If you don’t like how the pancakes turn out at The Old Spanish Sugar Mill Grill and Griddle House in De Leon Springs State Park, there’s no one to blame but you. That’s because you’re the chef.
Being a solo diner, I was concerned I wouldn’t be able to get a seat and have the same experience as other diners. No worries, The Old Spanish Sugar Mill has it figured out. I ended up sitting at a table for two that was adjacent to another table for two, which was occupied by a young couple. Other tables seat larger parties. I felt extremely comfortable dining alone.
Reservations aren’t accepted and I imagine during the prime spring season, it’s a lengthy wait. I arrived around 10:35 a.m. on a Saturday and was told it would be an hour to an hour and fifteen minute wait. Names are called over the loud speaker and after about 40 minutes my table was ready.
For $4.95, I enjoyed a feast of all you can eat pancakes (four) cooked on the griddle at my table. The server brought two pitchers of batter, one was traditional Early American batter with unbleached white flour and the other was made of five fresh stone-ground flours. Toppings are a choice of maple syrup, raw honey and unsulphured molasses. For an additional $1.85, I added blueberries and other options include banana slices, chocolate chips and peanut butter, among other fillings. I also added a side of sausage patties. My total bill including gratuity was under $11.
The fresh stone-ground batter is the restaurant’s specialty and was more liquified than the Early American batter meaning I couldn’t make a perfect round pancake, it was more like an amoeba. The Early American batter behaved much better. Four pancakes were enough for me and don’t think I put a dent in the batter. If by chance you run out of batter, the server will gladly provide more. Service was cheery and prompt and an 18 percent gratuity is calculated into the bill.
Not a pancake kind of person? Order eggs and fry or scramble them at your table, too, which is what my neighbors did.
The Old Spanish Sugar Mill Grill and Griddle House is located less than an hour west of Daytona Beach near DeLand, Fla., in DeLeon Springs State Park. The park has a lovely natural spring for swimming, snorkeling and scuba diving along with a narrated boat tour and kayak rentals. The park entrance fee is currently $6 per car but if traveling solo, it’s only $4.
Arrive early because this place jams all day. If you need to wait, no worries. Take a dip in the springs just make sure someone is keeping an ear open for your party to be called. This is definitely a must-do kinda place.
The restaurant is open weekdays 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and weekends 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., serving until 4 p.m. It’s closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Old Spanish Sugar Mill Grill and Griddle House
Inside the DeLeon Springs State Park
601 Ponce DeLeon Blvd.
Tel: (386) 985-5644