Sea Oats Caffe is a light, breezy breakfast and lunch spot. Owner Julia Pacey started out with five different flavors of pancakes back in 2010. Now she has 26.
Pacey, originally from Kent, England, grew up in the kitchen, learning to cook alongside her mom and grandmother. After working in management positions in the U.K., Pacey took a 180-degree turn toward living her culinary dream. Seven years later, her passion to cook and create remains — as the weekend wait at her restaurant will attest.
Sea Oats has 48 seats with booths, stools and tables outside and a gallery full of works by local photographers. Pacey serves up breakfast sandwiches, plates, three-egg omelets, french toast and her signature gourmet pancakes. Fancy mimosas are also served. For lunch, the cafe offers a variety of sandwiches.
The pancake selection ranges anywhere from the “Dylan cake” (jalapeno, bacon and cream cheese) to the double chocolate brownie. Locals come up with their own concoctions for the special board, and customers can request their own unique brand of pancake heaven. Pacey says if she has the ingredients, she’ll make it.
Silver-dollar size pancakes are available for children, with a few other kid friendly options.
Q&A WITH OWNER JULIA PACEY
How would you describe the restaurant’s atmosphere?
Local, friendly and family orientated. We are part gallery with photos lining the wall. The kitchen is open and that adds an extra layer to our hospitality. Lots of people bring their dogs and sit out front.
What is your food philosophy?
Everything is made to order with the freshest ingredients. I believe that people eat with their eyes and I am a stickler with appearance. I love it when we put the homemade pancakes down and people gush about them even before starting to eat.
What types of cuisine do you specialize in?
Mainly breakfast. Pancakes, omelets, french toast, stuffed croissants, breakfast sandwiches and plates — like the hi tide with two eggs, bacon or sausage with home fries or cheddar grits and toast. Or try our three cheese and mushroom omelet. Specialty cheeses are available.
What is your signature dish?
Pancakes: 26 gourmet choices and counting. We also have the bedrock buttermilk stacks if you want to stay with the traditional. Maple syrup — the real thing — warmed up, is available at an additional cost. There is nothing like warm syrup to add to your pancake.
What would you recommend for a first timer?
Try a seasonal berry pancake like strawberries, raspberries or blueberries. Or if you want to venture out more, there is the cranberry and candied pecan pancakes. We make our own candied pecans, and they are delicious.