Who didn't love a good peanut butter-and-jelly sandwich while growing up ( unless you had a peanut allergy )?
Well, the folks at PB&J ( 205 N. Peoria St.; PBJWestLoop.com ) offer this popular itemalthough, of course, the restaurant has its own spins on that classic. However, "PB&J" also stands for "pizza, beer and jukebox"and each is definitely represented here.
Just looking around the airy interior ( which is where the three of us sat because the winds were gusting at about 40 mph that day ) shows plenty dedicated to music/the jukebox. The lyric wall alone ( with lines from dozens of songs ) will have you guessing and staring for hours, but there are also other items such as the Rolling Stones logo and even a fixture featuring the late Queen frontman Freddie Mercury with reworked lyrics that reflect a pro-mask wearing stance. ( However, there are plenty of TV screens showing sports if you're interested. )
Start things with a drinkand there's a lot available, from beer ( of course ) to wine to White Claw. However, I opted for the Pear Pressure cocktaila refreshing take on a Moscow Mule that consists of Grey Goose Pear, ginger beer and lime. However, there are plenty of other options, such as Hot & Bothered ( Cuervo Tradicional, pineapple, lime and habanero bitters ) and This One's for Karen ( champagne and passionfruit )although, in these politically charged times, that name might have to be reconsidered.
The thing about PB&J's menu is that it offers something for anyone. Shared apps include whole jumbo wings ( in sweet chili, buffalo and BBQ varieties ), truffle fries and even drunken mussels. And salads include the Not So Greek Salad and the provocatively named The Beet Down.
Now, back to the PB&Jas in the sandwiches. This spot has the standard Wonder Bread PB&J, Elvis Style ( with toasted wheat bread, chunky peanut butter, honey and sliced bananas, with bacon and candied bacon options ) and the Not Your Mama's PB&J ( a delicious item that's on oven-toasted multigrain, with almond butter, berry compote and maple-bourbon honey ).
There are other sandwiches, however. One of my guests adored the Keep On Jammin' Burger, which has a patty with beet-onion jam, gruyere, crispy green tomato and bacon aioli, on a sesame bun. I almost got the country chicken sandwich, which features cornflake-crusted fried chicken, creamy slaw and chipotle slaw.
However, as the venue's name indicates, there's also Neapolitan-style pizzawhich I ultimately chose. There are enticing choices, such as the delightful BBQ Mother Clucker, which sports smoked BBQ chicken, pickled red onion, mozzarella and cilantro. We also went with the Burrata & Balsamic ( with a prosciutto option ); on its own, it's finebut it doesn't quite measure up to the other pizza, which dazzles the taste buds by comparison. However, I'm sure even the Mother Clucker might not fare well against the Chicago Heat Wave, which counts "spicy" pepperoni among its ingredients.
And then there's the Golden Goose ( which we did not try ). However, it stands out for at least one reason: It's $350 ( and must be ordered the day before being at PB&J ). It consists of Maison Dutriez's red currant jam ( the world's most expensive jelly, which is hand-seeded using goose quills ), Adams All Natural Peanut Butter, toasted edible gold leaf bread and a drizzle of New Zealand Manuka honey. It's pure indulgence.
So if you get a chance, stop by ( or order from ) PB&J. Whether you get a pizza or an actual PB&J, you're bound to be satisfied.
Note: Profiles/events are based on invitations arranged from restaurants and/or firms.