HEIDI’S PANCAKE HOUSE
ADDRESS: 3485 Lake Tahoe Boulevard, South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150
It had probably been over ten years since I last visited the Lake Tahoe area. A couple of weekends ago, I met up with my brother and some of our cousins for a relaxed weekend to hang out with each other. Of course, food was going to be pretty essential during our trip, so we had done a bit of research ahead of time. And that research led us to Heidi’s Pancake House for breakfast one morning before we started the day.
The resort we were staying at was located on the south side of Lake Tahoe, which was perfect, since Heidi’s was literally just down the street. It’s hard to miss when you’re driving by: there’s a big sign with the restaurant name and the exterior was painted yellow, which definitely helped it to stand out from the other buildings around it. Step on inside and you definitely feel like you’re at an old school ski lodge.
In the dining area, it’s pretty much exclusively booth seating, with the enclosures all made of finished wood. Even with the five of us, we still managed to squeeze into one of the booths. Once we got settled and had our drinks brought over, we set our sights onto the menu to see what we’d be chowing down on that morning.
There was definitely a wide spread of options, seemingly something for whatever you were in the mood for. Pancakes? Waffles? Omelettes? French toast? Eggs benedict? You name it. If you weren’t in the breakfast mood, there were also a number of sandwiches, burgers, and salads available as well.
I’m not one to shy away from breakfast food, so I decided to switch it up from my normal omelette breakfast order and give one of their skillets a try. The Emerald Bay skillet came with bacon, avocado, mushrooms, feta cheese, and an over-easy egg on top of a bed of hash brown potatoes. Ingredient-wise, it definitely sounded like the most interesting option of the skillets on the menu.
In talking with both our waitress and the host at the front of the restaurant, it seemed that they were definitely very accustomed to tourists from out of town. They helped answer some questions we had about the local area and even helped the table next to us by giving them a suggestion of something to check out later in the day. I think it definitely speaks to the hospitality of the staff, no matter if you’re from out-of-town or a local.
I wasn’t really able to tell how crowded the restaurant was, just with the way that the dining area was laid out with these tall wooden booths. But our food arrived in relatively short time, so either the place wasn’t too packed or the back of the house was working pretty efficiently.
On first glance, my breakfast skillet wasn’t as visually appealing as I thought it would be. The potatoes, mushrooms, and feta cheese were piled up at the base of the skillet dish, with sliced avocados sitting off to the side. The bacon strips were laid over the top, along with the over-easy egg.
From a taste perspective, I thought the potatoes themselves were underseasoned, as I had to add some salt and pepper to them at the table. For hash brown potatoes, I was also expecting them to be crispier as well. Even after eating all the ingredients together, I still felt a little underwhelmed overall. The ingredients all tasted fresh, but there was just something that was lacking to tie it all together. Not sure if it was the seasoning or another ingredient to give the dish some more textural contrast.
Heidi’s seems to be a pretty popular breakfast destination amongst the visitors to the area. With the wide range of offerings on the menu, I can certainly see the appeal. The service that we got was excellent, but I felt the food didn’t live up to the expectations. Reactions to the dishes around the table from my brother and the cousins were equally mixed as well. Although the restaurant’s location is convenient to the resort that we stayed at, I’m thinking to look elsewhere in the future for additional breakfast offerings the area has to offer.
Let’s now take a look at the Heidi’s Pancake House Dish Spotlight. Asterisks (*) below mark my recommended dishes.
And finally, here are my rankings for Heidi’s Pancake House:
Food: 3.5 / 5
Even though the menu variety was pretty broad for both breakfast and lunch, underseasoned food is a big negative in my book.
Atmosphere: 4.25 / 5
I thought that it was pretty cool the inside of the place had that ski lodge feel. With the heavy use of wood in a lot of the décor, it fit in with the season that annually brings in the most people to the area.
Service: 4.5 / 5
Both our waitress and the host were very amiable towards us, and were very helpful in both food recommendations and tips about the local area. Our food also came out of the kitchen relatively quickly, too.
Price: 4 / 5
Being that Lake Tahoe is a tourist destination, I was expecting there to be a bit of a slight upcharge to food in the area. The overall pricing on the menu remained consistent with that expectation.