Monday, January 3, 2011

White House Restaurant - Atlanta

It’s time for another installment in the half-hearted search for a quality breakfast in the Atlanta area, and this time I found myself in Buckhead. In a rather nondescript strip mall on Peachtree, there stands the White House Restaurant. Like a fair number of dinners across the South, the White House has a Greek background. Reading through the breakfast menu, it’s like a track list for breakfast’s greatest hits; pancakes, biscuits, gravy, omelets, all your old favorites make an appearance. However there are a few entries that are unique to the White House, namely the gyro omelet. I can see the slices of lamb loaf being a great addition to any omelet but the other ingredients, the feta and tzatiki, are a little more than I can handle this early in the morning.

Retreating to more familiar territory, I went with the Presidential Breakfast with country ham.
This was breakfast simplicity.
The eggs were cooked sunny side up rendering a runny yolk and slightly chalky base.
While that country ham may look a little on the greasy side, it was a nice compliment to the runny eggs. Offering all the salinity this plate could stand, it was a shame that the ham was dry and overcooked, but I just couldn’t stop eating it.

Being in the South, there are certain expectations when it comes to biscuits, especially biscuits with sausage and gravy.
I certainly can’t fault the White House for the quantity of their biscuits and gravy, this plate was a meal unto itself.
Unfortunately, it was downhill from there. The biscuits were fluffy, but oddly sweet and lacking the richness that I expect from a good biscuit.
Even with a liberal application of black pepper, this gravy was subpar.
The sausage had a slight spiciness to it, but it had nowhere near a large enough kick to counter the sugar overload of the gravy and biscuits.

In addition to the eggs and ham, the Presidential Breakfast came with a side of pancakes.
There’s nothing special here as these are just two plain Jane pancakes.
Missing was any sort of ethereal fluffiness or a pleasant buttermilk twang, all these pancakes evoked was a longing for the Pancake Pantry in Nashville.

I’m being a little melodramatic here. There’s nothing really wrong with any of the breakfast at the White House Restaurant, but it’s just sort of there. This is your average diner breakfast, nothing special. With all the history and presidential kitsch, I can see how the White House restaurant is an Atlanta institution. However, the next time I’m looking for breakfast in Buckhead, I’ll look somewhere else.

The White House Restaurant Address & Information
3172 Peachtree Road, Atlanta, GA 30305 // 404.237.7601
White House Restaurant on Urbanspoon

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