The Pandorica, the Doctor Who themed restaurant in Beacon,NY received heaps of press when it opened its doors back in August of 2014. I decided to take a candid look at The Pandorica one the buzz died down. Whether Whovian or local, you’re sure to want to know how The Pandorica fares under my scrutiny.
The restaurant is easily found on Beacon’s Main Street. The sandwich board of specials signaled me to their door from the street parking I had lucked out on. It just appears to be a trendy American cafe from the outside and continues that vibe inside. The geek chic decor was balanced with a beautiful mural at the back of the space, a wall of a local artist’s Doctor Who fan art and a tv which played- you guessed it, Doctor Who (10th doctor if you were curious). The royal blue chairs,exposed brick, and sleek lamps helped balance out the space for an interior that appeals to fans and passersby alike.
I immediately thought that the space was loud, lacking the cafe murmur which has been the white noise we’ve come to know. That being said, I entered when a party was center room and as such, it was a bit chaotic. Once I was finally seated, I dived into the understated menu. Upon inspection, I was surprised at the pricing. On average, it was a solid three dollars more than going rate. I quickly ordered and waited for my food.
My order came out quickly- something I was simultaneously pleased by and suspicious of. The very first thing that surprised me was portion size. While the curry chicken sandwich was as expected, the two appetizers had only three pieces each- at minimum one under the expected for a four-top table. Pushing that aside, I was eager to try a bit of everything as it did look delicious.
The curried chicken salad was a bit dry and bland. The croissant it was served on was underwhelming while the cole slaw and chips tasted like low-grade store bought sides. The Galifreyed Potato Pancakes were tasty but not the latke I had imagined. Instead, I was served a thickly sliced potato with a well-seasoned batter. The accompanying apple sauce was sweet but not unpleasant though it certainly tasted like a purchased mass-market sauce. Finally, the dessert version of fish fingers and custard was quite delicious. This twist was listed as battered french toast and delivered on scrumptious flavor. The one downside to the dish was the custard that was the texture and flavor of an instant pudding.
The best quality of The Pandorica is good service. The wait staff is attentive and friendly. There was no point where my water glass was empty- an understated but nonetheless important quality in a restaurant. My waitress helped to promote the artist who was featured, telling me that they were also selling prints. Even as I was paying, she chatted with me about our shared interest of Doctor Who.
Unfortunately, the novelty and good service couldn’t outweigh the overpriced menu and lack of fresh flavors. I couldn’t help shake the vibe that the restaurateur was simply capitalizing on fandom while delivering a mediocre product. Ultimately, there’s little reason to venture there. If you’re keen to have a photo op with the mural, I suggest stopping in for tea and dessert fish sticks. Otherwise, don’t venture to The Pandorica. It may not be a prison like its namesake, but it does leave one hungry.
If you go:
165 Main Street
Wed.- Sat. Noon - 9pm
Sun.- Mon. Noon - 6pm