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The Savory Pantry

Arkansas Democrat Gazette Dining Review


HOT SPRINGS- If you live in and work in Arkansas, chances are good you’re going to find yourself in Hot Springs some day. And, believe me, you won’t want to take all your meals in your hotel.

A couple of recent convention trips produced the following notes on three squares’ worth of dining in the Spa. They’re all worth a try, though I wouldn’t pack these hearty choices into the same day.

For breakfast, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a simpler, more satisfying place than the Pancake Shop, in its 50th year, 26 at the same spot. Despite the age, it’s sparkling, if pleasantly 1950ish.

The shop serves only breakfast. Eggs and hot cereal are available, but pancakes are the choice. They’re the size of an LP, light tender, a little crispy at the edge and freshly cooked. The buckwheat cakes are distinctive. I prefer the traditional batter, which can be gussied up with chunks of apple, blueberries or banana.

Pancakes cost only $2 for 3. Side orders of meat range from $1.75 for bacon or sausage to about $4.50 for a slab of center cut country ham big enough for four to split.

Oh, yes, the orange juice truly is fresh squeezed. An 8-ounce tumbler costs $1, a bargain.

Waitresses are flat-out pros. Water glasses and coffee cups never stay empty long.