When dining at Draper’s, save room for the mountainous banana split.
Even in a restaurant decorated with pink-and-white-striped wallpaper and bold floral print booths, the Draper’s Signature Banana Split stands out.
Tiffany Rodzach, food and beverage manager at the Greenbrier, has witnessed customers’ eyes grow wide when they set their sights on the football-sized dish that features five scoops of ice cream, whipped cream, chocolate sauce, sprinkles, three maraschino cherries, and, of course, two or three bananas. “It’s really fun to watch it walk through the restaurant,” Rodzach says. “It’s all eyes on the prize. ‘Honey, did you see that?’ and ‘Oh, we want one of those.’”
A banana split has been on the menu at Draper’s since the restaurant opened in 1990. But after now-Governor Jim Justice bought the resort in 2009, he wanted something larger and more decadent. “Mr. Justice wanted a really big banana split,” says executive pastry chef Jean-Francois Suteau.
The typical Draper’s Signature Banana Split comes with three scoops of vanilla ice cream and one each of chocolate and strawberry. But customers can switch it up. “If you like mint chocolate chip or our peanut butter ice cream, you can do that,” Rodzach says. Draper’s offers 15 varieties of ice cream made in-house daily, as well as a flavor of the month.
Although single ice cream scoops are the most popular desserts, the banana split is the restaurant’s best-selling custom treat, with staff assembling about 1,600 each year. When the New Orleans Saints football team held training camp at The Greenbrier last year, the delicacy helped to fuel their workouts. “I don’t want to say they were betting, but they were racing to see who could eat them the fastest,” Rodzach says.
written by Mary Wade Burnside
photographed by Nikki Bowman