Monday, November 14, 2011

Stack's Pancakes, Hilton Head, SC

Today's restaurant is another Hilton Head classic and the last stop on my tasty tour of the Island. Like the Plantation Cafe, Stack's Pancakes is a breakfast-and-lunch place, but it's there that the similarities end. While I get the impression that the Plantation Cafe is better known for its lunches, it's at breakfast that Stack's menu really shines.

The restaurant is physically unimpressive, both inside and out, but the substantial breakfast crowd just illustrates how little this really matters. If you're the sort of person who's not too picky about packaging as long as the food inside is good, you'll find that Stack's is a real diamond in the rough.

We'd sampled their catering menu at an event earlier in the week and weren't too terribly impressed, so we entered the restaurant with some reservations. Thankfully, we needn't have worried. Our server was a charming young man from Bulgaria who shared the menu highlights, as well as his personal favorites (I always like an inside tip!) while keeping us supplied with water and mugs of fresh-ground coffee. Matt and his parents ordered massive omelets - we guessed about 4 eggs each! - which came with home-fried potatoes or grits, and a stack of plate-sized pancakes or toast. Even Matt's sizable appetite was sated by this enormous breakfast feast!

Is that omelet not gigantic?

I experienced some momentary food envy when the omelets arrived, massive and steaming on plates heaped with side items, but then our waiter brought out my Creme Brulee French Toast - a Stack's signature dish - and the rightness of my choice was instantly confirmed. Three long, thick slices of sourdough bread were soaked in cream (yes, cream!), vanilla and Grand Marnier, before being grilled and topped with caramel and a creamy house-made Creme Brulee sauce. Sweet and rich enough for dessert, this meal was almost too lovely for breakfast and kept me full (and giddy) for most of the day. One thing is certain, this is not a dish for the sugar-shy!

Our visit to Stack's was pretty brief, but undeniably delicious. The menu has something for everyone - from the hungry husband (who actually brought home a to-go box!) to the sweet-craving spouse (who still daydreams about Creme Brulee French Toast), and all for a very reasonable price. If you're looking for a satisfying breakfast on Hilton Head Island, look no further than Stack's Pancakes.

Grits: a Low Country staple!

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