The Merchant City area of Glasgow is now a rather upmarket and trendy location which is why it was no great surprise to find this is where the hipster pancake restaurant Stack and Still can be found.
Located on West George Street you’ll find there is very little parking available locally and I would recommend you use public transport.
I visited with daughter number one on a Saturday mid-morning in advance of a gin tasting afternoon and thought that some pre-loaded carbohydrate would be a good idea. Talk about busy, the place was almost full, it was heaving. I’ll tell you now there’re many restaurants out there who would sell their grannies to be this busy at 11am on a Saturday morning.
And, it’s not exactly a small restaurant either. I estimated they can easily cover 200 diners in what is basically an open-plan setting with Glasgow’s first self dispense bar.
Anyway, we hadn’t booked assuming it wouldn’t be that busy, but luckily, were provided with a table on request.
The menu is fairly straightforward and easy to navigate, although the helpful member of staff guided us through the various options which are available.
But, here’s a warning, don’t expect to find pizzas, pasta and the like, because you’re going to be disappointed – this is pancakes, albeit at their very best and nothing else! Although, it’s fair to point out you can have literally anything on them!
And when it comes to knowing a thing or two about those fluffy pillows of goodness, Stack and Still have got the market properly sewn up. Contenders to that crown should tread with caution.
Basically, there are three options. A single pancake, a double pancake, or what is described as a short stack (which contains three pancakes). Quite why they never called it a triple pancake, well your guess is good as mine. Now, another word of warning, unless you’re hungry don’t go ordering the short stack. These are not the usual small Scotch pancakes you may be better acquainted with, but giant dinner plate-sized golden frisbees.
The menu has some set choices, which includes: a big breakfast stack, spicy chicken stack, a steak stack, a pulled pork and chorizo stack, seafood stack or a veggie stack option, all priced at £9.50. Please note the signature dishes are served on short stacks – you have been warned! Alternatively, choose a single or double pancake plate and add a selection of toppings from savoury to sweet as suits your requirements.
These range from bacon; smoked salmon; chipotle pulled pork; shredded beef brisket; cajun chicken; sausage; chorizo; black pudding; or maple baked beans. There are a number of sweet options available also, including strawberries, banana, lemon curd or toffee sauce. In total there are 52 toppings to choose from. Single pancakes are priced at £3, doubles at £4.50 and triples at £6. Topping prices range from £1-£3.00.
The pancakes are available in a range of options from buttermilk, buckwheat, protein, gluten-free and sugar-free.
Now here’s what’s good about Stack and Still. Kids under the age of ten eat free! Yep, that’s right, you heard correctly, pick a single pancake along with one topping, and it’s all for free. There are not many restaurants offering to feed your brood free of charge. There’s two-for-one on all signature stacks every Tuesday and in addition, ‘Maple Mornings’ every weekday with a single pancake, one topping, maple syrup plus bottomless filter coffee for £5.50.
The signature dishes also extend to the sweet options, also priced at £9.50 and include toffee apple; strawberries and cream; raspberry and fig citrus; peanut butter and blueberry and salted caramel and banana.
And as if that wasn’t enough, you can order a side of skinny fries, loaded fries or onion rings!
Their website tells me that there are a mind-blowing twelve million possible menu combinations on offer!
I won’t bore you with the drinks option of unlimited soft drinks, smoothies, cocktails, wines, beers and spirits.
The staff are all very friendly, helpful, knowledgeable as to their menu range in particular, and gave the impression that they genuinely cared about their customers. A discretionary 10 per cent service charge is included by default on all bills. One hundred per cent of this charge goes directly to the team who serve you, or so it says on the menu. I work on the assumption it would be rather foolish to say so and do something different.
I ordered the breakfast stack which contained black pudding, sausage, mushrooms bacon and maple baked beans. To be honest, having watched this arriving at the table I rather suspected I was going to struggle. And I now admit, I did. As a brunch dish, it was perfect. Even although this is really a fast-food service operation, nobody’s pushing you out of the door the minute your cutlery hits the plate. And, with fast food, comes that rather inevitable use of ‘mass catering’ ingredients to keep costs down. So, was I surprised to find some quality ingredients on my plate. A Stornoway Black Pudding if I’m not mistaken, an excellent quality pork sausage, mushrooms which were sauteed in butter, and some good quality smoked streaky bacon.
So would I recommend stack and still? Definitely. It’s a perfect stop-off point for breakfast, brunch, lunch or even a dinner, and if you’ve got the space you might even manage to squeeze in a dessert, although you’re a better person than me if you do! It’s ideal for families and is not going to break the bank eating here particularly with the bottomless drinks options.
I’ll be back to try out the sweet options next time around.