Breakfast at the White House

19 04 2008

White House Restaurant/3172 Peachtree RD NW/Atlanta, GA 30305/404-237-7601

Yesterday morning, my friend and I tried out a new breakfast place, the White House Restaurant in Buckhead. Food being good, the most interesting part of the experience was sitting in this atmosphere that felt a million miles from typical Buckhead. The Buckhead portion of Atlanta is generally characterized by flashy money, well dressed people in expensive cars, and the accompanying elitist attitudes. I had heard of the White House once before in Creative Loafing. They mentioned it was a place for powerful Atlanta businessmen to eat. They probably get their haircut in the equally unpretentious barber shop next door. According to a charmingly handwritten sign, you can get a discount haircut by using your White House dining receipt. Coupons in Buckhead? The restaurant is hidden in a tiny strip of shops on Peachtree Street. The exterior looks like its from the 1970’s, totally unpretentious for Buckhead, aside from the shop selling silver gravy boats. The restaurant itself is an old-time diner; you can sit at a booth or at the bar. The walls are lined with faux wood paneling and photos of past presidents, keeping with the White House theme. I always enjoy an establishment with patrons of all different colors and ages, we seemed to be amid the Saturday morning soccer family crowd. Surprisingly, for good quality food and service, there was not a line going out the front door. I’ll count that as a major plus, next time I want to avoid the crowds at Crescent Moon or Flying Biscuit. Give it a try.

The food was good old fashioned diner, without being too greasy. It was affordable, for a Buckhead breakfast. Two breakfasts for about $23bucks. I had sausage links and French toast with bananas browned into them (a nice touch). My vegetarian friend had grits, home fries, and banana pancakes. I was disappointed the cranberry juice was a cocktail instead of 100% juice, but my friend got surprisingly fresh-squeezed orange juice. We both came with a craving for pancakes topped with fresh banana slices, whipped cream, and walnuts. They served a decent alternative, but was surprised the bananas were integrated inside, rather than on top. I settled for honey when they didn’t have any whipped cream, which is a major strike for me. Whipped cream is one of the only things you can count on at IHOP.

Service was good and quick, our waitress was attentive, and things were going good. The diner was already packed with tables, but they seemed a comfortable distance apart. We had a good seat when we first arrived, but later a large party dispersed, and the staff moved an empty table literally 6 inches from ours. Two minutes later, a couple sat down, and it felt like they were sitting with us at our table. I didn’t know whether it was more rude to introduce ourselves and laugh about it, or just pretend they never happened. In the end, we tried our best to ignore each other, but it was fairly awkward being shoulder to shoulder with them. Luckily, we were near the end of our meal. On the way out, I spied some mighty tasty looking lunch plates that I’ll definitely have to come back and try later.

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