Pugh Review: Syrup and Eggs

One of the best things about going to a college on the edge of a city is there is always a new restaurant that you have yet to visit. This week’s find is Syrup and Eggs, a locally-sourced restaurant focused on bringing bold new flavors.

Located in the former St. Elmo fire station in a circa 1934 building, this small breakfast and brunch spot is quickly becoming a local favorite with unique food and a fresh approach to the restaurant business. The atmosphere is defined by the historic building which boasts exposed brick walls and large doors which open in the warmer months with a view out to the street. With assorted mix-and-match tables and chairs, Syrup and Eggs has created a relaxed environment compared to most formal brunch restaurants.

Even though it has only been open for a few months, this eatery is dedicated to using local ingredients and partnering with other Chattanooga businesses. Their coffee is from Mad Priest Roasters and comes in an assortment of mugs — today’s being dolphins gleefully jumping in front of a sunset. Not only is most of their food locally-sourced, but they also strive to offer menu items that work with dietary restrictions. As such, they have a different vegan pancake every Friday and let me tell you they are good — even this definitely non-vegan approves. With quirky salt and pepper shakers on each table and water served in beer glasses (don’t come after me, Jon Wylie), this brunch spot is casual and puts their energy towards the food.

This new hot spot takes a different approach to business by only being open Friday, Saturday, and Sunday mornings, and a majority of the menu changes every week. They have a few standard dishes that are always available and delicious, such as the Biscuits and Gravy. A cakey biscuit is paired with traditional homestyle sausage gravy or a mild, creamy mushroom gravy. But why choose? Just ask for some of each and bask in the glory of both. Other favorites always on the menu are various quiches, homemade baked goods, and everything bagels — complete with jalapeños and rainbow sprinkles.  

The best aspect of this ever-changing menu is how it allows the chef endless creative freedom with bold flavor pairings. These flavors are far from a Cracker Barrel breakfast. The Blue Cornmeal “Taco” Pancakes are bright and daring and will defy all of your pancake stereotypes. Rather than merely being a conveyor for syrup and whipped cream, these blue cornmeal pancakes offer a texture and flavor unto themselves. This stack of three is topped with pico de gallo, pickled jalapeños, crema, cilantro, and a poached egg.

For those of you who like your pancakes dangerously sweet, they sometimes serve Cinnamon Roll Pancakes with spiced pecans and mint that are perfect for any sweet tooth. The featured pancakes and quiches change per day/weekend and always bring something new, such as Molasses Pancakes with bacon confetti, coffee butter, and a poached egg. Their quiches and pies are prepared with homemade pie crusts and local eggs. The best I’ve had thus far is the Roasted Red Pepper Pie with goat cheese and pesto.

This quirky, flavor-filled restaurant is quickly becoming a St. Elmo staple and is giving new life to old breakfast foods. Given that it is the closest breakfast place to campus, you have no choice but to check it out. Take your favorite vegan, order something you’ve never had before, and get ready to have a new favorite brunch spot.