Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Pancake Pantry (Lunch Blog in Nashville, Pt. 1)

On the road again.

Went to Nashville on business the other week. While I mostly subsisted on hotel food, there are a couple of places I went that I’d like to tell y’all about. (Apparently it only takes a day or two in Tennessee for this former Southern boy’s accent to come back -- at least when I type, anyway.)

The first place is Pancake Pantry. My co-worker Nicole and I arrived in Nashville mid-morning with some time to spare before we could check into the hotel, so we decided to get some breakfast and found this restaurant on Urbanspoon. They’ve got 23 different kinds of pancakes. 23! Who’s tough stuff now, IHOP?

Even though it was a weekday, every table in Pancake Pantry’s big, bright dining room was full. After a short wait we were seated, and we asked the guy walking us to our table what his favorite kind of pancakes are. Without hesitation, he said Sweet Potato, and then he gave us a valuable inside tip -- all we had to do was ask our server, and they’d totally hook us up with a free sample pancake.

Any place that’ll give you a sample pancake is thumbs up in my book.

While our sample cake was being prepared, I took a look at the rest of the monster menu and tried to narrow down my options. I knew I was on the right track when I asked our server what the most popular varieties are and she named the exact three I was thinking about:
  • Sweet Potato, of which the menu said: “Real sweet potatoes in a fluffy batter make this our most unique pancake. Sprinkled with powdered sugar and cinnamon. We also recommend cinnamon cream syrup as an accent.”
  • Village Smithy Santa Fe Cornmeal Pancakes: “Three stone-ground cornmeal pancakes with chunks of bacon, cheddar cheese and roasted green chiles cooked inside. Recommended with maple syrup, hot picante salsa and sour cream.”
  • Sugar & Spice: “Light and tender pancakes made from a special cinnamon and spice batter. Sprinkled with powdered sugar and cinnamon. Served with applesauce, butter and hot maple or cinnamon cream syrup.”
Our sample Sweet Potato pancake was delicious and the Village Smithy cakes were tempting, but ultimately -- and thus marking the first time I’ve ever passed up a bacon-related option -- I went with Sugar & Spice. Kind of wish I’d gone with Sweet Potato, though. While the sugar and cinnamon flavor in both the Sugar & Spice and Sweet Potato cakes are near identical, having sweet potatoes in the batter adds some extra oomph that really makes a big difference.

Which isn’t to say that I didn’t make short work of all five Sugar & Spice pancakes. You’d almost think I wouldn’t have been hungry for the rest of the day.

Almost, but not so much. Because just three hours later we found ourselves at Robert’s Western World, and come on, I couldn’t not get a fried bologna sandwich, right?

(To be continued…)
1796 21st Avenue S | Nashville, TN 37212Pancake Pantry on Urbanspoon


  1. The Santa Fe pancakes sound delicious! I'll have to remember those if I ever visit Nashville.


  2. I just discovered your blog - really like it :)