Nancy’s Home Cookin’

It’s a long drive to Lutz. But it’s in Hillsborough County, at the outer limits of our TBB territory, so we’re obligated to check it out. We take our jobs as Tampa Bay’s only true Pancake Professionals …. very, very seriously. Lutz is such a far drive, we had to bring our favorite travel guide with us.


We visited Nancy’s Home Cookin’ restaurant at 17420 US Highway 41 in Lutz on 12 June 2010. This was our first visit to Nancy’s. If you’re going to Nancy’s and you don’t know Lutz, drive slow … it’s tucked away where it’s easy to miss (coming from the south, anyway). I’d tell you to just look for our little blue car as seen in this picture, but as much as we liked the place, we don’t live there.


Walk inside Nancy’s and you find a tiny, cozy, warm little space. The kind of place you’d describe to a visitor from another country, say, from Paraguay or Estonia, when they asked a question like, “what’s a great ‘mom-n-pop pancake shop’ look like?”


We immediately noticed that everyone in Nancy’s knew each other. I think Marek and I were the only ones who needed to see a menu. Or get asked what we wanted, now that we think of it. Nancy’s gets top marks for the “full of regulars” measure.


Nancy’s menu is short and sweet, just like Nancy’s dining room. We thought long and hard, and settled on pancakes, bacon, and eggs. And coffee. I know, I know. We’re full of surprises today.


Oh man, that’s good motor oil, and we never saw the bottom of the cup! Just the way it’s supposed to be.


Check out the locally made hot sauces in the corner. That’s pretty neat.


Stop everything! Here’s breakfast! Pancakes, bacon, scrambled eggs, and an empty plate for Marek.


A bacon heist in progress. Marek’s plate is now full.


Somehow it all ended up on Marek’s plate. I bet you didn’t see that coming! The only thing this bacon is missing, apparently, is pepper. But hey, we’ve seen Marek put pepper on pancakes, grapes, ice cream, so don’t assume that he’s on to a good idea here.


Our loyal readers will remember when Marek was all about the pancakes. We still get up in the morning and say, “I want pancakes, dad!” But, obviously, he says “pancakes” and means “bacon.”


Marek was finished way before I was and he was just a bit fidgety. So our lovely hostess brought him this fun train to play with. She is shown here giving him the instructions. “This button turns on the Flux Capacitor.”


When we were all done, Marek paid the bill. About 11 bones for a pretty filling spread, including enough bacon to satisfy Marek.


He made himself at home behind the counter. Even took a few orders. Answered the phone. Bussed some tables. He knows how to run a good pancake shop.


He even helped make change. Change for a twenty, not social or political change. He’s only three, after all.


And I think he tried to get this pretty girl’s phone number, using his tried-and-true line of “I still live with my parents, but I can count to ten and I’ve got breakfast money, baby.”


When we were done, Marek decided he was driving home. After that big breakfast, I agreed. I slept in the back seat while he took us home. Really. There’s a whole queen-sized fold-out bed in the back of the car. Very cozy. And I’ve owned that caulk gun for over 20 years. I have no idea how I came to be in the position where I could say something like “I’ve owned that caulk gun for over 20 years.”


On the drive home we had to stop and take a picture of this fire truck. Because Marek saw it and started hollering, “take a picture dad take a picture take a picture take a picture take a picture!”


So here’s the real scoop on Nancy’s. Add some blueberry pancakes (*) to the menu and this would be perilously close to a perfect breakfast. Oh, and get our cheerful hostess featured in Full Throttle Magazine. Great pancakes, great eggs, best bacon we’ve had in Hillsborough County, wonderful, friendly people, and a reasonable price. We’re pleased give Nancy’s Home Cookin’ a Tampa Bay Breakfast four and a half pancake rating.


(*) GOOD blueberry pancakes, I feel obligated to mention, not just blueberry compote poured on the top. That’s not the way to treat pancakes, or blueberries.

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