We are the Pancakinators.
We visited Pinky’s Restaurant at 3203 Bay to Bay Blvd on 27 September 2009. This was our first visit to Pinky’s, and we heard about it through our Recommendation Page.
Parking is in back. There appears to be a parking war going on in this little strip. Many spots have “no Pinky’s parking” signs (the smaller sign on the left). Apparently Pinky’s and Cappy’s across the street have some sort of Mutual Defense Cooperation Agreement, while Pinky’s and the Giggle Box seem to have recalled their diplomatic missions and started calling each other names in the U.N. general assembly.
This is a nice place. Eclectic and homey, but not dirty or messy. A little funky but not so much as to be kitschy. A good vibe here. Note the barista machine along the wall. That, my fine feathered friends, is always a good sign.
The menu has a “full English breakfast” on it. Marek actually learned to walk whilst living in England and his very first breakfasts in restaurants were “full English.” We’ve moved on from that chapter of our lives and now we focus on pancakes. While it’s a bloody shame that we don’t have any pictures of our English breakfasts, we do seem to have plenty of pictures of the pubs. In honor of Pinky’s English, here’s a classic picture of Marek having a packet of crisps and a pint of Cambridgeshire Greyhound. Please note my proper use of the words “whilst,” “bloody,” “crisps,” and “proper.” We try to maintain high standards here at TBB.
Enough about the good ole days, we’re here to talk about a Tampa Bay Breakfast! Our charming waitress Cary informed us that Pinky’s had recently won a “Best of the Bay” award, they had a glowing review in a local newspaper last week, and business was out the door, as you can see here. Oh, and today’s special was some Eggs Benedict thing that I’m sure is great if you don’t have pancakes on the brain. And if you like Eggs Benedict.
By now you’re wondering if we got any of that high-test coffee. Well stick my finger in a light socket and call me perky, we surely did. And it was very fine, indeed. I got to choose our coffee cups from the shelf. Cary informed me that she buys them at local thrift stores (I told her about Martha’s Restaurant on Nebraska, with similar cups). I chose the sailor cup for myself and the Canadian Mounties for Marek, in honor of our friend Hugh in British Columbia. Marek gave the coffee a lick to see if it needed salt, or trucks, added.
So we skipped the Benedicts and the English breakfast (now that I write this, I realize that there’s some sort of Revolutionary War subtext, perhaps being played out in the parking lot skirmishes we saw when we drove up), and went straight for the pancakes. We were steered to the oatmeal pancakes, which were not very large in diameter but more than made up for it in verticality. These were some filling cakes, baby! The eggs, though, were clearly from Top Shelf Chickens. These were the best scrambled eggs I’ve had in months. And the bacon would be, might be maybe, just good enough to invite Steve from Yankeetown.
Marek wasted no time at all. Outta my way, old man. Pancakes!
I’m telling you, this was good coffee. All you can drink, and several varieties. You just have to get up and get it yourself from the bar.
I’m pretty sure that Marek’s sitting here wishing he had that pint of Greyhound from the pub picture above. I know I could go for one of those about now.
So we had this delicious, filling, eclectic, fun breakfast. We were happy. What happens next? You guessed it. Some folks go to a hockey game and a fight breaks out. Some go to a boxing match and a hockey game breaks out. Us? We go to breakfast and Monster Truck Races break out.
After we survived Big Foot and Grave Digger battling for the mastery of the entire universe, Marek decided to pay the bill. (There were, after all, about a thousand people waiting outside, as you saw above, so it’s only polite to open up the table and let someone else try the pancakes.)
He found his way, with some showing off for the baby in the high chair. From the way that kid’s eyeballing Marek, I am pretty sure he’s wondering where a kid Marek’s age got a twenty.
Next thing you know, Marek’s behind the bar, smokin’ and jokin’. Pourin’ espressos and cutting cigars. Shakin’ hands and talkin’ to reporters. Gettin’ phone numbers from the ladies. Operating. This boy’s like the Mayor of Breakfast. If he were two feet taller, I’d be working for him.
When he brought the change back I’ll admit that there was not much left of Old Hickory. A.J. (as I like to call Andrew Jackson when I have private conversations with him) was whittled down to five poor Georges. Fifteen bucks is a heap of cash for a breakfast for a crew as small as ours. It was good, real good, but that’s still a premium charge. We paid the bill and hollered “adios amigos!” … poorer, but happy nonetheless.
This was a superb Tampa Bay Breakfast. An interesting locale and decor. Unique and outstanding food. Coffee: Bold Beans, Bountiful Blackness, Bottomless But Basic. Ballistic Barista! Cary was not only cheerful and a pleasure to chat with, but she’s got this mad skillz thing with the giant chalk board and the daily special artwork. This is a solid four-pancaker Tampa Bay Breakfast, without a doubt. We’re going to bump to 4.5 because we were treated like we were already old friends; I feel like they’d remember our names if we popped in again, and that’s worth a lot to us. Because of that, we’re pleased to give this Tampa Bay Breakfast a rating of four and a half pancakes.
(We seem to be handing out a lot of fours and four-and-a-halfs lately. Are we going soft? Or are we just getting lucky and hitting some great breakfasts? I think there’s a lot of great breakfast being cooked in the bay area! Keep slinging that hash, you Barons of Breakfast! If we haven’t met you yet, rest assured … we’re coming!)