8 best things to order
When I was a kid, we used to go down to Florida and Papaw would take us fishing on the Homosassa River.
Usually there were three of us in the boat. Pap sat in the front, and my stepdad Joe and I worked the other sides or back. We were trying to anchor so we could all get to a decent spot without running the risk of tangling our lines.
But, once in a while, I would cast my line over and over without snacking while Pap or Joe found a good spot.
Etiquette – even on a small boat – is not to throw in the other fisherman’s spot. I like the label. But I also liked catching fish.
I found the lure of the catch too enticing, casting my radius wider and wider each time until I knocked on the fishing hole door.
They didn’t mind. Both wanted me to catch at least as much fish as they caught.
I think a lot of business owners in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, Tennessee must have been fishing in a small boat because they seem to like encroaching on each other’s business.
Why are pancakes so popular in Gatlinburg?
Many businessmen have come to the Smokies with a vision and worked hard to make it happen.
But with innovation, there is a risk. Many of these visionaries found their ideas met with lukewarm reception or perhaps it was not the right time or place and so the efforts of their labors were for naught. They end in closed doors and crushed dreams.
But there are others, stripped of the vision, who see no need to reinvent the wheel.
They find what works and they replicate one after another, testing the limits of what the market will bear.
There are several moonshine distilleries, go-kart tracks, roller coasters and putt-putt courses.
And creperies. They’re sprouting up in Sevier County like mushrooms in the dark.
One of them is Log Cabin Pancake House — which opened in the 1970s on Historic Nature Trail in Gatlinburg.
In 1960, a pair of Hoosiers vacationing at Smoky Mountain in Gatlinburg saw an opportunity. Gatlinburg was in desperate need of a slightly European flap pancake, and so the Pancake Pantry – the first pancake specialty restaurant in the entire state – was born.
Well, sir, the pancakes sold like hot cakes – which makes sense if you think about it.
Soon, the pancake business was booming. Pancake houses, like Log Cabin Pancake House – were showing all over the region. There are several reasons why creperies are so popular:
Also Read: Is The Pancake Pantry In Gatlinburg Worth It? The 5 best things to order
Breakfast food at a creperie is usually low overhead fare. How much does it cost to make an omelette, a stack of buttermilk pancakes and bacon?
Even the best breakfast buffet in the world wouldn’t have the same expense as a restaurant. That’s not to say it’s not great cooking, but have you seen the cookie and gravy recipe? There’s no tenderloin or lobster in it.
You can even have a nice lunch/brunch with a few burgers, sandwiches or maybe even a delicious lunch buffet without breaking the bank.
The perfect French toast, the perfectly prepared egg, it’s an art. But I also think it’s easier to find people who can serve a good piece of country ham than to find someone to cook a more complicated dinner.
I want to be clear here, I don’t mean that making breakfast foods is easy. On the contrary, it is hard work that requires skill. I just think dinner prep can be more difficult.
Although it stinks to get up with the hens so they can cook their eggs, there’s something to be said for a place that closes for the day at 2pm, cleans and preps and brings everyone back at 4 or 5pm.
As a rule, work in a restaurant is difficult for family life. It involves strange hours. You work while the spouse and children come home from school or work. It’s stressful for the family.
Breakfast places can offer somewhat family hours. I’m a night owl, but I understand the appeal of not having to work until midnight six days a week to support your family.
When people think of culinary traditions in the mountains, they think of breakfast restaurants. For farmers and other hard-working people, breakfast was the meal that fueled them throughout the day.
Biscuits, sausages, gravy, and steaming black coffee were staples that mountain people – and rural people in general – were known for.
Who doesn’t love a crepe? Seriously, the pancakes are delicious.
Also Read: Pancake Cabin Flapjacks Review: Great Pancakes, Weird Origin Story
Is the Log Cabin Pancake House worth it?
Yeah. He is. The food is excellent, offering the taste of a traditional mountain breakfast or a variety of more slightly exotic breakfast dishes.
Although, I don’t think anyone’s grandma is here making crepes paris or playing with coconut, bananas, and chocolate chips to keep the farm workers happy .
The restaurant is open every day from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Parking is free beside and behind the building — which is more important in Gatlinburg than most guests realize.
They don’t take reservations but aren’t scared off by a queue. They are professionals. They get people in, feed them well and get them out.
What should I get at the Log Cabin Pancake House?
Pancakes are great, but I’ll allow the pancake’s close cousins, the waffle and the pancake, to be included in the broader answer.
I like a good bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich for breakfast and the Log Cabin Pancake House has a good one.
But let’s break that down with a quick ranking of the best menu items.
8. Deluxe Burger
Just when you thought you had all the answers, I went to change the question. The thing is, I find a lot of the best burgers come from breakfast places. Cooks just know their way around the griddle.
Pure minced beef patty, lettuce, tomato, onion, melted cheese served on buttered toasted bread with fries?
Yes sir. Luxury comes with mayonnaise on the burger – I’ll hold the mayonnaise and add a pickle, but it’s your choice.
7. Cookies and gravy
I don’t usually eat cookies and gravy at restaurants. If I do, it’s usually as an accompaniment.
To explain, I grew up spoiled in this particular area by my nanny, who made the perfect cookies and gravy. There is no real profit for restaurants trying to meet this standard.
That’s not to say the cookies at the Log Cabin aren’t good. They are fine. But there are other options on the menu that I like better.
6. No Pancakes Sspecial
I love this. To illustrate this, this reminds me of the Monty Python spam sketch where the restaurant serves up spam in a hundred different ways and the “lady” keeps yelling “I don’t like SPAM”. I just imagined Graham Chapman in a robe wandering around Gatlinburg trying to eat breakfast without a single pancake in it.
The No Pancake Special comes with two eggs any style, sausage or bacon strips, with gravy, oatmeal or hash browns, and toast or cookies.
It’s perfect when you go to a pancake shack and absolutely do NOT want pancakes.
It’s a weird world we live in that we could rank breakfast foods and waffles at #5. Yet here we are. Waffles are basically crispier pancakes with little square traps for butter and hot syrup.
The Log Cabin Pancake House offers a wide variety of waffles with various toppings including blackberries, blueberries, pecans, peaches, butterscotch, and strawberries.
4. Royal pancakes
Hot pancakes arrive with banana wedges and the house’s special “royal sauce” served with whipped margarine and hot syrup.
This is delicious.
3. Pancakes filled with fruit
I prefer my savory pancakes. However, a good sweet crepe can also be a thing of beauty.
Hot pancakes are filled and topped with blueberries, peaches, cherries or orange pineapple and finished with powdered sugar and whipped topping. So good.
2. French toast
I like toast and I like France.
Choose from French Toast Royale, Spicy Apple or Continental. Are they any good? But yes.
1. Caribbean pancakes
Sliced bananas are baked into the pancakes and topped with more banana wedges, nuts, coconut, and powdered sugar. And they are also served with whipped margarine and hot syrup.
I have never been to the Caribbean. I therefore cannot guarantee the authenticity of these pancakes. I can however guarantee that they are delicious.
Do you have a favorite Log Cabin Pancake House menu item? Let us know in the comments.
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