EATERY OF THE WEEK

The Original Pancake House is a unique treat

June 1, 2011 

  • The Original Pancake House
    The Bridge Center
    1532 Fording Island Road
    Bluffton
    (843) 815-3452

    www.eatpancakesnow.com

    Serving Monday - Sunday, 7a.m. - 2 p.m.
    Specials served Monday - Friday

The Original Pancake House has new owners, who are excited to offer unique breakfast and lunch food in the Bridge Center near the bridges to Hilton Head Island.

John and Anne Bartuska took over in February. They bought into the Portland, Oregon-based franchise "because we are passionate about their food philosophy," John Bartuska said. "Our mission is to delight customers with quality food, excellent service and fair prices," Bartuska said. "We want you to have a dining experience, not just get breakfast."

The restaurant's Old World recipes are made with grade AA eggs, batters that are made fresh daily and handtrimmed meats. Syrups and compotes are also scratch-made using top-quality flours. Compotes (French for "mixture") are fruit toppings originating from 17th century France; they're made of pieces of fruit in sugar syrup.

Even a dish as seemingly simple as "eggs over easy" is unusually creamy and delicious, and the eatery's bacon is thick but not fatty. "The grease is gone but the goodness is all there," John Bartuska said.

He noted that the restaurant is "insistent upon abundance," so portions are generous. Omelets are made by a special French method.

The buttermilk pancakes, which are one of Original Pancake House's most popular items, are fluffy and thick, with the consistency of a light cake. Or order the potato pancakes - similar to latkes - that are served with applesauce or sour cream.

The Original Pancake House's "49-er" pancakes are thinner than traditional pancakes, but take up the whole plate. The Swedish pancakes are a real treat: chefs use a small tool that looks like a rake to spread the batter across the grill to make the delicate, lacy cakes, which are served with a special lingonberry sauce. Similar to cranberries, lingonberries are a staple food in Scandinavian cuisine. The fruit also is grown in the state of Washington.

Original Pancake House's apple pancakes begin with a delicious German pancake batter topped with Granny Smith apples. Started in a frying pan, the egg concoction is then finished in the oven and topped with a proprietary blend of caramelized cinnamon sugar.

The restaurant also has a carefully chosen selection of lunch items, Bartuska said, as well as healthconscious recommendations from Bridge Center neighbor Powerhouse Gym. These healthy selections include an egg white veggie omelet, turkey bacon and sausage, and whole wheat French toast.

"From a food quality standpoint, there's no equal," Bartuska said with pride. "We're going to maintain that level at any cost. We believe if somebody comes and tries our food, they will come back."

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