We visited Lenoce’s Family Restaurant at 13949 W. Hillsborough on 22 August 2009. This was our first visit to Lenoce’s. We found it because it’s pretty close to the Oldsmar Flea Market, which is a favorite weekend destination for us. This was our first visit to Lenoce’s. (The “Best Breakfast and Lunch in Town” sign was a draw … we like Breakfast!)
We got ourselves ready. You’ve got to look groovy-cool to be a contributor to TBB.
The first thing we noticed was Lenoce’s lunch counter. We’ve never seen one so low. If there had been a little more room when we walked in we would have tried it, but I was afraid that someone might get a dump truck in the coffee so we played it safe.
Second thing we discovered was a plethora of pancake possibilities, including my personal favorite, blueberry. The morning is shaping up nicely…
We had coffee. Check out these great coffee cups! And the coffee was hot, black, and bitter. Tasty the way I like it!
Alas, despite my best efforts to prevent it, someone’s coffee ended up with a dump truck in it. Luckily it was Marek’s coffee and he likes it that way. He’s hardcore on his coffee.
We had breakfast. I had a quick reaction that the pancakes were sort of smallish. Not so small that you’d expect to find the cook using an Easy Bake Oven or something like that, they just seemed small. The bacon was good, and I think Steve from Yankeetown would have approved. The eggs were also good.
Marek dug right in. He liked this pancake just fine.
Here’s where we started getting into a little bit of a problem. While Marek was delving in with gusto, I was thinking that my blueberry pancakes were sort of average. They didn’t pack the blueberry punch that you find at Skyway Jacks or Taste of Boston. They were fine, but I wasn’t nearly as keen on mine as Marek was on his.
We encountered another problem as we started getting to the bottom of our pancakes. This one was a bit worse. The dining room was mostly empty. And so was the coffee. While Black and Bitter, this cup was far from Bountiful or Bottomless.
An odd thing about Lenoce’s was that it was quiet. Funeral quiet. Church quiet. Taking the SAT quiet. People whispering to each other quiet. Marek was playing a little game where he’d “accidentally” roll Roary off the table and then make a big production of getting down from the chair, picking it up, and hauling himself back on the chair. The room was so quiet that it sounded like he was hurling monkeys in a library. This was odd because it was obvious that everyone knew each other and were regulars (“Hi Tom.” “Howdy Betty.” And the like.)
When we were done Marek paid the bill. I had to confiscate Roary so he would focus and do his part of the job (my part’s coming up with the cash, his is delivering it!).
He paid and brought back the change. The folks at the next table over said (in a quiet voice) how he brought back the change but that won’t last long! I agree. In about five years I’ll start getting some sort of overhead charge levied from Marek when he does this.
He made friends, as he tends to do.
And he really liked this nice lady. Though I can’t account for the direction of his gaze in this particular picture.
At the end of our time we did not go away hungry, but we did think the tab of $13.35 was a bit high for the smallish pancakes. Aside from the blueberry aspect, it’s not hard to find the same general quantity and quality around here for around half the price (the Ranch House just up the road has 2 pancakes/2 eggs/2 bacon for $3.99). The people were friendly, everyone was a regular, Marek was quite comfortable and ate a lot, and overall it wasn’t a bad experience, maybe a 3.5 rating. I’m docking a half a pancake point for the coffee — as our loyal readers know, the bottom of the coffee cup is a thing no Pancake Professional ever wants to see!
We give Lenoce’s Family Restaurant a three-pancake rating.