A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006. Now a Popeyes fast food restaurant on Google Maps.

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Entry from March 13, 2008
Peanut Butter and Banana Sandwich (The Elvis; Velvet Elvis; Elvis Sandwich)

The peanut butter-and-banana sandwich became popular in the Depression years of the 1930s. In June 1957, it was recorded that Elvis Presley’s favorite sandwich was peanut butter with mashed banana. Presley did not, of course, invent the sandwich (which had been popular in Mississippi, Texas, and other states). Elvis Presley served in the military and attended training at Fort Hood in Texas; Presley is reported to have eaten his favorite sandwich in Texas (in places such as the Elite Cafe in Waco), but Presley had been eating peanut butter-and-banana sandwiches before his arrival in Texas in 1958.
On February 1, 1976, Elvis Presley flew in his private jet to Denver, Colorado, where the Colorado Mine Company restaurant prepared for him its “Fool’s Gold Loaf” (an Italian loaf stuffed peanut butter, grape jelly and bacon. This is not the same as the peanut butter-and-banana sandwich that Presley had been eating since at least 1957, although some sources (below) incorrectly associate one with the other.
The peanut butter-and-banana sandwich has been called “The Elvis” or “Velvet Elvis” or “Elvis Sandwich,” after its most famous devotee. The sandwich is often buttered and grilled, like a grilled cheese sandwich. Honey and bacon are sometimes included in the sandwich’s ingredients.
Wikipedia: Elvis sandwich
The Elvis sandwich (sometimes simply “The Elvis”) is a fried sandwich consisting of peanut butter, bananas, and sometimes bacon. It was supposedly one of Elvis Presley’s favorite foods in his final years.
The sandwich that has become known as the Elvis is simple to make. This recipe comes from his cook:
Toast two slices of soft white bread in a toaster. Spread peanut butter on one slice, slice banana on top of the peanut butter, and cover with the other piece of toast. Fry the sandwich in a hot skillet with melted butter.
The Splendid Table
Elvis Presley’s Grilled Peanut Butter and Banana Sandwich
2 slices of white bread
2 tablespoons of smooth peanut butter
1 small ripe banana mashed
2 tablespoons butter
Spread the peanut butter on one slice of bread and the mashed banana on the other. Press the slices gently together. Melt the butter (or to be truly Elvis-like, melt bacon fat!), over low heat in a small frying pan. Place the sandwich in the pan and fry until golden brown on both sides. Eat it with a glass of buttermilk.
Please note: Elvis tended to eat 12-15 sandwiches a sitting! So belly up!
Food Network
The Elvis
Recipe courtesy Peanut Butter & Co. 
Show:  Sara’s Secrets
Episode:  All About Peanut Butter
2 tablespoons butter, softened
8 slices white bread
1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
1 large, ripe banana, sliced
1/4 cup honey
12 slices bacon, Sauteed until crispy (optional)
Spread the butter on 1 side of each slice of bread. On the other side of half of the slices spread peanut butter. Place banana slices on top of peanut butter. Drizzle honey over bananas. Place 3 bacon slices on top of the banana, then place the remaining buttered bread slices on top, butter-side-out.
Place sandwiches on a preheated grill pan or griddle. Flip them over when they become golden brown and crispy. When the sandwiches are browned on both sides, remove to plates. Slice in half and serve immediately.
Roadfood - Trip to Peanut Butter & Co. (NYC) 
Posted - 11/03/2007 :  02:01:17
I loved this postcard on the wall. The inspiration for the “Elvis” sandwich.
(The following appears to be from the late 1950s or early 1960s—ed.)
From Elvis’ Kitchen
2 large bananas
6 slices white bread
1 stick (1/2 cup) butter
1 cup peanut butter
Peel and mash bananas. Mix peanut butter with bananas thoroughly. Toast bread lightly and spread mix on bread. Melt butter in skillet and brown sandwiches on each side slowly until golden brown.
Velvet Elvis
A delicious and messy sandwich supposedly loved by The King himself, and undoubtedly contributed to his death. When you visit Graceland, there’s even one sitting in the kitchen. They can be made hot or cold, but either way they’re kind of hard on your heart. And they’re kind of vegeterian! (If you don’t mind mayo…)
White Bread
Peanut Butter
A Banana (cut into slices)
Making a cold velvet elvis is easy: spread the peanut butter and mayonnaise on the bread, and put the banana between them. Viola!
Now, making it hot is the way to do it. First, make the sandwhich like you normally would. Then, put a little butter in a pan and grill the sandwich until the bread is toasted. Be warned, the peanut butter is going to melt and the whole thing we be very messy. Now sit back and enjoy.
I used to have these all the time as a kid, as I was a huge Elvis fan. I didn’t think any restaraunts made them until I visited the Deli Haus in Boston, which I highly recommend you visit. Delicious!
Elite Circle Grille (Waco, TX)
The Story of The Elite
The first Elite Cafe opened in downtown Waco in 1919. Pursuing their American Dream, the Colias brothers emigrated from Sparta, Greece, and acquired The Elite Cafe in 1920 from the original owners.

