Rent, insurance, student loans - adulthood isn't always all it's cracked up to be. Sometimes it's nice to revisit an easier time, when happiness was a stack of Oreos and a glass of milk after school. OK, anyone who thinks childhood was that simple doesn't really remember it. Still, it's nice to indulge in a little nostalgic noshing every now and then, and Phoenix-area restaurants make it easy with their fun twists on kid-inspired classics.
PB & J at St. Francis
St. Francis puts a decidedly grown-up spin on the classic PB & J. A dense chocolate brownie is layered with creamy peanut butter and rich chocolate ganache, and plated atop a sweet strawberry sauce. Salted peanuts provide satisfying crunch.
Pop Tart at Angels Trumpet Ale House
The "Pop Tarts" at Angels Trumpet Ale House are really more like Pillsbury Toaster Strudels, but a strudel by any other name still tastes as sweet. Flaky, golden layers of pastry cradle seasonal fruit filling and a vanilla glaze.
Push Pop at Bink's Midtown
Remember push-up pops - those cylinder shaped ice cream bars in paper tubes with plastic handles? Well the upscale version at Bink's Midtown is a far cry from the kind you used to buy at the ice cream truck for a dollar. Flavors are seasonal; we tried the green apple sorbet layered with oatmeal ice cream and served with pecan streusel. (Past offerings have included butternut squash with tamarind chocolate syrup and chai tea with pineapple chutney.)
Cotton Candy at Noca
It's not on the menu, but eat dinner at Noca and you'll likely be treated to a big bowl of fresh, light-as-air cotton candy before you get your check. A Noca signature, the brightly colored spun sugar makes a fun and playful ending to a grown-up meal that just might have you feeling like a kid again.
Cinnamon Sugar Doughnut Holes at Beckett's Table
The doughnut holes at Beckett's Table aren't just for kids. Nearly the size of tennis balls, they're coated in cinnamon and sugar, drizzled with chocolate sauce and served on puddles of caramel and banana pudding. The heavy cake consistency of the doughnuts contrasts well with their crunchy, sugary exteriors.