Garretts Mill Diner (Stow, OH)

Since we overnighted in Stow, OH, for breakfast we decided to try out a small diner located near our hotel: Garretts Mill Diner. Located in a small strip mall on Hudson Drive, it’s the sort of small, friendly diner that I always like to hit up for dinner: a half dozen tables, a few waitstaff, an owner that circulates around asking the diners how their meal is going, and a healthy flow of locals stopping off for a meal.

While Garetts Mill is open for both breakfast and lunch, since our visit was an early 7:30am visit, we focused squarely on the breakfast menu. The primary menu items, aside from your typical “eggs, meat, and toast” specials, are omelettes, pancakes, waffles, and both sweet and savory crepes. I’ve got a weakness for corned beef, so I quickly settled upon the corned beef omelette: a three egg omelette stuffed with potatoes, peppers, and bits of corned beef, topped with cheese, and served up with rye toast and griddled home fries. A good, well-executed omelette, and I always like griddled (vs deep-fried) home fries.

Carol opted to try out the crepes, which were ham-and-cheese crepes topped with cheese sauce (and in a nice nod to health, one of their side options is fresh fruit, and they cut it to order so you could get fruits you don’t like omitted). These were tasty, although Carol noted these were fairly thick crepes (like the Quebecois style we get a lot), while we we both like them on the thinner side (like in France). But still, a nice, enjoyable breakfast.

In addition to our main menu items, walking in the door, you couldn’t help but see the sign proclaiming “The Best Pancakes and the Best Waffles!”. So, out of curiosity we ordered a short stack of pancakes with chocolate chips, just to try them out. Pancakes are often one of those items like pizza where the style of pancakes you enjoy most is the type you grow up with, so I always expect a buttermilk style pancake, a little on the thin side, fried up in an almost excessive amount of butter to give a good crisp. You can see one of my reviews of Al’s Breakfast for a good overview of a classic… and Garretts Mill definitely delivered. Thin, buttermilky, and, most importantly, crispy? I don’t know what the other breakfast joints around Stow, Hudson, and Akron are doing, but these were good pancakes.

And, remember when I mentioned up top the owner running around checking in on folks? One thing I liked about Garretts Mill is that the owner, Brian, made it a point to make some local recommendations for us to check out while visiting the area, in this case, detouring for a short hike in Cuyahoga Falls Gorge Metro Park to see the Gorge Dam and falls before the dam gets removed to improve river health; the falls were indeed interesting, and I’ll have to come back and see what things are like after the dam removal.

So, overall, a friendly local place with an outgoing and helpful owner. And some good pancakes to boot. I’ll come back if I’m in the area.

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