As Waco grew, the brothers opened a second location in 1941 on what is now one of the most famous traffic circles in Texas. Before the development of IH-35, The Circle was designed to handle converging traffic from many directions, including Dallas, Austin, and San Antonio. There have been several attempts to close The Circle, but local Circle enthusiasts have successfully fought to preserve this historical highway element.

Always an innovator, The Elite was the first restaurant in Waco to use refrigeration in 1923 and air conditioning in 1941. Even our outdoor sign, complete with animated moving lights, was on the cutting edge for the time. Inviting to all, whether local banker or long-haul truck driver, it is no wonder The Elite gained the slogan, “Where the elite meet to eat,” providing VIP treatment to any customer.
In the late ‘50s, a visitor from Fort Hood in Killeen, Private Elvis Presley, dined at The Elite frequently. He more than likely ate his favorite meals of fried peanut butter and banana sandwiches or hard-fried eggs with burnt bacon. While Elite’s downtown location closed in the ‘60s due to a slow decline in downtown business, The Circle location thrived.
In 1985 after 65 years in the business, the Colias family sold the restaurant to Texas restaurateur David Tinsley, who refurbished The Elite with a ‘50s feel marked by the popular baby blue 1956 Cadillac that was in front. In 2003 the fourth and present owners, Lynn and Creed Ford III, completely remodeled The Elite to the feel of it’s earliest days. With the changes came a new name: Elite Circle Grille.

