Located in the quaint neighborhood of East Rock, The Pantry is truly a hidden gem. Getting to 2 Mechanic St. takes a 5 minute drive or a 20 minute walk for non-lazy folk. I even did the math for you and it turns out it’s as far as walking up science hill twice, or going from SSS to Shake Shack to Pierson to Durfee’s to Blue State on Wall. If you can’t manage that then I’m sorry but I guess that’s more pancakes for me.
Weekends at The Pantry are always packed, and I can pretty much guarantee you’ll be waiting for a table if you go during prime brunch hours. Luckily their service is fast so the line goes quickly and before you know it your morning conversation becomes the glorious silence of feasting. Once the temperatures drop you’ll see lines die down a bit, so there’s plenty of time to take advantage of the New Haven cold.
As for food options, The Pantry boasts a versatile menu that sticks to the basics but has enough add-ons and customizable options that you will always get what you want. The prices are also pleasing. That massive cinnamon roll pancake you see down there? Less than $3. The avocado eggs Benedict rang in at $11 and included a heaping portion of fresh homefries and melon.
After enough trips to The Pantry to award myself with VIP status, I’ve selected some favorites to share. Shout out and a big thank you to the talented Andrew Goble for photographing these beauties.
Cinnamon Roll Pancake
The cinnamon roll pancake has a rich cinnamon-sugar swirl that gives it a slightly caramelized crunch every few bites, with a modest drizzle of icing that really lets the cake shine. It has never left the weekly Specials board since its first debut because of people like me who can’t get over how good they are.
One of their weekly specials, this s’mores pancake is dotted with chocolate chips and topped with warm marshmallows and crumbled graham cracker for a unique spin on a classic fireside dessert. I love the chocolate chip pancakes here so the s’mores option was a pleasant surprise. The pancake is thick and fluffy and should have fed three people. Oops.
As a dedicated eggs Benedict fan, the California Benedict was perfect in every way. Eggs poached to perfection nestled atop thick grilled tomato slices with fresh avocado topped with homemade hollandaise sauce on a toasted english muffin. Need I say more? The homefries were browned just right and sprinkled with fresh scallion, giving them a nice crunch and extra flavor. I don’t eat melon but it looked pretty and my friend said it tasted great, so there’s that.
Spinach and feta omelet
Anyone who’s had an omelet here knows that they don’t mess around with these things. So much flavor and freshness to go around, it makes me feel inadequate. I added onions to the spinach and feta omelet and substituted for egg whites. It was perfect. They definitely sneak butter onto the pan when they cook these which explains the extra punch that makes this so good.
Breakfast is served all day, from 7-2 on weekdays and 8-3 on weekends.
Cash-only, so come prepared!