Wednesday, May 2, 2012

How Does Stacks Stack Up?

Stacks Pancake House
34255 Pacific coast Highway
Dana Point, CA 92629

My last day of vacation came very quick. I had spent a long week of eating some pretty good food, and then writing about it. We wanted to stay close to home to get ready for the week ahead, so we scoured our list of places to try for breakfast in south county. That is when Stacks Pancake House popped out at us.

Stacks is located right next to Chronic Taco on PCH, in Dana Point. They serve burgers, sandwiches, and salads, but their main claim to fame is breakfast. This is a pancake house after all. It even says so on the sign. We have not been here for lunch, but this place was cranking for the Sunday breakfast crowd.

The ordering process at Stacks might need a little tweaking. Ordering is done at the counter, but the restaurant inside is really small and cramped, so if you feel claustrophobic, be advised. We were here at peak breakfast time, so I kind of knew what we were getting into. After ordering and getting our number, we staked out a place on the patio out front and waited for our food to come out. This is how it all transpired.

Starting us off is Katie's selection, the Florentines Scramble. This egg dish contained bacon, onion, spinach, and Swiss cheese, served with two pancakes, and home fried potatoes. According to Katie the cheese was melted evenly throughout this scramble. The veggies were fresh, and the overall texture of the scramble was good. She felt the potatoes were over cooked though. The pancakes are pretty solid here, but are easily overshadowed by another breakfast bread staple that you will see in a moment.

There is a slight Hawaiian tint to the menu at Stacks, and that is nowhere more evident than with their version of the Aloha states famous breakfast dish, the Loco Moco with Portuguese sausage. Two eggs prepared whichever way you would like, I got mine sunny side up, served over rice, sausage, and brown gravy. I have only had this dish one other time in my life, at Paul's Coffee Shop in Fountain Valley. At Paul's they served this with a hamburger patty instead of the sausage. I liked this sausage version much better. The gravy needs to be a little thicker for my taste, but the sunny side egg is the way to go here. Loved the runny yolk mixed with the rice and gravy. The sausage was good as well.

All of this food is just a prelude to this next dish. It has been two weeks since we have been to Stacks, and this is the item I keep thinking about. The Captain Mac French Toast is simply the best French Toast I have ever had. Yes it is that good! At Stacks they use thick pieces of Hawaiian bread, then coat it in macadamia nuts and crushed up Captain Crunch cereal, then as if that was not enough, they offer coconut maple syrup to pour over it. This is as sweet as it sounds. The nuts cut the sweetness just enough to not cause cavities with each bite. I will definitely be making the trek down to Dana Point to have these again, but they also offer a version made with peanut butter Captain Crunch. I might have a dilemma on my hands!

Man, if I just had to rate this restaurant on the Captain Mac french toast, it would be right up there with some of the best restaurants we have eaten at. I liked the french toast that much. The rest of the meal was good, but paled in comparison. Food was all served warm, with no temperature issues. The girls that bring out the food are really hustling trying to keep up with the crowds. Prices were very fair. All breakfast items are under the $9 mark, and the french toast is $7, and I would pay double that. Sorry, a little obsessed. They are only opened until 2pm, seven days a week. Very happy to end my vacation on this happy note.

Out of five bicycles, (because the city of Dana Point hosts the Dana Point Grand Prix race every year, and it passes right in front of this restaurant), five being best to zero being worst, Stacks Pancake House gets 3.5 bicycles.

For more information on Stacks Pancake House, click here:

Stacks Pancake House on Urbanspoon

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