Banana Peanut Butter Blondies

Banana Peanut Butter Blondies

This post is the result of a large response. After posting a picture of the freshly baked blondies online, I received more requests for the recipe than any I have shared before. I will admit that I have been taking this strange time for complete recharge from work. This includes posting recipes as well. So please forgive me for my delay, and I hope that this new recipe makes up for lost time.

How to you make a warm gooey blondie better? Simple, sticky sweet bananas and velvety peanut butter.

The flavors can be described as a mixture of banana bread, a peanut butter and banana sandwich, and a brown sugar blondie. Browning the butter and using brown sugar adds nutty, caramel notes to the blondies. Overly ripe, super soft bananas are mixed into the batter. Bananas make the already extremely moist batter much more lush. I topped the batter off with a swirl of creamy peanut butter, which really set things off from there.

I knew the combination would be good, but I never expected the results I obtained. These blondies are quick and easy, yet the payoff is astronomical.

These are a home run for anyone, kids, friends, party-guests, husband, long lost friends–or for another week alone social distancing with a pint of ice cream and Netflix.

For another great recipe click here.

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Savoy Society

Savoy Society

There are a few Savannah staples that every local knows and loves. Great restaurants downtown and in surrounding areas convey the Savannah hospitality that tourists come from thousands of miles to feel.

Just as iconic are the watering holes that don’t pander to the faux Southern vibe that would make Savannah a microcosm of the Fried Green Tomatoes universe.

Edgy and long-standing, The Original Pinkie Masters is one of those neighborhood bars that has been serving drinks and originality to Savannahians and tourists alike for quite some time.

Even though it began as Savannah’s most loved dive bar, Pinkie Masters eventually branched into a beloved sandwich and late-night shop right next door: The Diplomat Luncheonette.

Steady success isn’t enough for some, especially when the desire is to push the envelope. That’s why, when I stopped by the group’s latest venture, Savoy Society, the team was about to finish setting up the revamped space. The doors officially opened to Savannah’s latest restaurant and trendy bar on Halloween night.

The concept takes the best of Pinkie’s and The Diplomat, combines them, and gives them a trend-setting upgrade. Though it did come as a surprise that the team behind the two joints were expanding again, the coolness and uniqueness of the Savoy was anything but unexpected.

Owner Joshua Holland is responsible for the food, and owner Matt Garappolo is heading the bar. The décor was designed by Adam Wordell and features a mixture of rattan, bold colors, one of a kind patterns, and original art from Winston Churchill’s granddaughter.

First and foremost as a restaurant, Savoy Society offers casual but insanely delicious food. The concept is to draw locals in after work for a perfectly crafted cocktail and entice them to stick around with a well thought-out and well prepared quick-serving menu.

While the crew was hustling to finish preparations before opening the doors, Garappolo took the time to talk about the menu with me.

“The whole idea is what you would want to eat after work. So, quick, easy shareable stuff,” Garappolo says. “We got a couple heavy-hitting sandwiches and we have meat and cheese plates, a veg plate, and a couple of salads. A bunch of shareable stuff like sliders and flatbreads.”

Shareable plates include Pickled Deviled Eggs with salty crispy prosciutto and fresh jalapeno, Octopus Tostadas featuring pickled onion and serrano, and Baja Ceviche Tostadas paired with creamy avocado and cotija cheese —which is just to start.

A Bread Plate, Charcuterie, and Cheese Plate are a few more of the showstoppers which grace the shareable portion of the menu.

If you want a something lighter to cap your happy hour, the salads section includes a Chopped Salad and a Curried Waldorf Chicken Salad. Although the Chopped Salad has everything you could want thrown on top of crisp greens, the warm notes of the Waldorf will hit all of your fall cravings.

Because the same genius as the Diplomat is behind this menu, you can expect a selection of sandwiches that are better than even your favorite deli. Patrons will find similar quality but all new recipes.

The Crispy Spam Slider is my first choice considering Spam is as nostalgic as it gets for some people. The Brisket has a twist with a slathering of hoisin mayo.

