We’re taking a road trip today! First we need some PANCAKES, then we’re going to visit grandma and grandpa (also known as Huppa for some reason only Marek can fathom). In order to get our minds ready for this adventure, we tuned in to WTRS. This is the only radio station from which I ever won anything by calling into a contest. The question was, “what is the capitol of Alaska?” I says out loud, “Juneau.” My buddies around say bull-poop, it’s Anchorage. I say bull-true, it’s Juneau. Bull-poop. Bull-true. I called and won two tickets to some circus. Kids these days are no better. They’d just think it was Wasilla instead of Anchorage.
I wonder if they have pancakes in Alaska.
So we’re driving 100 miles to get breakfast. I’m listening to “Thunder Country” and hoping to win another contest after my last great radio contest success 30 years ago. Marek is reading Green Eggs and Ham. What? I bet you thought that all this breakfast expertise came naturally. Let me assure you, we have to study to maintain currency in our profession. Marek and I, we’re no different than your average small engine mechanic or vascular surgeon. We even have to study the psychological and social implications of breakfast.
We visited The Front Porch at 12039 North Florida Avenue in Dunnellon on 24 April 2010. And here’s something funny. I growed up ’round these parts and I never knowed that this was “North Florida Avenue” until just now. Until this very moment, to me the official location of The Front Porch was “just over the bridge, it’s on the left.” Here at Tampa Bay Breakfasts, we always bring something new for everyone, even ourselves. I’ve been to The Front Porch more times than I can remember.
The Front Porch has been here a while. It’s been one of the most stable, long-standing, loved places in Dunnellon. It’s the kind of place where you’ll find things on the menu named after customers. It’s that kind of home-town. And there’s even an actual front porch.
I asked Marek if he was ready for some green eggs and ham. He assured me that he would not, could not, not even in Dunnellon, like green eggs and ham.
Let’s get inside! First thing we did was get coffee. I bet you didn’t see THAT coming!
And then there were crayons. You know it’s a good place when they automatically understand the mind of a three year old. And they understood Marek pretty well, too.
The Front Porch is a nice, homey, old-timey sort of place. So we brought an old-timey car with us.
Here are the rules to the game. You may try this at home, but please, kids, only with adult supervision. First, roll the car to dad.
Next, dad hides the car. Marek laughs and laughs and laughs.
HELP! RUN! BREAKFAST SPIDERS!
That was a close one.
Let’s have breakfast. What you see here is Marek saying, hey long-chops, where’s my pancake?!
Great eggs, pretty good bacon, very nice pancakes. These are the same sort of pancakes you’d get at The Dome in St. Pete, great flavor and consistency. No blueberry pancakes, though, which always seems, well, to be an oversight, like forgetting to compliment your wife’s new hairdo (I LOVE it, darling! It’s the real you! What’s different?) or not sending flowers to your neighbor’s cat’s funeral. But even with a dearth of blueberries, these are still top-notch pancakes.
When we were done, Marek and I argued over who would pay the bill. We ended up doing it together because, well, he’s three and can’t really be argued with successfully because he can bring on a serious filibuster of crying if he wants to block any legislation. But for just over 10 clams, this is a reasonable breakfast.
The dining room was packed, full of locals and tourists (we counted as both, in my opinion. While we DID drive all the way from Tampa for these pancakes, I AM also a Dunnellon High School graduate). We paid the bill, collected our full tummies, and said adios to our friends at The Front Porch.
Good chow. Good prices. The epitome of local flavor. Great people. No blueberries. 100-mile-drive. This is a great breakfast and one of our consistent favs. We’re pleased to give this Tampa Bay Breakfast a four and a half pancake rating.
The parking lot was full of caterpillars! How neat is THAT?