Rockabilly's Doushana Smith, above, explains the white bread foundation of the Elvis sandwich.
After living in Memphis for 23 years, I ate my first peanut butter and banana sandwich, grilled Elvis-style, of course, at Graceland’s Rockabilly’s Burger Shop. I was underwhelmed, but I liked the price ($4.29), the retro booths and the table of tribute artists in for Elvis Week competitions.
A young visitor I met in line, Destiny Hess, preferred the café’s burger, fries and souvenir cup, but plenty of other Elvis fans order the sandwich, according to Doushana Smith, who was working the grill. “We go through probably eight bags of bread on a normal day,” she said, showing me a giant bag of Sunbeam slices.
And how many sandwiches are grilled during Elvis week? “There’s no telling,” she said.
Elvis’ love for peanut butter and sliced bananas on Texas toast is more myth than fact, according to EPE insiders, but don’t tell that to fans who also head for the Arcade restaurant downtown to sit in the Elvis booth (he really did sit there) and order the Arcade’s Elvis sandwich for $8.
While the Elvis sandwich remains iconic in Memphis, other restaurants offer more inventive spins on the ingredient duo. Don't miss the French toast served for brunch at Three Angels Diner on Broad Avenue (peanut butter, banana and Nutella stuffed ciabatta bread with powdered sugar and maple syrup for $7) and the peanut butter banana dessert pie at Aldo's Pizza Pies on Main Street.
Elsewhere, Elvis sandwich spin-offs abound. For some particularly offbeat interpretations of the combo (chocolate, peanut butter and banana ale!), check out this story in the Memphis Flyer by food writers Susan Ellis and Hannah Sayle or grill your own sandwich at home with Paula Deen’s recipe. Paula adds cinnamon and honey.