Sourdough Flatbreads are the closing section of the menu. Moroccan Spiced Beef, Smoked Salmon and Avocado, and the Seasonal Vegetable are the three variations patrons are offered.

Food is only a portion of the equation for Savoy. The bar and its bounty of well-rounded libations is the second part that sets the watering hole apart. There is beer on tap along with wine and several draft cocktails.

“It is super scratch-scratch-scratch cocktails, like nothing crazy. Just really good classics. A bunch of originals, then on the weekends we will do a brunch cocktail menu, so three to four different kinds of bloodies. We will do avocado margaritas,” Garappolo says.

The draft cocktails are fully original. The Chatham Artillery Punch is mixed with local yaupon tea, rye whiskey, Jamaican rum, cognac to smooth it all down, and bubbles to bring it all up.

The Modern Love is the smokier of batch due to smoked salt. The drink comes together with salty tequila, Campari, and pamplemousse. You will find over a dozen more craft variations on the bountiful menu.

The final portion of the equation, and the most important according to Garappolo, is the music. Garoppolo was kind enough to donate part of his own vinyl collection to sit behind the bar.

Surrounding the space is a plethora of mounted speakers and a custom-made station for a DJ.

“It is going to be all vinyl, all the music. An old TV console is the DJ station, and behind the bar we have old records too. So, we have DJs during the day on Saturday and Sunday, and we’ll probably do it Friday night as well,” he says.

Naturally, such a vivacious setting requires events. Brunch is just one of the events the Savoy will host.

Garappolo says that for the mid-day meal, “We will serve food from open to close and do brunch Saturday and Sunday. Brunch will be until three, so it’s going to be later. It’ll be Old Country Brunch and a mix of Mexican food, and then old country records.”

Garappolo has big plans for a Savannah staple, Happy Hour.

“We are going to do a really cool Happy Hour. We’re trying to get after-business happy hour so we’ll have discount food. We’ll gear more towards sours for Happy Hour. It will be daiquiris, pisco sours. Leaning towards lighter, brighter cocktails,” Garappolo elaborates.

Follow Savoy on Instagram or just stop by to learn more about the plethora of events the restaurant will have.

 

Moodright’s, Savannah’s New Hip Spot

Yesterday marked the grand opening for Moodright’s, an opening which I have been following for quite some time along with so many other locals. Moodright’s is Savannah’s first duckpin bowling alley (in quite a while) and cocktail lounge, and its location makes it the closest bowling alley to the historic district. Since the end of 2018 owners Chris Moody and Steuart Wainright hit the ground running to open the wateringhole.

Chris Moody and I have no relation. So I assure you, with the utmost confidence, that this is a totally unbiased article.

So what is duckpin bowling you ask? Put simply, a condensed version of the classic with a ball that weighs around three pounds and pins that are a quarter of the size of normal ones. That means the lane is shorter as well.

Moody invited me to try some drinks and my hand at the fractionary sport. He happily answered all of my questions about the retro inspired bar. The story goes, according to Moody, “My partner, Steuart Wainright (hence the name Moodright’s), and I wanted to create a neighborhood destination that encouraged engagement. Starland was key in the concept of Moodright’s as we wanted to stray away from your typical large scale ‘bowling alley’. This is more of a bar with bowling. Steuart also does not drink alcohol, and he wanted a place that offered more than typical bar activities. All are welcome!”

A true neighborhood bar means a friendly face pouring drinks and reasonable prices to boot. “Steuart and I made sure to be fair on the pricing considering we are a neighborhood spot. We also wanted to differentiate ourselves by offering specials that are fun, engaging, and not normally seen,” Moody told me. Because of the downtown location, patrons can save on cab fare yet still get the same low priced beers that are normally served by the pitcher under the fluorescent lights of an outdated bowling lane.

There are four lanes tucked perfectly together within eyesight of the bar.“While our lanes are not regulation by duckpin standards, we saw mini duckpin bowling as a way to offer gaming in a unique, intimate, and laid back way,” explained Moody.

