Show-Stopping Peanut Butter Concoctions

Who knew there was a National Peanut Month? The month of March has been designated by the National Peanut Board (NPB) to showcase the peanut and I’m actually pretty happy for this humble little legume. Peanut allergies not withstanding, this little ‘nut’ is very talented nutrition-wise. Peanuts have higher antioxidant properties than grapes, green tea, tomatoes, spinach, broccoli and carrots. Peanuts and peanut butter contain more than 30 essential nutrients and phytonutrients and are naturally cholesterol-free. (Source: NPB)

What better time to turn the spotlight on Mercury Amodio? The entrepreneur has based the menu of her restaurant, PBandU, on nothing less than that perpetual understudy, peanut butter sandwiches. PBandU opened its second location last month inside Moorestown Mall in Moorestown, Burlington County. I visited recently and was treated to some scrumptious, peanut-buttery concoctions prepared with simple ingredients combined in unusual ways with delicious results.

Amodio’s ‘why didn’t I think of that?’ idea offers a whole new fast-food dining experience revolving around the tasty bread-spread ubiquitous in homes but rarely found on restaurant menus.Amodio has taken an unusual route to end up in the restaurant business. She attended a performing arts high school and has a degree in music education. Even after several years invested in the music industry in New York City, she opted to move closer to her hometown in the Philadelphia area with the idea to cast her favorite childhood food as the star of the show in her new venture.

All the peanut butter at PBandU is made right in the shop. There are no additives, just ground up peanuts in five varieties: home-style, creamy, super chunky, organic and one laced with chocolate morsels. 18 different toppings and five different types of bread mean an almost infinite number of combinations to try.
Toppings include healthy fruit options like apples, raisins and bananas; favorite stand-bys like strawberry and grape jelly; crunchy options including pretzels, potato chips and celery; sweets like M&M’s, cinnamon sugar and honey; and even items you wouldn’t necessarily think of as being complementary to peanut butter like pickles, cheddar cheese and bacon.
PBandU offers a few of their own unique combinations on the menu including a peanut butter, bacon, cheddar cheese and pickle sandwich. I tried this combo and it was pretty tasty. If you prefer, Nutella, marshmallow Fluff and M&M’s will sate when your sweet tooth is kicking in. If you can’t decide, order the Sliders; three different choices on Slider buns.

Along with the peanut butter sandwiches, the menu also features supporting players like PBU “pizza” on flat bread with two toppings of your choice; or Peanut Butter “Fondue” served with dippers like apples, bananas, celery, pretzels or pound cake. Entrées are served with a bag of Sunchips on the side.
Prices for sandwiches and peanut butter pizzas and fondue range from $3.50 – $9.00.
Beverages available include creamy milkshakes ($4.00), the PBU Smoothie made with a frozen banana ($4.00), soda, milk, a variety of teas and coffee.

PBandU features the new ‘it’ ingredient. Stop in and enjoy the versatile peanut butter in all its different roles.The menu is fully displayed chalkboard-style above the counter where orders are taken (by PB-ogogists) and toppings are on display to help you create your own custom combination. Tables and chairs are available inside the PBandU shop, which is positioned near other food court eateries. PBandU peanut butter is also available in jars to take home