Certain things can bring a smile to almost everyone’s face. A rainbow. Kids giggling. And pancakes. Stacks and stacks of pancakes.
Don’t know if you can, but I remember when I fell in love with this fluffy breakfast favorite. When I was little, my mama would make special kid size pancakes just for me – my brothers and daddy got the regular size ones and I got little ones just for me. So when I recently decided to have breakfast with some friends at Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort and Spa and found the pancake offerings complete with a multitude of toppings, my taste buds were taken back to a favorite childhood meal. Then our girlfriend group made delicious new memories with our journey into yumminess at the resort’s all-you-care-to-eat breakfast buffet.
The pancake topping choices are perfect here, because I want to try a little bit of everything. Fruit choices like cherry and blueberry compote, frosting with sprinkles, peanut butter and honey, whipped cream, chocolate chips – I had a little bit of everything, and that was before I poured the syrup on! I might even have gone back for another round just to make sure I didn’t miss anything…
And since most people can’t survive on pancakes alone, there’s also French toast, waffles, cheese grits, sausage, bacon, omelets, scrambled eggs, fresh fruit galore, oatmeal and so much more on this incredible buffet.
Pancakes make the meal no matter what time of day, which brings me to another observation about why the Smokies are such a great place if you haven’t been to this area in a while. Some locations are known for things like having the biggest ball of twine in the world (pretty unique!) or there are cool festivals like Mule Day in Columbia, Tenn. but our area is known for the beautiful mountains, Dollywood and how many places you can eat pancakes. What a great thing to be known for! This means I could eat pancakes for breakfast, lunch or dinner if I want to while spending a day in the Smokies!
In addition to Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort, here are my favorite places to round off a day of pancake perfection.
For a delicious pancake lunch, try the flapjacks at one of the area’s Flapjacks locations. You know it has to be good if the name is the name of the best menu item, right? This pancake place is only open for breakfast and lunch (from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m.) which I think is so cool, and the atmosphere is so friendly and relaxed that you’ll think you’re in somebody’s grandma’s kitchen. I do love an egg and some grits with my pecan pancakes, and Flapjacks does not disappoint. My husband is a pancake purist, so he had the old-fashioned buttermilk pancakes and topped it off with maybe a gallon of hot syrup. He was very tempted by the sticky bun pancakes, but I will just use that as an excuse to return. There are six locations in our area to enjoy so take your pick—but be there before the doors close at 1 p.m.
Then for an early dinner, head on up to Tennessee’s first pancake house, the Pancake Pantry at 628 Parkway in Gatlinburg. They’ve been pleasing pancake palates since 1960. There’s just something about going back to a favorite spot in a favorite vacation location – it almost makes the food taste even better. Of course, at the Pancake Pantry, it’s probably also the real butter, the fresh whipped cream, and everything made from scratch. Then load up the pancakes with peaches, pineapples, bananas, link sausage, apricots, raspberries and even sweet potatoes and sit back and enjoy the goodness. Just be there by 4 p.m. to partake in the pancakes, then take a walk around Gatlinburg and make more mountain memories.
No matter what you call them, pancakes or flapjacks or griddle cakes or something you just made up, there’s no denying that eating these delicious breakfast items is one of the best traditions during a Smoky Mountain getaway. I’ll take mine with a side of hash browns and happy family time.