Hernando County has an abundance of similar places that stick to serving breakfast and lunch, so when you hear the word cafe or diner you probably have an idea of exactly what you can expect in terms of menu options, service, and even decor. While all three tend to be frill-free, when the hankering for pancakes hits you can usually satisfy it with a yummy option close by. To quiet my internal need for syrup and butter before doing some shopping at Bealls one day we ventured into the Palm Tree Cafe. We’d never eaten there before but it was familiar. The atmosphere, the friendly waitress, the smell of bacon frying and coffee brewing certainly met all of the expectations that one would have for a local breakfast spot. However, we were pleasantly surprised by the live music and homemade specialties that set this little place apart from the many others we’ve been to around town.
It was a Sunday morning and we were immediately greeted and seated. A guitarist strummed a tune near the front of the restaurant…yes…that’s right…live music with breakfast! During my many years in Hernando County I’ve never had the pleasure of dining to live music at breakfast before. The prices were inexpensive and the menu offered quite a variety, but I was on a mission for flapjacks and was pleasantly surprised to see that in addition to the everyday version the Palm Tree Cafe also offered potato pancakes (a secret family recipe) and sweet potato pancakes. I opted to try all three along with some eggs, sausage, and home fries. The potato pancake came served with sour cream and apple sauce (both on the side) and is tough to describe so you need to just try it yourself. The sweet potato pancake was topped with whipped cream and reminded me of fall. It was sweet enough that the whipped cream perfectly complimented it all by itself and no syrup was needed. They were both so delicious that the traditional pancake I had come for sat neglected until the very end. The eggs were cooked just right and the sausage patties had a little crisp on the outside. The home fries were tasty too. My husband opted for a cheeseburger that was perfectly cooked and came with all the fixings. We couldn’t resist trying a piece of homemade quiche when we saw it served to the table next to us. It was quickly devoured and a fork war over the last bite ensued. We were so stuffed we practically had to be rolled out of the place and all that food cost us far less then we would have spent for a (probably not very satisfying) meal at one of the chain restaurants in town.
Every meal on the menu is less then $7 and aside from traditional breakfast options they have omelets, breakfast sandwiches and burritos, deli sandwiches, melts, ruebens, burgers, salads, and much more. The turkey club is a favorite since it’s made with chunks of homemade turkey breast (think day-after-Thanksgiving sandwiches). Quiches and soups are homemade daily and the guitarist is there on Sundays. They are open 8:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. seven days a week and serve breakfast all day, every day. The new owners are very friendly and have revamped the place. They kept the patriotic vibe but drastically improved the food quality and service. Discounts are given to veterans, law enforcement, and firefighters as well as SAMs and Wal-mart employees. They offer a $2.99 breakfast from 8:00 to 10:00 a.m. Monday through Thursday and a $4.99 senior special daily that includes a cup of soup and 1/2 of a sandwich. This place will be added to our list of mom-and-pop places we frequent and I highly recommend you stop in and give them a try! Those specialty pancakes will be on your mind for weeks afterward!
Palm Tree Cafe
13162 Cortez Boulevard, Brooksville, FL
(Beall’s Shopping plaza)
Open Daily 8:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m.
Click here to “like” the Palm Tree Cafe on Facebook!