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Nov 8, 2006 03:59 AM

Pancake Breakfast @ Prather Ranch (San Francisco)

Saturday morning's cavalo nero run to the Ferry building farmers market was a success . . . $24 (!) later I had most of the vegetables to make la ribollita and had tasted every Tuscan olive oil I could find inside. Early on I'd bumped into fellow chowhound, Tuscan aficionado, and personal chef ( ), Tom, at Mariquita Farms ( ) booth. Lucky for me as he was my guide to the stalls with the best examples of the ingredients I needed and how to prep them. In retrospect, I wish I'd taken his advice to get the white "butter beans" from Iacopi.

Anyway, we took the opportunity to have breakfast together. We were on the same wavelength, each having eyed the buttermilk pancakes at the Prather Ranch stand outside next to Fatted Calf. I had proposed that we try this and then share something else, but after splitting an order here, neither of us could eat another bite.

Image of Prather Ranch pancakes and pork sausage ($7) -

Each of the big pancakes was topped with a pat of butter. Fresh off the grill, the pancakes were hot enough to melt the butter into the maple syrup spiked with Jameson whisky. Fluffy, tender, slightly tangy, these pancakes were some of the best I've had in a long while. Yet, even better was the sausage made of heritage pork. Juicy, richly flavored and remarkably not greasy, just half of one of these large, plump links was more than satisfying enough for one person. Tom commented on the attractive hint of piquant spice.

It was also a kick to hang out on that end of the market. The long line at Blue Bottle was the social crossroads for San Francisco, where I spotted four different friends during my brief stationary time over breakfast.

This was a delicious, hot, and filling way to start the weekend. Rose's chanterelle scramble and Hayes Street oyster po'boy had to wait for another day.

vespaloon's post -

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  1. Thanks for the pic, Melanie. I'm looking for good sausages for a Thanksgiving brunch. Do you know of a specific name of the sausage you had, or could I just ask for the "pork" sausage when I go to the Marin farmers market on Sunday?

    2 Replies
    1. re: Cindy

      I just called them to ask about their pork sausages. I mentioned that I was looking for something for breakfast/brunch; he said they have a maple whiskey sausage. Is that the one? Thanks!

      1. re: Cindy

        Don't know, but that's probably it.

    2. I had this exact same breakfast a few months back. Prather's buttermilk pancakes were just as delicious as you describe. Along with the pork sausage, I paid extra for 2 organic strawberries. YUM! Too bad I had to share the sausage with my husband, who had opted for a 1/4 chicken from the nearby Roli Roti stand instead. Can't wait to go back.

      1 Reply
      1. re: SanJoseHound

        Tom had ordered the side of fruit, but none available on Satuday. The staffer said he hadn't found any at the market that was up to snuff that day.

      2. My brother and I ate there a couple of weeks ago. Brother had the pancakes and sausage, I opted for the "cootie free" hot dog. I don't remember there being a choice of sausage with the griddlecakes, there seemed to be just the one kind there.

        Much as I hate to cast a dissenting vote, the pancakes were perfectly fine, but nothing at all special. I've made many similar, and occasionaly better at home. Brother's sausage was very tasty, but seriously undercooked; still bright red and soft in the center, with the look of raw ground pork. Brother took it back to the cook who --to my horror-- put the half-eaten sausage back on the grill with other patron's food.

        My hot dog wasn't grilled, but came from a tub of steaming water. In contrast it was thoroughly cooked, perhaps too much so, but like the cakes not especially remarkable.

        Maybe it was an 'off' week, or inexperienced crew, but we were both pretty underwhelmed. My Brother and I had both decided that the sanitary practices and mediocre food didn't warrant a return visit.

        3 Replies
        1. re: PDXpat

          Actually my chef friend who took care of procuring breakfast while I chatted on the sideline commented that our order had been made by the superior cook at the grill. He had observed the other one stabbing each pancake and sausage to try to figure out whether it was done. With your comments, sounds like some serious training would be in order.

          1. re: Melanie Wong

            Ah. It would appear the differences are significant. I'm afraid I don't really remember any distuinguishing features, so I can't provide a description of 'cook to avoid'. But a quick check for stabbing would seem to be in order.

          2. re: PDXpat

            Not sure if you know this but all of prather ranch's pork sausages are fully cooked befor they are packaged.... So you must be mixed up, and confusing the cayenne peppers color for raw meat. Personaly I love the grill, of course I'm not a chef nor do I think any of the people behind the counter of there little ranch stand are "chefs," but they sure do cook a wonderful burger as well as breakfast!

            1. re: Robert Lauriston

              They have the standard griddle and grill set-up, like food stalls at fairs. The pancake was good and sausage was great; I could have done without the Jameson whisky in the syrup.

            2. Man, wish they had breakfast at the Oakland market.