If bowling is not really your thing, you can entertain yourself with pool or darts—or bingo according to Moody: “We will host Bingo regularly on Tuesdays from 8pm-10pm, and we have a Wednesday League Night planned for the fall.” Personally, I normally find myself at the local Veterans of Foreign War for a good bingo night, but I have a feeling that with such a laid back yet snazzy spot I have found myself a new spot for the exclamatory game.”

Of course I asked about the decor. The building once housed a music store and now looks nothing like its past. “Our decor was sourced over the past few years from friends and family, thrift stores, antique stores, etc. We put a large amount of effort into putting this place together, so each piece was hand selected to give it the vibe we were looking for,” Moody explained.

The Starland District has seen quite the resurgence of happening bars and Moodright’s is another on-trend addition to the area. Moody made one thing very clear to me, “We are not a craft cocktail bar (please go to Lone Wolf!), but we wanted to offer a few fun house drinks. I was the primary creator of the menu. Jackson DuMouchel assisted with the layout and branding, and Carter King (Futurebirds) drew the illustrations and primary logo.” The Pabst Blue Ribbon mural painted on the bricks outside of the building was created by Ham Smith

I think Moody is just being modest because everything I tasted acted as the perfect lubricant to loosen your wrist before chucking a tiny ball down a lane. Just like the atmosphere, the drink menu is not fussy.

One of my favorite beer variations is offered by Moodright’s, the Michelada, an ice cold Tecate smothered in hot sauce, worcestershire, tajin, and lime. Refreshing yet spicy, a drink to really confuse the senses.

The last time I popped in, I tried the Border Lord. A sweet and smoky cocktail made with mezcal, lime, aperol, and Fanta poured over ice. Order one to follow the Michelada, the syrupy orange soda coats your tongue to cool it down.

Similar to the last two, The Sea of Cartezz, has a south of the border note. It is a bubbly drink mixed with salty tequila, peach grapefruit soda, tajin, and a squeeze of fresh lime.

For those who favor less savory drinks, a rotating features slushie will be available. Ideal to help cool down during Savannah’s confusingly steamy fall months. Last week’s slushie was gin and tonic inspired.

House Specials include The Begger’s Banquet which is one slushie, one beer, a pack of cigarettes, and two rounds of bowling. $8.00 gets you two fingers of G&B scotch and a classic gold watch. For two less, $6.00, Moodright’s will provide you with a cheap beer of your choice and a shot. And finally, if you are truly stretched but still want to be a part of the party, the Bogan allows you Fosters to share for $5.00.

Food is not on the menu at Moodright’s but Moody and Wainright are looking out for those patrons that need some sustenance after a few rounds. Moody explained,“No food, but we are planning to partner with Lone Wolf on coordinating food trucks to offer meals on a more consistent basis.” Stop by for a drink, then a game, and finish with a food truck out front.

If you can, drop by this week and check out the hip joint for yourself. And if not, do not worry, the duo plans on hosting plenty of events in the future. According to Moody, “We are joining Lone Wolf for their 1 year anniversary party. No events planned for the immediate future, but do have a few things in the works. Keep a lookout on our Instagram.” Moodright’s Instagram handle is @moodrights.

The Black Rabbit

The Black Rabbit

If you have lived in Savannah for any time at all, it is likely you have noticed the unique black rabbit art painted on the metal door of a building that sits on Barnard Street.

Time and time again I have driven by that very spot and wondered, “What could be behind those rolling doors and who is responsible for the artwork?”

Well, my questions were answered in September. As a food lover, I could not have been more excited with the news that The Black Rabbit bar and restaurant opened its doors—big metal garage doors—to the public.

The surrounding district has gained another unique and approachable joint whose aim is to cater to locals. The responsible parties are partners David Hutchison and Patrick Zimmerman.

The story began about fifteen years ago when a friend of Hutchison spotted the building that now holds The Black Rabbit, which was originally a two-stall store front.

“The building literally had been a salon, a cobbler, a hotdog stand, a record store, and there was a vintage picker,” Hutchison explained as I waited for several sandwiches to come out of the kitchen.

Hutchison’s family purchased the building, and he quickly opened a gallery and intended on filling the second side of the building with a coffee shop. After several years of sitting unused, Hutchison began looking for a business partner to start building their local spot, and that’s where Patrick Zimmerman came into the mix.