Wikipedia: Elvis Presley
Elvis Aaron Presley (January 8, 1935–August 16, 1977), sometimes written Aron,a was an American singer, musician and actor. He is a cultural icon, often known as “The King of Rock ‘n’ Roll”, or simply “The King”.
Presley began his career as one of the first performers of rockabilly, an uptempo fusion of country and rhythm and blues with a strong back beat. His novel versions of existing songs, mixing “black” and “white” sounds, made him popular—and controversial—as did his uninhibited stage and television performances. He recorded songs in the rock and roll genre, with tracks like “Hound Dog” and “Jailhouse Rock” later embodying the style. Presley had a versatile voice and had unusually wide success encompassing other genres, including gospel, blues, ballads and pop. To date, he is the only performer to have been inducted into four music halls of fame.
On December 20, 1957, Presley received his draft notice. Hal Wallis and Paramount Pictures had already spent $350,000 on the film King Creole, and did not want to suspend or cancel the project. The Memphis Draft Board granted Presley a deferment to finish it. On March 24, 1958, he was inducted as US Army private #53310761 and completed basic training at Fort Hood, Texas, before being posted to Friedberg, Germany with the 3rd Armored Division.
Wikipedia: Fool’s Gold Loaf
Fool’s Gold Loaf is a sandwich made by a restaurant in Denver, Colorado called the Colorado Mine Company (often erroneously referred to as the Colorado Gold Mine Company). The sandwich consists of a single loaf of hollowed out, warmed bread filled with one jar of creamy peanut butter, one jar of grape jelly, and a pound of bacon. The name of the sandwich is derived from its price of $49.95. In later years, it was priced closer to $100 for the sandwich and a bottle of Dom Pérignon (wine).
Elvis Presley and the Fool’s Gold Loaf
On the night of February 1, 1976, Elvis Presley was at his home Graceland in Memphis, Tennessee entertaining Capt. Jerry Kennedy of the Denver Colorado police force, and Ron Pietrafeso of Colorado’s Strike Force Against Crime. The three men began discussing the sandwich and Elvis decided he wanted one right then. The Mine Company was a five-star restaurant known for its rip-roaring parties and as the ‘place’ to be seen at the time. Elvis had been to the restaurant before while in Denver. Kennedy and Pietrafeso were friends of the owners and hung out there often, so they were driven to the Memphis airport and boarded Elvis’s private jet, the Lisa Marie, and flew the two hours to Denver. When they arrived in Denver at 1:40 AM, the plane taxied to a special hangar where the passengers were greeted by the owner of the Colorado Mine Company, Buck Scott, and his wife Cindy who had brought 22 fresh Fool’s Gold Loaves for the men. They spent three hours in the hangar eating the sandwiches, washing them down with Perrier and champagne. Typical of Elvis’s generosity, he invited the pilots of the plane, Milo High and Elwood Davis, to join them. When they were done, they flew back to Memphis without ever having left the airport.
16 August 1930, Chicago (IL) Daily Tribune, pg. 9:
Peanut Butter and Banana Sandwiches.
6 May 1934, Washington (DC) Post, pg. MS4:
Several years ago a friend was seen spreading peanut butter on a banana. Today, chopped banana-and-peanut butter sandwiches are listed on the menus of tea rooms in nearly every city in the country
18 June 1935, Washington (DC) Post, pg. 11:
For Children’s Luncheons.
5. This banana and peanut butter sandwich is another favorite. Spread thin slices of white bread with cooked salad dressing. Spread one side with peanut butter and top the other with thin rounds of ripe bananas. Put the two slices together. Serve these sandwiches immediately after they have been made.
14 July 1935, Zanesville (OH) Signal, pg. 12, col. 3:
Peanut Butter and Banana Sandwiches—Ingredients: Loaf bread, butter,  peanut butter, sliced bananas, lettuce. Method of Making: Cream the butter and spread on the loaf before cutting each thin slice. Then cut these slices again either diagonally or straight across to form either triangular or rectangular slices. The crust should be trimmed away. Spread one slice with peanut butter and cover with slices banana. Then spread with salad dressing and cover with a section of lettuce leaf then place over it the other slice of bread. These may be made several hours before needed and placed in a towel in the refrigerator.
Box 68, Gratint (illegible-ed.), O.
Google Books
Toll House Tried and True Recipe
by Ruth Graves Wakefield
New York, NY: M. Barrows
1937 (1940; 1948)
Pg. 303 (Tea Time and Sandwiches):
Mash 1 small banana into 1/2 cup peanut butter. Add a little lemon juice if desired for tartness.
Google Books
The Canned Foods Cook Book
by Virginia Porter and Esther Latzke
New York, NY: Doubleday, Doran & Co.
Pg. 254:
Peanut Butter and Banana Sandwiches
1 June 1951, San Antonio (TX) Light, pg. 2D, col. 2:
8 slices bread
Peanut butter
1 to 2 ripe bananas
Use ripe bananas…yellow peel flecked with brown.
Spread 4 slices of bread with peanut butter. Peel and slice bananas and place on peanut butter. Cover with slices of buttered bread. Four sandwiches.
11 September 1952, Paris (TX) News, “School Lunches Call for Variety of Sandwiches,” pg. 12, col. 2:
1/4 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup (1 medium) sliced banana
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Combine peanut butter, banana and lemon juice.
Yield: 1/2 cup, or filling for 3 sandwiches.
7 January 1954, Victoria (TX) Advocate, pg. 1, col. 1:
Lester K. Stout invading a grocery store late yesterday evening and heading straight for the banana bin. Means some banana and peanut butter sandwiches out at his house.
