Most of us got our first taste of peanut butter with the classic pb&j – crust cut off and cut diagonally, naturally. The occasional peanut butter and jelly sandwich is still a welcome treat. But, living in a state that produces more peanuts than any other state – more than 1.6 billion pounds – there are plenty of other ways to enjoy it. Chefs in Atlanta are serving it up in desserts, sandwiches and even dips for bacon. Here are a few of the best options for getting your peanut butter fix around Atlanta.
1205 Johnson Ferry Road #101, Marietta, GA 30068; 678-809-4040, www.commonquarter.com
Everyone knows that Grandma makes the best pie. Well, Common Quarter might just change that. The East Cobb restaurant from the founders of Local Three and Muss & Turner’s has really come into its own and is serving up some must-have food. One staple on the menu is the chocolate peanut butter pie. A creamy peanut butter pie is topped with a chocolate ganache, toasted peanuts and house-made whipped cream. One bite, and you might be calling Grandma to tell her there’s another love in your life.
655 Highland Ave. NE, Atlanta, GA 30312; 404-586-0772, www.highlandbakery.com/
Brunching is a sport in Atlanta. One of the champions is Highland Bakery. The original location in the Old Fourth Ward is still bustling with crowds and is serving up some out of this world treats. One of these is the French toast. The peanut butter French toast is challah bread filled with creamy peanut butter, dipped in a batter and coated with bran flakes. After it is pan fried, it is topped with decadent caramelized bananas that have been cooked in a brown sugar butter.
Kevin Rathbun Steak
154 Krog Street NE #200, Atlanta, GA 30307; 404-534-5600, www.kevinrathbunsteak.com/
Kevin Rathbun is a legend. His eponymous steakhouse helped catapult him there. Diners might be tempted to eat their weight in lobster fritters and ribeyes perfectly cooked, but they should be saving room for dessert. A favorite is the old-school baked Alaska. Now, this isn’t going to be the version you see wander by on a cruise ship. No, this is a masterpiece. Peanut butter and banana parfait is topped with chocolate, vanilla and strawberry ice creams. A little salty, a lot sweet, and so over-the-top in all of the best ways.
Leon’s Full Service
131 E Ponce de Leon Ave., Decatur, GA 30030; 404-687-0500, www.leonsfullservice.com
Peanut butter and bacon. At first glance, there is no reason why they should belong together. Belong together they do, though. Decatur’s Leon’s Full Service has one of the most impressive cocktail programs around, and they serve snacks that stand up to those drinks. Bacon in a glass is one of those snacks. Thick, smoky slices of Benton’s bacon are served in a short glass jar. On the side is a peanut sauce for dipping that elevates it from just bacon in a jar to a mast-have dish.
552 Flat Shoals Ave. SE, Atlanta, GA 30316; 404-584-0335, www.themidwaypub.com
East Atlanta has some of the best bars in Atlanta. At the top of the list is Midway Pub. You find a huge, rotating list of craft beer and bar fare that stands head and shoulders above what you would expect. One of those dishes is the peanut butter and pork belly sandwich. They take the nostalgic treat of your childhood and do what Atlantans do best — throw some pork on it. It is made with peanut butter, blackberry jam and seared pork belly. It’s fatty and sweet and goes great with a night of pints with friends.