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Crackin' & Stackin' is a must for breakfast enthusiasts

A locally owned eatery proves that Elmer’s and IHOP don’t have the market cornered on indulgent breakfasts.

With locations in Eagle Point and Central Point, Crackin’ & Stackin’ touts signature pancake stacks that offer nearly endless possibilities for the morning meal. Thirteen batters and numerous toppings evoke everything from red velvet and confetti cakes to gravy-smothered meats and Elvis’ favorite sandwich.

If that isn’t enough, the restaurant serves up “wild waffles,” “scrumptious skillets,” eggs Benedicts, omelets, burgers, sandwiches and salads. Also offering kids’ and seniors’ menus, Crackin’ & Stackin’ aims to please every palate.

The original location in Eagle Point is off my family’s beaten path, and it took more familiarity with Central Point to notice within the past year Crackin’ & Stackin’s expansion at 217 E. Pine St. right behind Roy’s Pioneer Club.

Our arrival on a recent Sunday coincided with the prime breakfast hour. So I was relieved that we waited only for servers to clear a picnic table at the parking lot’s edge before we could take our seats. Dining room seating is more numerous than outdoor accommodations, which were still shaded by the building’s facade on the cool morning.

Tempting my older son with hot chocolate, the server brought the rest of us juices: apple for my younger son, tomato for me and fresh-squeezed orange for my partner. Although Crackin’ & Stackin’ brews coffee from The GoodBean Co. in Jacksonville, we’d already had our morning caffeine fix.

Busily coloring, the boys paused barely long enough to voice preferences for French toast, served with an egg and sausage link or bacon strip. Kids’ meals featuring pancakes, biscuit and gravy, eggs, hash browns and toast, chicken strips, grilled cheese or peanut butter and jelly are priced at $6 apiece.

My partner and I typically broker a breakfast deal to share one sweet and one savory item. This time, I cut short negotiations by expressing unwavering affection for eggs Benedict ($13), which aren’t all that common in establishments we typically frequent. Crackin’ & Stackin’ also serves eggs Florentine with spinach and tomato ($12) and California-style with bacon, tomato and avocado ($15).

Barely glancing over the pancake choices, I could see the vast majority would be too sweet for my tastes, particularly in the morning. The “forever fall” pumpkin stack and “caramel apple” stack were exceptions. Each of the signature stacks, comprising two cakes, costs $12.

My partner requested a light drizzle of caramel sauce on the “caramel apple” and reduced the quantity to just a single cake when the server asked if he wanted a combo with two eggs and breakfast meat for an additional $4. The combo constitutes enough food to share among people with stomach capacities like ours.

Heartier appetites will appreciate Crackin’ & Stackin’s three-egg omelets served with home fries and toast. In addition to the typical combinations of meat and cheese, from $9 to $12, there’s a veggie omelet ($12) and one filled with chili beans and pepper Jack cheese ($11).

Plenty of veggies also can be had in Crackin’ & Stackin’s garden skillet ($12), layering eggs and home fries. There’s also “cowboy,” “meat lovers,” country fried steak and tri-tip skillets from $13 to $16.

Nine burgers, 13 sandwiches and five salads compose Crackin’ & Stackin’s lunch menu. Burgers, priced from $10 for a basic cheeseburger to $15 for a double, come with a choice of fries, tater tots, potato or macaroni salads, cottage cheese or a green salad. The same side dishes go with sandwich selections, as straightforward as a grilled cheese ($7) or cold-cut deli sandwich ($9) or as specific as the chicken club or tri-tip Philly cheesesteak (each $13). A crispy chicken salad complements classic chef, Cobb, house and tuna salads, from $7 to $13.

The picture of so many classic versions I’ve enjoyed, my eggs Benedict came piled high with ham and generously sauced with Hollandaise. Further inspection revealed perfectly poached eggs and a nicely toasted English muffin. The sauce wasn’t quite as lemony as I like and, therefore, didn’t lighten the other ingredients’ richness all that much. But it was a respectable iteration, although heavily dusted with paprika. More sensitive palates may want the spice omitted.

Too much butter-oil blend in a sizeable scoop atop his French toast was my older son’s only quibble with his plate. My younger son gobbled up the toast, butter and all. Kids who love bacon as much as mine do may appreciate an extra side ($4) of four strips to split.

