There’s still an a la carte menu, but we recommend the bountiful buffet, tucked behind a wall at the back of the dining room. Well-lit and spotless, smaller serving dishes are often replenished from the nearby kitchen to keep tastes fresh and hot – creamy grits and bacon, housemade gravy (that tastes like grandma makes), hash browns, quiche, piping hot scrambled eggs, omelets made to order. But we really loved the sweet potato pancakes with a dollop of sweetened butter. They don’t even need syrup.
Chef Frank Brough is most proud of the locally grown fruits and veggies. “It’s the peak of the Florida citrus season, and we’re featuring locally grown citrus – Honeybell oranges, pink grapefruit, Plant City strawberries, carambola (star fruit) from South Florida,” Chef Frank explained.
And you can eat healthfully – or not. The granola is homemade, delicious with strawberry yogurt and topped with fresh berries. There’s oatmeal and turkey sausage and multi-grain mini-muffins. But there’s also cinnamon-vanilla bread pudding, and a coffee cake version of the “Sticky Mickey” buns that we used to love at Concourse Steakhouse (featured from time to time on the buffet). Sous Chef Dylan Schauwecker says the apple strudel mini-muffins are another guest favorite.
But if those sweet potato pancakes are there, go for it – with abandon. We coaxed Chef Frank to share this recipe:
Sweet Potato Pancakes with Pecan-Honey Butter
Serves 4 to 6
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups milk
1 1/4 cups brown sugar
3/4 cup cooked, mashed sweet potato (from about 1 small sweet potato)
3 large eggs
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 stick butter, room temperature
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup chopped toasted pecans
- Preheat oven to 225°F.
- Sift flour into a large bowl. Add baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt; whisk until combined.
- Combine milk, brown sugar, sweet potato, eggs, vegetable oil and vanilla extract in a large bowl; whisk until well blended. Add milk mixture to flour mixture and stir until just blended.
- Heat a nonstick griddle or skillet over medium-low heat until a few drops of water sizzle on the surface. If using an electric skillet, preheat to 350°F.
- Spoon about 1/4 cup of batter per pancake onto skillet. Cook on first side until tops bubble and sides look dry; flip and cook until golden brown, about 2 minutes more.
- Place cooked pancakes on a baking sheet and place into preheated oven to keep warm. Repeat process with remaining batter.
For pecan-honey butter:
- Stir together butter, honey and pecans in a medium bowl.
- Top pancakes with honey-pecan butter and serve immediately.