The building received its name as The Black Rabbit over ten years ago, when Hutchison commissioned Miguel, a traveling artist from Texas, to paint the black rabbit on the door of the building.

As for business partner Patrick Zimmerman, he is no stranger to the local food scene. He has worked behind the scenes at both Betty Bombers and Butterhead Greens Cafe. So as you can imagine, the sandwiches he is currently putting out are nothing short of delectable.

“We wanted to keep [the menu] pretty straightforward,” Zimmerman said in explaining his thoughts behind creating the new menu. “I was going for kinda comfort food but also stuff people would like, even vegetarians.”

Let’s start at the very top of the list—the Smoked Turkey sandwich. Perfectly toasted sourdough bread that is perfectly buttery but not greasy encases paper thin slices of salty smoked turkey, melted havarti cheese, and Zimmerman’s Asian inspired pepper jelly.

This sandwich is destined to be a local favorite, simply because I know just how much Savannahians love pepper jelly. The twist on this sandwich is Zimmerman’s recipe for pepper jelly. Taking inspiration from Asian cuisine, his sauce is more balanced than classic pepper jelly.

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Each type of pork on the Three Piggies contributes its own flavor profile to the sandwich, while working in harmony, creating one of the juiciest deli sandwiches I have ever tasted.

“We have a little fun, like the Three Piggies with Spam, pit ham, and sliced pork shoulder, which you do not see very often,” Zimmerman told me.

I understand that using juicy as an descriptor to explain a cold cut sandwich is odd, but the juices of the pork actually ran down my hand as I chomped down. Although included, this cold stack does not need mayonnaise to lubricate any dryness that usually comes from fresh bread.

To balance the sandwich, fresh thinly sliced onions are layered with a thick cut of tomato and crisp lettuce. The cherry on top is the extremely soft bolero bread that encases the entire thing. Gottlieb’s Bakery is responsible for all of the bread used at the The Black Rabbit.

For a side with your sandwich, I would opt for the in-house pickled vegetables, which come as spicy or regular.

“Radishes, green beans, turnips, carrots, onions, and garlic,” are cooked “real straight forward with sugar, salt, vinegar, peppercorns, water, and bay leaf. I add jalapeños for the spicy one,” Zimmerman explained when I asked how he makes his pickled vegetables.

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More on the Southern side is the cucumber, tomato, and onion salad. It is just like the bowl of garden fresh onions and tomatoes you will find included on the dinner table during many Southern meals. The idea behind this side was to offer something lighter to complement the hearty sandwiches.

Finally, the German Potato Salad is available as a side. For his version, Zimmerman cooks the onions tossed with the tender potatoes in bacon fat, which results in an additional layer of flavor.
The Black Rabbit also offers dessert—King of Pops popsicles or a big slice of cheesecake from Fork & Dagger.

As for what readers, especially locals, are probably wondering the most about, the specialty cocktail menu is concise and to the point. You will find one cocktail for each type of liquor and nothing more.

No matter what your preference you will surely be satisfied with the preparation for that type of liquor. Even more so, you will be especially satisfied after reading the price of all of the house created and made cocktails.

Being a fan of bourbon, I opted for the Grandpa’s Kisses, a title that makes perfect sense after reading the ingredient list. Both bourbon and scotch are blended with apple brandy, honey, and bitters. Served in a crystal old fashioned glass, the profile of the dark liquors are prominent yet rounded out by the addition of sweet apple and aromatic bitters.

Zimmerman and Hutchison were kind enough to let me try the Room 225, a gin cocktail that is made silky by the use of sunflower seed orgeat, a nut milk.

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The cocktail is shaken with lemon juice and a few dashes of bitters before being poured into a coupe and adorned with lemon rind. It is fragrant and subtly flavored, a cocktail that would tempt you into drinking it all night.

Next year, patrons will have the opportunity to grab lunch at The Black Rabbit when Hutchison and Zimmerman expand their hours to become reachable to the entire neighborhood.

Original article is here.