t's been awhile since I've done a full review of Palmer's Village Cafe. With that in mind and with Palmer opening a new restaurant, “Porch”, I thought this would be a good time for a new review. Mr. Palmer Fortune has, along in partnership with Chef John Belechak, brought Fine Dining to Saint Simons Island, but without the Fine Dining prices and attitude. And now they have opened Porch, which if the early reviews hold, should become another top 5 restaurant on the island, just as Palmer's Cafe has always been. Both restaurants are clean, laid back, comfortable, and super friendly with fantastic service. There are no finer wait staffs anywhere than Palmer's.
The success of Palmer's can be directly attributed to his keen sense of organization, marketing, and service, along with Chef JB's culinary wizardry. If you put out a great product and keep the machine running smoothly, people will come. And they will come back, and spread the word to family and friends. You can be sure that whenever you walk into this restaurant you will get a wonderful meal and superior service. It's breakfast and lunch only, but you can order off either menu at any time of day. My favorite meal is breakfast, and Chef JB has created some of the most outstanding dishes you can find anywhere. All the breakfast staples are done with high quality. The grits, made with buttermilk, are legendary good. Whether you get them plain, with Pimento Cheese, or White Cheddar, you will never be disappointed. The bacon and sausage are top notch, and the eggs, whichever way you like them, are somehow better than an average egg should be. There's something in the cooking process, or maybe the eggs themselves are of higher quality than most. To go into Palmer's for breakfast and not get eggs in some form is high treason. The omelet creations are awesome, with the Vermont Ham & Cheddar, Chicken Pot Pie, and Hooch (made with spicy tomatoes, cheddar cheese, and sausage). The Huevos Rancheros is the best version of this classic I've ever had, but the Green Eggs & Ham are the best tasting eggs of any kind. Any of these egg dishes, or just simply over easy, scrambled, or poached are a must for breakfast.
The other side of the breakfast menu is just as appealing. Palmer's pancakes were only rated 4th best---in the nation! They are popular with everyone. My favorite ones are either the blueberry or chocolate chip, and they serve them with piping hot house-made syrup, consisting of pure maple syrup infused with cinnamon and vanilla. The French Toast is just as good as the pancakes. It's made with Challuh bread, and comes in 3 varieties. My favorite one is called The Full Monty. It's French Toast with hot sliced ham, melting Swiss cheese, and arugula. It's topped with a sunny side up egg. Cover that with the maple syrup and you're in Breakfast Heaven.
The lunch menu is also stacked with quality items. The homemade chicken salad, either by itself or on a sandwich, is a favorite of many. Everything else on the menu is as good, but two staple items jump out as being the best version of that you will ever taste. One is the Reuben Sandwich. It simply cannot be beaten, even by the most successful delicatessens. The other is Shrimp & Grits. They're made with those marvelous grits, and served with big, juicy grilled shrimp, Andouille sausage, and mixed vegetables in a light flavorful sauce that doesn't overwhelm the dish.
That about does it for this time. I hope I've covered most of the important things. Oh, one other thing. Palmer's prices are more than reasonable for the quality of food they put out. You will not break the bank going to Palmer's, but you will most probably bust your diet wide open. Not because the food is unhealthy and laden with calories, but because it's so good you can't stop eating it.
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