Written for MyCentralJersey.com on 9/18/17
Although everyone can appreciate a stack of French toast and bacon from their local diner on a Saturday morning, the truth is obvious – there’s no way that every item on a 20-page menu can be fresh and made-to-order.
That’s why Nikolaos Renieris, founder of Nik’s Restaurant Group which owns local favorites such as Nik’s Raritan Pub, Nik’s Wunderbar and Biergarten of Whitehouse Station and Outpost Barbeque in Bridgewater decided to add a breakfast joint to their 20-year-old family-run business.
Stax Pancake Factory and Bar, which held its grand opening on Sept. 1 at 3205 Route 22 in Branchburg, has quickly become known for its locally-sourced eggs and produce, made-to-order dishes and minimally processed fare.
“Our concept is to give the customer the freshest fare they can get,” said Renieris. “We have had a great turnout since people love the fact that there are premium options with locally grown produce.”
With young, hip surrounds, Stax Pancake Factory can seat about 150-180 people in indoor and outdoor seating.
Some of their standout menu items include gluten-free pancakes made daily from scratch with 100 percent pure Vermont Grade A maple syrup ($9); organic avocado and sprouted toast with Ezekiel organic-sprouted grain bread, sliced organic avocado and sliced tomato ($7); European mini-pancake “stax” made daily ($6) as well as drinks such as mimosas, peach bellinis, Bloody Marys and tequila sunrises. They also serve an all-you-can-eat menu of pancakes, French toast and waffles for $8.99 per person.
However, Stax Pancake Factory does mimic a diner where it counts – they serve breakfast all day from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. (and 7 p.m. on Sundays) with their all-day menu beginning at 12 p.m.
Besides their dinner items such as the garlic toasted stax steak sandwich on a garlic hoagie with grilled steak and lettuce, tomato and onion ($13) and grass-fed buffalo burger with lettuce, tomato, onion and pickle chips ($12), Stax Pancake Factory also serves 3-5 dinner specials every day with items that are always made-to-order such as organic eggplant parmesan made with white eggplant from Profeta Farms, Leidy’s natural pork chops and Profeta Farms organic eggs with potato hash and braised all-natural short rib poutine.
You may recognize Stax Pancake Factory’s 3205 Route 22 address – the space was formerly home to Black Angus Steakhouse, another Nik’s Restaurant Group eatery, which is being moved to Gladstone due to demographics.
Black Angus will be open for business once again in Gladstone by the end of this year or early next year. Nik’s Restaurant Group had also set up its Loukas Last American Diner at the location prior to its demise in Hurricane Sandy in 2012.
“Branchburg houses many families, so we would get a lot of customers who would come in to Black Angus once a month or so for special occasions,” said Renieris. “However, with Stax Pancake Factory, those same families can come once or twice a week.”
Stax Pancake Factory and Bar
Where: 3205 Route 22, Branchburg
Cost Range: $1.50 to $16 (excluding dinner specials)
Contact: 908-253-6700, facebook.com/staxpancakefactory/