The caramel apple pancake struck just the right balance with cinnamon-spiced batter, warm apple compote and whipped cream that represented just enough decadence without being overkill, all lightly sauced with caramel as requested.

Customers craving sweets may gravitate to Crackin’ & Stackin’s “mint chip,” “s’mores,” “birthday bash,” “strawberry cheesecake” and “peanut butter parfait” stacks. For those who can handle sweet and savory in a single pancake, there’s the “Elvis” bacon-stuffed stack topped with peanut butter and sliced banana or buttermilk cakes griddled around bacon, ham and sausage. Pay an extra dollar to smother the latter in country gravy.

Crackin’ & Stackin’ is open from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily. See the menu at crackinandstackin.com. Call 541-423-5035 for the Central Point location or 541-879-1113 for the Eagle Point location, 177 Alta Vista Road.

Tempo Tidbits

A coalition of local restaurants, chefs and farms — with funding from nonprofit organizations — are feeding the region’s residents displaced by the Almeda and Glendower fires.

Rogue Food Unites bolsters the floundering restaurant industry amid the impacts of coronavirus while assisting Southern Oregon’s disaster-relief efforts. Fresh, locally grown ingredients are procured with donations to United Way, and participating restaurants pay their staff to prepare and deliver meals where they’re needed most.

Starting with hundreds of meals — breakfast, lunch and dinner — organizers say they expect to produce nearly 1.3 million dishes over the next year, which will inject nearly $13 million into the economy, more than $8 million of that figure recirculated locally through independent businesses and community hubs.

Three dozen restaurants from Ashland to Central Point initially pledged their involvement with support from American Red Cross, World Central Kitchen, local businesses, cultural organizations and environmental advocates.

For more information or to donate, see roguefoodunites.org

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Pizzas promoted by the public are due to debut at DANCIN Vineyards in Medford.

The winery known for its artisan pies solicited ideas for pizza specials from its customers and social media followers, and DANCIN staff whittled suggestions down to eight. Votes can be cast on DANCIN’s Instagram account, @dancinvineyards, and Facebook page, facebook.com/DANCINVineyards/

The top four recipes each will run as a pizza special for one week in October. The top eight submissions receive a $20 DANCIN gift card apiece.

DANCIN is at 4477 S. Stage Road. Hours are 4 to 8 p.m. Wednesday and noon to 8 p.m. Thursday through Sunday. See dancin.com. Call 541-245-1133.

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The following restaurants in August received perfect scores of 100 on their semiannual inspections by Jackson County Environmental Public Health:

Bella Union, Jacksonville; Bobbio’s Pizza, Central Point; Carriage House, Jacksonville; Crater Cafe, Central Point; Goebel’s Country Store, Shady Cove; The Good Bean Co., Jacksonville; Human Bean Central Point, 113 E. Pine St., Central Point; Immortal Spirits & Distilling Co., Medford; Indigo Grill, Jacksonville; Juan’s El Caporal, Eagle Point; Patti’s Kitchen, Gold Hill; Pizza at the Cove, Shady Cove; Purple Parrot No. 7, White City; Rogue Valley Country Club, Medford; Southwest Coffee, Medford.

The county’s searchable database of restaurant and food service inspections is at healthspace.com/Clients/Oregon/jackson/Web.nsf/home.xsp

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Have a Tempo tidbit to share? Email news about the local dining, food and beverage scene to: thewholedish@gmail.com

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Sarah Lemon has relished the Rogue Valley’s dining scene for nearly two decades as one of the original contributors to Tempo’s dining column. Her palate has helped to judge some of the region’s culinary competitions and festivals. The former editor of A la Carte, the Mail Tribune’s weekly food section, she writes a biweekly column, The Whole Dish, and blogs and podcasts under the same name. Listen at mailtribune.com/podcasts and read more at mailtribune.com/lifestyle/the-whole-dish. Follow thewholedishblog on Instagram, @thewholedish on Twitter or see facebook.com/thewholedish.

Photos by Sarah Lemon Kids' meal of french toast, an egg and bacon at Crackin' & Stackin' in Central Point.
"Caramel Apple" is among the "signature stacks" at "Crackin' & Stackin' in Central Point.