side of creamy mashed potatoes, so you can mix up everything on your fork for the ultimate comfort-food bite.
Mac and Cheese
We've seen plenty of chefs' versions of mac and cheese, but this is the first one we've come across that combines it with an ode to chicken strips. The Buffalo Mac at Dallas's Oddfellows marries the two nostalgic dishes beautifully: Two chicken tenders are coated with Buffalo sauce and served atop a heaping pile of cheesy noodles mixed with scallions and blue-cheese crumbles. We recommend that only adults attempt to eat this dish. Any kid's mind would be totally blown just looking at it.
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