Peanut butter and jelly is a timeless combination for the simple fact that it's so effing delicious and you can't improve on perfection. Or can you?
There are plenty of restaurants in the game with the goal of upping the PB&J ante to the point of over-the-top awesomeness — and certainly, the potential for Instagram fame. And given that National Peanut Butter and Jelly Day is April 2, there's no better time to honor the classic combo and its endless twists. Consider these restaurants that offer some truly staggering options for the occasion and beyond — then go out for a treat tonight, or use these for some inspo to dream up your own inventions at home!
We’d be remiss to not start this list off with Pinstripes because what they’re doing for National Peanut Butter and Jelly day (and only for this day) is insane: They’ve created a five-course sharing menu for $100, all of which is based on the sandwich our parents defaulted to when we were out of fresh groceries. This bocce/bowling chain is certainly setting itself apart with this one. Three things on the menu of note are: a tenderloin PB&J (it’s espresso-crusted and served on artisan brioche), a “Not Your Mom’s Flatbread” dish, which brings chunky peanut butter, raspberry preserves, cheese, and peppers together, and a dessert called “PB&J With A Spoon,” which is comprised of peanut butter gelato, concord grape sorbet, and pound cake.
Die-hards can dress up any ingredient pairing and PBJ.LA is proof. Restaurateur Adam Fleischman is behind this popular Grand Central Market stall and his eye for detail is impeccable. The item most reminiscent of the classic on the menu has gourmet flare with no crust and pressed edges, like a sandwich that really wants to be a pie. More creative interpretations include the “Indian,” which features curried cashew butter, spicy mango chutney, arugula, and sliced daikon radish; and the “Ol’ Fashioned,” which features salted pecan butter, apple jam with Angostura bitters, and orange zest.
3. The PB&J Deli
This Wisconsin spot is dishing out a whole menu of Peanut Butter & Jelly re-dos. A couple of the most stand-out options on the Peanut Butter & Jelly Deli menu are a grilled cheese and jelly, which can be served on Texas Toast and the Elvis-inspired “King,” which is delivered to diners with honey, sliced bananas, and even an option of bacon.
4. Donut Friend
At Donut Friend in L.A., those who are seeking a spicy take on the PB&J don’t need to look any further than the Srirachosin donut. It features peanut butter, strawberry jam, coconut bacon, and sriracha sauce... all inside of a raised donut.
5. The Inventing Room
In Denver, there’s a restaurant that prides itself on creating unusually delicious concoctions, and it’s called The Inventing Room. When you’re there, you can order a peanut butter mousse that’s topped with salted chocolate, chocolate pop rocks, and grape jelly cotton candy for dessert.
6. The Cornish Pasty Co.
If you’re familiar with Cornish pasties or any iteration of them, you’ll know that what they always include is some kind of meat and some vegetables. What they decidedly do not traditionally include is peanut butter or jelly, but The Cornish Pasty Co. in Scottsdale, Arizona has decided to put both into one pasty, anyway. It’s then topped with whipped or ice cream.
7. PBJ’s Grilled
The Portland spot PBJ's Grilled, which is set to open a new location this spring, serves nothing but sandwiches that riff off of the nut and fruit pairing. The “Hot Hood” features peanut butter, roasted jalapenos, bacon, and cherry jam on challah bread. The “Smoking Goat” mixes almond butter with bacon, goat cheese, and apricot jam on kalamata olive bread.
8. Hey PB&J
The Hey PB&J food truck in Denver is yet another dining establishment that’s been wholly motivated to recreate the goodness of the PB&J. Their “Mother Clucker” puts fried chicken on a sandwich alongside homemade green tomato jam, pecan peanut butter, goat cheese, and spicy hot honey. And you can get it on the go...
9. Jake Melnick’s Corner Tap
Jake Melnick’s Corner Tap in Chicago has everything someone in college with the munchies — who, let’s just say, likes sports — could want. But some of the offerings are worth the outing for any type and that includes the PB&J Wings. These jumbo wings are served with a Thai peanut sauce and a raspberry chipotle jelly.
An honorable mention belongs to Arbella in Chicago, which serves up the “Old School” cocktail, which involves peanut butter-infused vodka and jelly ice and also this pictured cocktail, which includes peanut butter and looks so good, we're going to need something like it to wash down our Peanut Butter and Jelly Day nosh, for sure.
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