Right downtown is one of the best breakfasts you can get: at Fog Island on South Water Street. Popular with both locals and visitors, this reasonably priced restaurant serves breakfast (7 till noon) and lunch (11 to 2) to really delighted customers. They also feature takeout rolls and breakfast sandwiches.
Run by Mark and Anne Dawson since 1993, this fine example simple, but elegant cuisine is a Nantucket landmark.
At this morning’s visit, we went for the French toast and Buttermilk pancakes for a change. The elegant French Toast presentation is featured above. And the pancakes are so capacious you can hardly photograph them! These are plate filling pancakes so large that you don’t need to order the full stack. Really. You don’t. In fact, the sausage was served on a separate plate because there was no room.
We also appreciated the Tazo tea served in an actual teapot. We’re already looking forward to another visit!
Making buttermilk pancakes is so easy and so quick that I never saw any reason to use pancake mixes. The recipe came down from my grandmother, written down by my Aunt Elsie, who pointed out that you can remember it as 2-2-2-1-1-1/2.
Here are all the ingredients:
- 2 cups flour
- 2 eggs
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 Tb sugar
- ¾ tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp salt
- Buttermilk (usually 2-3 cups)
- 1 Tb butter for the griddle
Note that I reduced the baking soda to ¾ teaspoon, to bring out the buttermilk flavor better. If you don’t think this is an easy recipe, watch this video, where I make the batter and make pancakes in less than 8 minutes. You can too.
You mix the above ingredients to make a “thickish batter,” according to my aunt, and while the amount of buttermilk is up to you, I find that you get taller pancakes from a thicker batter. If you like thinner pancakes that cook a little faster, just add a little more buttermilk. Melt the butter on the griddle at 375 F, and cook the pancakes on the first side until you see a few bubbles. Turn them once and cook another minute or so.
This recipe came from my grandmother, the former Edna Perry, who married John Marshall Neely, M.D. in 1901, when she was 19. She probably brought the recipe with her, making it well over 100 years old. While it isn’t wildly unique, it works perfectly every time.