Restaurant: The Pfunky Griddle, Nashville, Tennessee
As a gluten-free vegetarian, sometimes eating while on the road can be a challenge. Fast food joints don’t work for me. And I’ve never been big on fast food regardless. This often means, especially when I travel to visit my family, that finding a restaurant to stop and eat is a priority. Thankfully…in this brave new world of smart phone apps, there is an app for that.
Find Me Gluten Free.
If you have not put this app on your phone…do so now and then continue reading this blog. I’ll wait.
Okay…congratulations! Your dining life just got a lot easier. Trust me.
The midway point between my home and my parents home is…Nashville, Tennessee. There is no shortage of places to eat in Nashville. There are also plenty of places that have gluten-free options. Normally, we’d probably make it easy and stop off at Taco Mamacita or even go to McCreary’s Pub in Franklin, Tennessee. But…while I know there are things I could eat at either one of those places (McCreary’s does not have a gluten-free menu, FYI, but Taco Mamacita does), I just wasn’t feeling the usual haunts. So this necessitated a search.
And naturally…I find a place that specializes is…breakfast and brunch.
When breakfast is your favorite meal of the day…this is one hell of a find. It had brilliant ratings on Find Me Gluten Free, so my roommate and I decided we would stop there on the way home and dine on some pancakes for lunch. Breakfast for lunch. Yep…my favorite way to eat.
The Pfunky Griddle is located on Bransford Avenue in Nashville, Tennessee. This is a quaint neighborhood with houses done up into businesses and offices. My kind of area. Parking, however, was a nightmare. We arrived sometime just after noon and there were already parties of people standing around outside. No parking was available in the lot, so Cathy dropped me off to go check on the wait time and she went to circle around and see if she could find somewhere to park. I ducked into the building and stood in a short line at the front where the coffee drinks were being made. I asked about wait time for a party of 2 and was told it would be about 25 to 30 minutes. That wasn’t unreasonable, so I put my name in and went to go see if I could find Cathy and tell her. She had just managed to find a parking spot, so we stood around outside for a moment before I asked if she’d like some coffee while we waited.
Caffeine while on the road is never a bad thing. And…The Pfunky Griddle has almond milk. Could I love this place any more already? Is it possible? After giving it a little bit of thought, Cathy agreed that caffeine might be a good idea (DUH!) so I told her I would treat us to our café order. She went with a Peppermint Mocha with skim milk ($3.75). As for me…I went with something that I couldn’t get anywhere else. Not that I’m aware of, anyway. Stepping away from my order of a Cafe Au Lait for a moment, I opted for what they call a Honey Child Latte with almond milk ($3.75). The Honey Child Latte is a double shot of espresso, combined with honey, cinnamon, vanilla and your steamed milk of choice. Never heard of anything like it…but it sounded epically delicious. So, I had to have one. Besides, I can get cafe au laits anywhere. This was something I had only seen here. Why not go for it?
The coffee orders were backed up, so it took around five minutes to get our actual drinks. No worries though, Cathy and I weren’t in any hurry. And it gave both of us time to stand in line to use the bathroom before getting seated. Her peppermint mocha was up first, and she commented on how awesome it smelled when I passed it off to her. My Honey Child Latte was up next and when I received it…I couldn’t wait to try it. Photos first…then the taste test.
One sip and I was in love. The combination of the rich espresso worked so well with the spice from the cinnamon, the sweetness of the honey, and the smooth vanilla after tones. It all just meshed so well. Love at first sip. I even made Cathy try it and even she commented on how delicious it was. Smooth, dreamy, and sweet. Just how I like it!
I was about halfway through my latte when my name was called. We eagerly followed the hostess to our table in the back room near the window. The table was outfitted with a griddle in the middle because at the Pfunky Griddle…you flip your own pancakes, bitches! Sorry…but it’s a really, really awesome concept. As we were handed menus, I looked at Cathy and said, “I don’t know what they are going to do, but I need this hot griddle completely cleaned…or I can’t eat on it. Cross contamination.” She nodded and went back to the menu…and lo and behold…there at the bottom was a note that said if you were a Celiac, a special griddle would be provided for you.
I admit…I smiled. I smiled a lot. I was already feeling better about the situation. Our waitress came over to take out drink orders. As we both still were downing or pre-game coffee drinks, we opted for water. Cathy went ahead and told her that I was a Celiac…so the waitress said she would send someone out with a new griddle for us. A few moments later, one of the other employees was flipping off the griddle in the center of the table and putting a new griddle across our table. He had it wiped down and left it there. I felt a whole lot better.
