When I can’t get mom’s pancakes, I go to a local Staunton place called Kathy’s. Unknowing people will hit Mrs. Rowe’s, which has a little more notoriety and does feature some mean pumpkin pancakes. But, truth be told, Kathy’s is a better choice and the one that the locals go to. I lived in Staunton for two years before anyone introduced me to Kathy’s, and I have always regretted the two years of my life when I could have been having breakfast there and wasn’t.
I am not able to speak with too much authority on their non-breakfast items. My friend Caroline, who introduced me to Kathy’s, ordered the grilled cheese on multiple occasions, and it always showed up dripping and gooey with cheese. In the only time I ordered dinner I got a hamburger, which was suitably juicy and tasty, and a slice of cake, that was straight-forward, old-fashioned, moist and frosted yellow cake goodness.
Given that Kathy’s serves breakfast all day and they do it so well, I haven’t felt the need to deter much from that. On my less pancake driven moments, I have had the French toast, which is awesome. I’ve also enjoyed their grits with cheese (a southern girl’s breakfast food staple) with scrambled eggs and sausage biscuits. I like to put the grits and eggs on the sausage biscuit to form a breakfast trifecta.
But, most importantly, they have lots of gastronomically satisfying pancakes. There are the traditional (buttermilk and buckwheat), the fruit topped (strawberry, apple, and blueberry, on top and inside if you like), and the decadent (chocolate chip and various roll combinations). Then, there are the pancakes that set them apart from other pancake joints, and these are the meat pancakes. You can get your pancakes, or waffles for that matter, with ham or bacon inside. I tried the bacon ones and they are something to write home about. The catch is that the bacon doesn’t really integrate into the pancakes and does have the effect of two pieces of bacon hiding under pancakes.
The holy grail of Kathy’s is one of the meat pancakes not on the menu. These are the sausage pancakes. In these, there are little pieces of broken up sausage in the pancakes. These are far more successful than the bacon because you are more likely for every pieces of pancake to have a corresponding piece of sausage, and that makes me happy. I joked at the table once that I wondered if they would do a chocolate chip and bacon pancake; but, the table laughed and told me that was gross. Now, those two flavors are part of a flavor craze. I was just ahead of my time.
Kathy’s advertises as the restaurant that specializes in home cooking. Although they can’t replace my mom’s pancakes, the certainly make a good effort.