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EATERY OF THE WEEK

The Original Pancake House hasnew owners, who are excited to offerunique breakfast and lunch food inthe Bridge Center near the bridges toHilton Head Island.

John and Anne Bartuska took overin February. They bought into thePortland, Oregon-based franchise "becausewe are passionate about theirfood philosophy," John Bartuska said."Our mission is to delight customerswith quality food, excellent serviceand fair prices," Bartuska said. "Wewant you to have a dining experience,not just get breakfast."

The restaurant's Old World recipesare made with grade AA eggs, battersthat are made fresh daily and handtrimmedmeats. Syrups and compotesare also scratch-made using top-qualityflours. Compotes (French for "mixture")are fruit toppings originatingfrom 17th century France; they're made of piecesof fruit in sugar syrup.

Even a dish as seemingly simple as "eggs overeasy" is unusually creamy and delicious, and theeatery's bacon is thick but not fatty."The grease is gone but the goodness is allthere," John Bartuska said.

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

The buttermilk pancakes, which are one ofOriginal Pancake House's most popular items, arefluffy and thick, with the consistency of a lightcake. Or order the potato pancakes - similar tolatkes - that are served with applesauce or sourcream.

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

Original Pancake House's apple pancakes beginwith a delicious German pancake batter toppedwith Granny Smith apples. Started in a frying pan,the egg concoction is then finished in the oven andtopped with a proprietary blend of caramelizedcinnamon sugar.

The restaurant also has a carefully chosen selectionof lunch items, Bartuska said, as well as healthconsciousrecommendations from Bridge Centerneighbor Powerhouse Gym. These healthy selectionsinclude an egg white veggie omelet, turkeybacon and sausage, and whole wheat French toast.

"From a food quality standpoint, there's noequal," Bartuska said with pride. "We're going tomaintain that level at any cost. We believe if somebodycomes and tries our food, they will comeback."

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