I don’t know what it is about the towns of Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg, TN, but they sure love their pancakes. While visiting there over the weekend, I noticed that there seemed to be a lot of pancake restaurants in the very short distance of the 5 miles of of the Parkway strip.
For instance, Pigeon Forge, whose population is 5,800, came in with at least 15 different pancake houses. And that’s a loose estimate–I’m pretty sure I didn’t count them all and I didn’t count places like Shoney’s or Cracker Barrel as pancake houses. There were restaurants with quirky names like the Frizzled Chicken and Reagan’s Broken Egg Pancake House and some whose names got straight to the point such as: Log Cabin Pancake House, River Road Pancake House, Parkway Pancake House.
We stopped in one morning at Reagan’s House of Pancakes. We scientifically decided on this place because it was the third pancake house on our right, while travelling south down the Pigeon Forge Parkway. We were trying to beat the crowds out to Clingman’s Dome so we were there by 7:30 and in a hurry for breakfast. Luckily, Reagan’s (which was voted Best Pancake House 3 years in a row) hadn’t yet hit their breakfast rush and had a buffet complete with pancakes and French toast. Now, I’m more of a bacon and eggs kind of girl, but I decided that “when in Rome” I had to eat the pancakes. I did not regret this decision as the pancakes were excellent and the French toast was even better.
The next morning we started out a little later because we were only hiking one trail–only half the day. We stopped at the Smoky Mountain Pancake House, and just beat the droves of incoming “pancakers” by minutes. Luckily, we got in just in time to get a wonderfully prompt and excellent breakfast. I had the French toast–still close to pancakes…
After finishing hiking the Grotto Falls trail, we cruised around Gatlinburg (which is only 7 miles south of Pigeon Forge and has 4,180 people) and noticed they had almost as many pancake houses as Pigeon Forge. We counted 8 on their 1 mile long strip with some names we’d already seen in PF and some new names such as The River Road Pancake House and Atrium Pancakes. If you’re averaging pancake houses per mile, Gatlinburg is the winner here.
The next morning we were slated to check out the Frizzled Chicken, just because the name is so fun to say. Unfortunately, we were too frizzled ourselves to make it before the “pancakers” and we had a fabulous breakfast, skipping pancakes and French toast altogether, for a family style breakfast at Paula Deen’s Family Kitchen. Watch for more about the complimentary biscuits we had there.