21 June 1957, Lebanon (PA) Daily News, “Walter Winchell of New York,”  pg. 11, col. 4:
Elvis’ favorite sandwich is peanut butter and mashed banana.
2 June 1958, Kansas City (MO) Times, “Pvt. Presley Goes Home,” pg. 24, col. 6:
MEMPHIS, June 1. (AP)—Pvt. Elvis Presley shed his uniform for civilian clothes today and settled down for two weeks of such luxuries as sleeping late and peanut butter and banana sandwiches.
Google Groups: alt.gothic
Newsgroups: alt.gothic
From: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) (Ron Cecchini)
Date: 1996/10/28
Subject: Re: What exactly is a Goth?
[ BTW, I tried the Velvet Elvis for the first time this Friday night. If you haven’t tried it: do it!  Mmmm… peanut butter… ]
Google Books
Sergeant Presley: Our Untold Story of Elvis’ Missing Years
by Rex Mansfield and Elisabeth Mansfield
ECZ Press
Pg. 70:
His favorite foods included burned bacon, hard fried eggs, Hormel chili without beans, canned peaches, wieners, butter and jelly on toasted white bread, and peanut butter and banana sandwiches. The peanut butter and bananas were mashed and mixed together, spread on white bread and toasted in a frying pan. 
Google Books
Honey: From Flower to Table
by Stephanie Rosenbaum
San Francisco, CA: Chronicle Books
Pg. 77:
fat elvis, french elvis, and more
Some people shudder at the thought of bacon and peanut butter. Others think bananas are for wimps and insist that nothing goes better with peanut butter than a couple of slices of crisply fried bacon. If you want to go all the way, replace the bananas with bacon, leave off the butter and fry your sandwich in the leftover bacon grease (the Fat Elvis). Going back to the peanut butter/banana combo, you could substitute Nutella, a French chocolate-and-hazelnut spread, for the peanut butter (the French Elvis), or put Nutella on one slice of bread, peanut butter on the other (the Jerry Lewis). 
Hand Coding
July 28th, 2002
European Elvis
I was talking with my brother the other day about peanut butter and banana sandwiches. And, after reading about them, he had the urge to have one again.
Specifically, my brother had a craving for what’s apparently known as a “Velvet Elvis”, which is a peanut-butter-and-banana sandwich, except that it’s grilled as if like a grilled-cheese sandwich (with each slice buttered on the outside).
So, he set out to buy the necessary ingredients. And, normally, this wouldn’t be a problem, except that he’s interning in Germany for the summer. So, while the bread and bananas were easy enough to find, he just couldn’t find any peanut-butter at his local grocery store.
However, like any good European food-store, his local store had plenty of Nutella. Now, in case you’ve been living under a rock, Nutella is a chocolate-flavored spread made with hazelnuts. It’s very much delicious, but can hard to find in this country (at least at reasonable prices). So, at any rate, he picked up some Nutella as a substitute for the peanut butter.
He assembled and grilled the sandwich: bread + bananas + Nutella. He tells me that, though it was definitely tasty, it still didn’t live up to the full potential of a genuine Velvet Elvis. Nonetheless, he named this new sandwich as a “European Elvis” (a good name, I think). And, though I’m still a big fan of ordinary peanut butter and banana sandwiches, I look forward to consuming a European Elvis sometime.
Google Books
Elvis Presley:
The Man, the Life, the Legend
by Pamela Clarke Keogh
New York, NY: Simon and Schuster
Pg. 149:
Grilled Peanut Butter and Banana Sandwich
(from Joe Esposito)
2 tablespoons smooth peanut butter
2 slices white bread
1 small ripe banana, mashed
2 tablespoons butter
Spread the peanut butter on one slice of bread and the mashed bananas on the other. Press the slices gently together. Melt the butter over low heat in a small frying pan. Place the sandwich in the pan and fry until golden brown on both sides. Enjoy with a glass of buttermilk.
Google Books
The Peanut Butter & Co. Cookbook:
Recipes from the world’s nuttiest sandwich shop
by Lee Zalben
Philadelphia, PA: Quirk Books
Pg. 36:
The Legend of The Elvis
The story of The Elvis begins on the evening of February 1, 1976. According to the legend, Elvis was at Graceland entertaining a few friends when someone started talking about an incredible peanut butter sandwich called the Fool’s Gold Loaf, served at the Colorado Gold Mine Company near Denver, Colorado. The sandwich was made by hollowing out a loaf of Italian bread and then stuffing it with peanut butter, bananas, bacon, and maybe even jelly. The “loaf” was then either warmed up or deep fried. It reportedly cost $49.95, which even by today’s standards (remember, this was the seventies) is quite expensive. Well, the description of that sandwich got everyone’s mouth watering, and in no time Elvis had his private jet gassed up and he and his friends were off, in the middle of the night, flying from Memphis to Denver for some peanut butter sandwiches.
It is said that the owner of the restaurant brought the sandwiches to the airport, and Elvis and his friends feasted for more than two hours before flying home. The story also goes that Elvis bought the recipe from the restaurant and gave it to Pauline Nicholson, his personal cook, with instruction to always be at the ready if his order came through.
New York (NY) Times
A Chocolaty Treat Fit for a King
Published: December 4, 2006
This just in from the Heartclog Hotel: To commemorate the 30th anniversary of Elvis Presley’s death, the Hershey Company, the nation’s largest candy maker, is planning to introduce a limited edition, peanut-butter-and-banana-creme Reese’s cup.

Posted by Barry Popik
Texas (Lone Star State Dictionary) • Thursday, March 13, 2008 • Permalink

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