Tasting Intown: A Review of Pancake Social


Pancakes at Social Pancake at the Ponce City Market.

Is there a city in the world that does brunch better than Atlanta? No there is not. We might not have invented chicken and waffles, but we certainly perfected it (looking at you, Gladys Knight). This is why we sometimes face long queues for places that do not take reservations. Southerners are ready to wait for what they really want. If it’s done carefully, locally, and with love, I can certainly spend about half an hour getting it. These deliciously diverse modern food halls popping up across our city have made dining queues a real trend. The Ponce City Market, in particular, has long queues at lunch and dinner time, but not at breakfast, until now. Welcome to the mix and thank you for stepping in to fill the PCM, Pancake Social breakfast void.

There’s a queue on every corner at PCM, so no one should ever complain about inevitably finding one at Pancake Social. After your wait, you will order at the counter and take a seat at a table with your number, where your food will be delivered to you. Coffee and baked goods arrive right away and the rest of the menu arrives fairly quickly. The dining room is spacious and bright with excellent natural light and lovely tiled floors with tiny piles of painted pancakes in it. You can bring the kids and park the stroller, or bring your laptop and park in it to telecommute.

Blintzes and avocado toast.

Beyond the investment in time, the price must be fair. Eleven bucks might seem like a lot of money for a stack of buckwheat and dark chocolate pancakes, but when it does, you’ll know it’s worth it even before the first bite. The order includes three huge pancakes that only the bravest could finish on their own in one go. Dark chocolate sauce is rich enough to meet all of your candy needs and more. And don’t be put off by the idea of ​​buckwheat; the pancakes themselves are completely delicious and your kids will think they taste “normal”, especially with a full dose of chocolate on top.

We tried a bit of everything. All of the quick pastries were solid with the cinnamon bread and banana bread being the best. Banana bread manages to be crisp around the edges but perfectly chewy in the middle. The icing on the bread was there. On the sammies menu, the PS burger is to die for: a nice big pancake, sweet onions with just the right amount of bite. But the real star is the homemade English muffin where a regular old hamburger bun should never be again. This English muffin tasted amazingly good (… that’s a sentence I never thought I’d write)! It tasted perfect, was carefully buttered and toasted, held firmly against the patty without slipping or breaking. I could go on and on on this four dollar English muffin and recommend ordering any sandwich on the menu that includes it, which is all but one of them – the avocado toast. The “toast” is actually a bagel. The “avocado” actually looks more like guacamole, which is then meant to fall through the hole in the bagel in clumps. Delicious flavors, but a complete failure in terms of how to eat it without making a mess.

Maple latte

If you are in the mood for an aperitif or sharing, the two white cheese blintzes with blueberry compote are a nice opening volley. If you’re in the mood to go, the quinoa bowl has a peanut vinaigrette that adds a Pad Thai vibe, and this time you get half an avocado rather than a guac switcheroo. Bowls also travel well, unlike many of their other items. That’s actually my main concern about what is otherwise a really good breakfast: they aren’t well equipped for take out orders outside of the cafe (two thumbs up on that latte at the dark maple) and quick breads. The pancake shelf is too big for their recyclable take-out box, and they don’t put waxed paper on the bottom yet to keep greasier items like this fabulous burger from leaking. The delicious green juice I ordered to go came in an opaque coffee mug, though contemplating the color and pulp in a fresh juice is half its quiet pleasure.

But now I’m just quibbling and these are issues that will undoubtedly be resolved over time. There’s a lot to love about Pancake Social and chef Anne Quatrano has done it again. While you’re in line, think about how lucky Atlanta is to have such queues or just order a mimosa and quickly skip the line.

For more information visit pancakesocial.com.

Megan Volpert lives in Decatur, teaches at Roswell, and writes popular culture books, including the upcoming Bruce Springsteen-inspired collection of poems and essays Boss Large.

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