You don’t have to wait for Throwback Thursday to indulge in your old-school faves, with candy-coated cocktails, ’70s and ’80s desserts, and even some savory suppers that pay homage to that penny-pinching college go-to—ramen—now available on the daily. So throw ’em back and take a trip down Memory Lane, to those sweet days when Mom made your snacks and there was no such thing as calorie-counting.
Sugar Factory American Brasserie, San Diego, California
With a name like Sugar Factory, it’s no surprise that candy takes center stage in many of the cocktails and bites here, and the Sour Apple Lolly martini is no exception. Vodka is the base to which sour apple schnapps is added, along with green-apple Monin, sour mix, and bubble gum syrup—all garnished with a sour Blow Pop and a bubble gum-flavored Pop Rocks rim. Make a reservation Sugar Factory American Brasserie.
Citrus & Salt, Boston, Massachusetts
No one can doubt that with his blue hair, chef Jason Santos has always been playful. That spirit is always evident on the menu at Citrus & Salt, where Baja Coast cuisine busts Boston Brahmin behavior in Back Bay, with fun plates like Mexican street corn coated with everyone’s favorite orange-fingered indulgence, Cheetos of the Flamin’ Hot variety. Make a reservation at Citrus & Salt.
Upland-Miami Beach, Miami Beach, Florida
It’s out of the caveman days for Fred Flintstone, whose Yabba Dabba Doo Orange push-up pop gets a modern remix in the form of the California Dreamsicle dessert. A blood orange yogurt twist is topped with chocolate crunchies for a 2019 spin on a classic. Make a reservation at Upland-Miami Beach.
City Works Eatery & Pour House, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Snickers gets an even more indulgent remix with an Oreo cookie crust for the pie at City Works, where the sweet treat is artfully composed with peanut butter mousse, whipped cream, chocolate and caramel sauces—and candy bar chunks, of course. Make a reservation at City Works Eatery & Pour House.
Trademark, New York City, New York
Cocktails get some crunch at Trademark, where Cocoa Puffs-infused almond milk is mixed with moonshine and cold-brew liqueur for the Cereal Milk White Russian, a morning brew and chew that’s a hit on the brunch menu. Make a reservation at Trademark.
American Social Bar & Kitchen, Orlando, Florida
The peanut butter and jelly goes 21-plus at American Social, where one of the most popular cocktails is served with a mini sandwich. The PBJ Time cocktail uses peanut butter whiskey, bourbon, strawberry preserves, and walnut bitters, along with its mini sammie. Make a reservation at American Social Bar & Kitchen.
Serẽa, San Diego, California
This isn’t what your Mom used to make—the new Serea restaurant spotlights classic favorites like milk and cookies in a cool glass jug made to look like an old-school carton, but the tasty libation combines Frech vanilla vodka with decadent Godiva white chocolate, fresh heavy cream, and agave. Imbibers get fresh chocolate chip cookies on the side. Make a reservation at Serẽa.
Backyard Betty’s, Boston, Massachusetts
As their slogan goes, “It’s like your favorite childhood cookout, but better,” and Backyard Betty’s doesn’t disappoint. General manager and bar director Mike Baxter just introduced a trio of Lush Puppies, boozy versions of the classic retro ‘70s and ‘80s slushie machines. Flavors include watermelon (with lemon vodka); blue raspberry (with house-made raspberry vodka); and fruit punch (with peach vodka). Make a reservation at Backyard Betty’s.
Parker & Quinn, New York City, New York
Everyone’s favorite college soup gets a remix at Parker & Quinn. The blistered shishitos are coated in zesty ramen soup mix, and served with miso ranch on the side. Make a reservation at Parker & Quinn.
Ember, Miami, Florida
A modern interior in Miami’s Design District meets an old-school match with chef Brad Kilgore’s indulgent dessert, the Rice Krispie a la mode. It’s served in a mini cast-iron skillet, with puffed rice and grains, marshmallow, and dulce de leche ice cream. Make a reservation at Ember.
SoBou, New Orleans, Louisiana
The corn dog gets an elevated spin in the French Quarter, with a shrimp and tasso cylinder of awesome. Wild white shrimp and tasso ham are served inside a crispy cornmeal crust and topped with hot sauce aioli and sticky pepper jelly for a light and satisfying treat. Make a reservation at SoBou.
Bambara Restaurant, Cambridge, Massachusetts
Chef David Bazirgan’s take on a classic is a far cry from middle-school cafeteria sammies. Peanut butter and jelly goes from geek to chic, with a sleek dessert on his new fall menu that features yogurt panna cotta, Concord grape glaze made from local grapes, peanut crumble, and meringue. Make a reservation at Bambara Restaurant.
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