With a few key ingredients and the most basic boxed pancake mix, you can produce quality creations similar to those from Magnolia Pancake Haus. So, if you aren’t looking for a let down, breakfast lovers and pancake aficionados should avoid the popular breakfast spot.
Walking into the newest Magnolia Pancake Haus located on Huebner off I-10, customers will instantly connect with the quaint atmosphere—maybe a little too easily. Despite the abundance of outside waiting benches, most guests cram against the walls in the small entry hall to await their table. Since the wait time can exceed 45 minutes during the daily lunch rush, it’s important to plan ahead before heading there to eat. For shorter wait times, arrive before 9 a.m. or go on their slowest day, Tuesday.
The Magnolia Pancake Haus takes great pride in producing healthful entrees, made with locally grown ingredients. Their focus is on “Clean Food,” food that is minimally processed and organic if available. However, despite their best intentions, their goal is muted by the average breakfast foods on their overwhelming menu.
With more than four pages of food options, including “seasonal features” or specials, it’s a huge list to conquer with a vast appetite. They have everything from breakfast basics, like the Magnolia Breakfast platter, which consists of three eggs, hash browns and a “specialty meat” side, to the interesting twists on modern favorites, like bacon pancakes or the Crab Cake Louie Benedict.
At first glance, it’s an intimidating list drawing your taste buds in different directions. Those who play it safe will be satisfied, but not impressed. The eggs are similar to those that one could prepare at home, while the accompanying hash browns were lacking more than just salt and pepper to taste, falling flat of anything more than bland and average.
The most interesting plate on the menu is their Authentic Munchener Apfel Pfannekuchen (pronounced fan-e-koo-ken), a German specialty with apples, cinnamon and assorted spices cooked into a “puffed” pancake and served with an overload of sugar and whipped cream. Consequently, this candied carnival cobbler of sorts is not for the faint hearted. If you want an extremely sweet dessert-like breakfast, go for this; otherwise, steer clear. The mess-on-a-plate would be perfectly mixed in with carnival funnel cakes and fried caramel ice cream.
More adventurous eaters can try the Southern Benedict or Crab Cake Louie Benedict, or perhaps one of both. The Southern Benedict comes with pulled pork and two poached eggs each served atop a buttered biscuit from the grill and covered in a cream sauce. The Crab Cake Louie Benedict comes with two crab cakes on a pastry with two poached eggs drizzled in a béarnaise sauce. Both come with a side of pancakes, grits or fruit. While overall a better value than the safer options on the menu, the benedicts are heavy and filling, yet missing in extraordinary flavor. There is also a lack of crab in the Crab Cake Louie.
As far as the most ordered staple, the pancakes hold less than favorable reviews as well. The Apple Cinnamon pancakes consist of deliciously spiced, warm apple chunks that melt in your mouth, yet only a few come in each pancake. As desirous and delicious as the apples may appear, there are hardly enough for the plate as a whole, bringing down the flare of the pancakes themselves. The Chocolate Chip Pancakes were perhaps tainted by their at-first-glance-exciting Ghirardelli chocolate chips that were almost too sweet and overpowering. The Bacon Pancakes seem to be the best of the choices. Ask for a side of gravy to upgrade the plate from “Good” to “Great,” similar to the classic biscuits and gravy.
Unfortunately, the hot chocolate is somewhat disappointing as well. At first taste, the warm chocolate is delicious and creamy, yet simple Swiss Miss powder based. There are only two saving qualities of Magnolia Pancake Haus: the syrup and ham. The ham was the highlight of most plates, even though it was just a side order, while the syrup quickly captures everyone’s hearts. The homemade maple syrup definitely improves the pancakes. With its hint of cinnamon dancing on your tongue, it is the most memorable part of a meal at Magnolia Pancake Haus.
Overall, unless you’re looking for something incredibly sweet or extremely unusual, chose a different breakfast place. The food might be a good step toward the localized buying and organic markets, but fails to meet expectations.

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