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Highland Bakery (Atlanta, GA) – A True Southern Breakfast

July 9, 2010

To start off, just an FYI: You know how Atlanta is nicknamed “Hotlanta”? Well, there’s a reason for that – It’s effing hot in Atlanta. We’re talking 90 degrees and humid hot. HOT.

…That said, I walked 1.3 miles from my downtown Atlanta hotel to Highland Bakery and another 1.3 miles back in the above described HOT Atlanta weather. (It was totally worth it.)


When I first got wind that work was shipping me off to Atlanta for training this year, I was ecstatic for multiple reasons:

  1. I wasn’t going to Orlando. (Thank god I wasn’t going to Orlando!)
  2. I’ve never been to Atlanta before.
  3. Southern food!

I was so pumped to eat a real Southern breakfast. I had visions of ham and biscuits and gravy and eggs over easy and GRITS. (We’re talking a lot of grits. Like, I wanted to swim in a pool of grits.) When I first arrived in Atlanta, I had that Southern breakfast, complete with eggs and biscuits and grits and it was…just okay. Almost slightly disappointing.

The next morning, I almost skipped breakfast because the idea of walking 1.3 miles in Atlanta’s hot-as-hell heat to another mediocre breakfast destination was not something I considered “fun”. However, seeing that my coworker/friends weren’t scheduled to arrive until dinnertime, I decided to trek there to kill some time. (As you can tell by the start of this post, I am so thankful I did.)

I arrived at Highland Bakery around 1PM, with the Father’s Day brunch crowd just starting to die down. After waiting about 15-30 minutes (I was so hot and sweaty, I couldn’t focus on how much time had passed), I snagged a seat by their back counter. I ordered a glass of sweet tea and an order of their cilantro corn pancakes, cursed the fact that I left my copy of “Garlic and Sapphires” at the hotel room (I always forget a book when I dine alone!) and instead chatted up the nice man sitting next to me. (Note: This conversation would later become very useful…) As we talked, the wait-staff walked by with a plate of their french toast – it was larger than my head and looked amazing. (Large, delicious looking food always bodes well for the future.)

Then they brought out my pancakes…

(These pancakes are larger than they look.)

These cilantro corn pancakes might have to go on my list of favorite brunch food. The naturally sweet corn and cilantro pancakes were light and fluffy, the eggs were runny, the salsa was tasty and the black beans were surprisingly necessary to bring everything together.

Now why I was thankful I forgot my book in my room: During my conversation with my new-found dining companion, he offhandedly mentioned my special word for this trip: GRITS. Highland Bakery is known for their stone-ground grits, produced in-house.

The difference between the grits above and the ones I had the day before were like night and day, similar to the difference between instant oatmeal and steel-cut oats. Whereas the ones I tasted the day before were bland and runny, Highland Bakery’s were hearty and had tons of texture. (Yes! Southern breakfast redemption!)

…And with those grits, I was happy. Highland Bakery may not serve the traditional Southern breakfast I had in mind but, in the end, it was exactly what I was looking for.

Highland Bakery
655 Highland Ave NE
Atlanta, GA 30312
(404) 586-0772
Twitter: @HighlandBakery1

Highland Bakery on Urbanspoon

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