And, when eating at The Pfunky Griddle…you get something you put on that griddle. Cathy and I already had our mind made up. They have an all-you-can-eat pancake deal going. So, we opted for that. We got the gluten-free pancakes ($6.99 per adult per person, including 1 topping each). Cathy chose chocolate chips for her included topping and added walnuts for another option ($0.75). For my included topping, I went with blueberries, then added bananas for an additional choice ($0.75). As we were really hungry, we each got a side with our pancake order. Cathy opted for the 2 biscuits ($1.00), which came with butter and jam. As for me, as it was labeled gluten-free, I stuck with the potatoes ($3.00). Order in.
I noted that our griddle wasn’t turned on, so I went ahead and turned it on, giving it some juice. I wasn’t sure how high to set it to cook, so I opted for around 300 degrees, because I didn’t want to burn anything, so I figured a little extra time on the griddle wouldn’t hurt anyone. Not one bit. Our waitress came out with a a bowl that had packets of ketchup and hot sauce in it. And soon…or food followed.
We received a pitcher of gluten-free pancake batter and little plastic containers that contained our toppings of choice. The waitress set this heaping bowl of potatoes down in front of me and told me to cook them for three minutes on each side. I could handle that. With that…we were left to our own devices to cook up our meal at our table. FUN!
Cathy poured her first pancake and went to sprinkle just her chocolate chips over the top. I would have thrown the nuts in too, but she kept them to just sprinkle over the top after her pancake was plated. I got a couple of spoonfuls of potato working on the griddle then poured my own pancake. I poured way more than I expected and had this monster to start off with. I went ahead and tossed some blueberries and banana slices onto it and let it sit to brown on the one side. The heat was definitely too low as both the pancakes and my potatoes were taking awhile to cook. Cathy went ahead and dived into eating her biscuits, really enjoying the flaky, lightness of them. I turned the heat up slightly, which helped. Soon I found myself flipping her pancake and my own because her first attempt was pretty much a fail. But, I cook pancakes on a griddle at home…so I’m sort of a master.
With the other side working, I went ahead and tried the potatoes.
Oh. My. GOD! No, these were honestly some of the most amazing breakfast potatoes ever. Laced with a delicious garlic flavor, these mashed up spuds were crispy from the griddle on the outside, soft on the inside…and really freakin’ fantastic. The flavor was awesome. I told Cathy she had to try some, and she said she intended to. She went ahead and scooped some up for herself to get it working on the griddle while I plated our first pancakes and poured more batter for our next round. We threw on toppings and then settled in for our first taste.
The batter cooks up beautifully. We each achieved this gorgeous golden color on our pancakes. My bananas even caramelized after I flipped my pancake over and the toppings began to work into the pancake itself. I love a light pancake. Nothing is worse than eating one pancake and feeling stuffed. And here, you can make them as big or as small as you want. You can add one topping, both, or more. Whatever your whim…it’s yours to create. And these pancakes really hit the spot. They were sweet, without being overly sweet. And thin. And light. And just plain delicious. The batter wasn’t heavy at all, making the pancakes almost as light as air when I removed them from the griddle and onto our respective plates. And those potatoes. Oh…hell yes!! Those potatoes were one of my favorite thing. Cathy and I both enjoyed them, getting them golden on each side then moving them to the plate. I added hot sauce to mine, just a dab, which only enhanced the amazing flavor. All together…a carby, delicous, amazing, happy dining experience. One of the best gluten-free pancakes I have ever tasted…and I eat a lot of gluten-free pancakes.
This may be a new go-to place in the near future when passing through Nashville. Very happy. I never felt like I needed to worry about my food. The spatulas were rubber, not the metal ones other tables got, so I am certain they were for gluten-free foods only. I felt completely safe, and completely satisfied with my experience there. I’d go back and stuff myself silly with more of their gluten-free pancakes and potatoes.
For the record, they also have gluten-free bread, so you could have one of their sandwiches, or even French toast if your little heart desired it. The point is…this is a business doing gluten-free right. And I am forever thankful for them. And I’m also glad we stopped in and ate here. On the way out, I even purchased a bag of their gluten-free pancake mix for $5.50. So now I can make some at home too.
My gluten-free joy knows no bounds. Doing flips over everything at The Pfunky Griddle.
Love in brunch form!