Few dishes evoke childhood comfort food better than a peanut butter and jelly sandwich enjoyed out of a brown paper lunch bag. Though we may have moved on to more adult versions since our school days, sometimes we just crave the comforting combination of salty, sticky peanut butter with saccharine jelly. To that end, we found some more age-appropriate versions of the simple sandwich to satisfy the little kid inside you while saving face as a person-of-a-certain-age.
PB&J "Pain Perdue" from Recette: For an upscale version of the classic sandwich, head to this West Village restaurant, where chef Jesse Schenker has created a version of French Toast ($12) that channels childhood for an adult palate. The chef soaks two thick slices of Sullivan Street brioche in a custard mixture, then stuffs them with creamy peanut butter and farm-fresh strawberry jam. He griddles the bread until it gets a golden brown crust then serves it with fresh berries and an Earl Grey milk jam, made by soaking Earl Grey tea in a sweetened milk. The gut-busting dish only gets served at brunch, so make sure to stop by on Sundays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
328 West 12th Street, 212-414-3000
Peanut Butter + Jelly Yogurt from Chobani SoHo: On the lighter side of things, Chobani SoHo offers their plain yogurt—either 2% or 0% for those really watching their waistlines—with swirls of Concord grape jelly and creamy peanut butter. The mixture then gets topped with crushed peanuts and sliced red grapes, giving the dish some crunch and heft. Depending on your appetite, opt for the half portion ($4) or full portion ($5.50).
150 Prince Street, 646-998-3800
PB&J Cupcake at Hill Country: They don't just have some tasty barbecue, this Flatiron meat and music mecca also adds a touch of nostalgia to their dessert menu with a PB&J Cupcake ($4.50). The sweet treat fills a vanilla cupcake with good old fashioned Welch's Grape Jelly, then tops the cake with peanut butter frosting, chopped peanuts and Reese's Pieces. If you never thought the traditional sandwich was sweet enough, this creation is for you.
30 West 26th Street, 212-255-4544
Peanut Butter and Jelly Doughnut from Leske's Bakery This Bay Ridge institution has been baking up delicious breads, cookies, pastries and doughnuts since 1961 and this year expanded their operation into Park Slope. The joint might be known for their killer Black and Whites, but their doughnut creations are not to be overlooked. The bakery's Peanut Butter and Jelly doughnut ($1.25) comes fit to burst with sweet globs of black raspberry jelly inside a light, fluffy batter. The doughnut is then topped with a sticky, peanut butter glaze that, despite any efforts to the contrary, will end up all over your face and hands.
7612 Fifth Avenue, Bay Ridge, 718-680-2323; 588 Fifth Avenue, Park Slope, 718-369-0404
Peanut Butter & Jelly Milkshake from Smashburger: Nothing cuts through the heat like a frosty milkshake, and Denver transplant Smashburger has you covered in the nostalgia department as well. The new Peanut Butter & Jelly Shake milkeshake ($4.49), which debuted this month, blends Häagen-Dazs vanilla ice cream with strawberry syrup and crushed Nutter Butter Cookies. The result is a pleasing sweet and salty combo full of cookie bits and sweet frosting. Sadly, they were out of strawberry syrup on our visit, but we imagine it would add a touch of brightness and acidity to cut through the thick shake. Best to call in advance to make sure they have all the ingredients.
80 Dekalb Avenue, Fort Greene, 718-222-1101