As you west from Nevada on US 50, you can see the mountains and the sign for Heidi's. I'm guessing the mountains were the inspiration for the Swiss themed restaurant. Or maybe there was an actual Heidi who inspired this restaurant name. We stopped for breakfast and hoped to find out.
Inspired by the Name
Don and I were also lured to the little Swiss pancake house, because our daughter's name is Heidi. She suffered a little bit of teasing over the years, being called Heidi of the Alps. The least we could do was visit a restaurant in honor of the name we gave her. The theme inside was definitely based on the famous story.
The hostess was very perky for 7:30 in the morning. She pointed towards the line up of shiny pine booths.
A Sturdy Start
The Heidi story wasn't just reflected in the room decor. As we sat in our cozy booth we were handed hefty menus with engraved Heidi images. When I opened the menu I was greeted with a snowy peak and a display of decadent breakfast foods. I didn't notice if they offered any "light" options, but everything from mug to menu set me up for a hearty feast. I was ready.
Ready to Dig In
Suddenly our table was covered with food. The smells of coffee and pancakes, potatoes and sausage filled our booth. The only thing that could have made it better, would have been a light snow falling outside.
Our service was friendly and attentive, with lots of coffee refills. I ordered Heidi's Stack, even though I really only wanted about one pancake. Don's sausage & cheddar scramble with potatoes, fruit and blueberry muffin could have fed many. Our feast was enough to fuel us for a 15-mile hike or a day on the slopes. We accomplished neither, but then we didn't exactly finish all our food.
has changed. I'll bet they occasionally get adult customers who have memories and stories of coming here as a child.
Heidi and Her Goats
Later I was a little confused to see illustrations of Heidi without curls.
Quiet in the Back
I imagine in the winter the tables are filled with hungry skiers before they hit the slopes. There have only been 2 owners since 1962.
I was curious about what inspired the first owner with the obvious theme. It must have brought in some business or the second owner would have changed things more. Our hostess hadn't been around long enough to know much history. She did say something about how the low-carb diet craze, hurt business. To keep from scaring away dieting customers, they dropped "Pancake House" from the name. Sad.
The hostess had no stories about all the Heidi related treasures on the shelf. I wanted to know why Heidi was printed on the label of the Coke bottle. She didn't know.
I spotted the lederhosen and asked if servers had ever worn Swiss costumes, because I could picture that. (She didn't know) I can also picture the current owner having a hard time hiring staff, if that had beena requirement.
Trim and Tower
By the time we finished up, the sun was shining on the flower trim and the little clock tower. We noticed a Howard Johnson's Motel next door, with the same wood and stone trim. Suddenly I had more questions. Could this have once been an orange roofed Howard Johnson's restaurant? Maybe next time we'll dine beside an old local, who has all the answers!
The Dining Blog
This is a blog about Dining Adventures. Sometimes, I talk about food. Below, you can read how this started.
On July 4th 2011, I set a goal to try 50 culturally diverse restaurants in one year! (I knew that was possible, living in the Houston area) I spent the year pulling in friends and family to join me, on some unusual dining adventures. I met some curious people, tried some scary foods and explored places and cultures I never would have otherwise. Even though I met my goal, I learned too much to end my adventures in dining. I have continued blogging about memorable dining adventures of all kinds, near and far... and all the discoveries and funny things I've learned along the way!
Locations and types of dining adventures, are listed further down.