Dressner’s Village Cafe, St. Simons Island GA (CLOSED)

Marie volunteered to write one of the entries about a restaurant we visited down on the coast last weekend, and settled on doing a writeup for one of her dad’s favorite haunts.

Dressner’s is a tradition of sorts with the Hendersons. Well, actually there was a little place that isn’t there any more that really sold my dad on moving to St. Simons, but aside from that there’s no place more likely to get our business for breakfast. The other two options are the Sandcastle, reviewed earlier, and the 4th of May, about which more later. Maybe next trip. It’s been rising in the ratings.

For approximately the first 5 or 6 years that we ate there, my breakfast would consist of the fruit bowl plus whatever else on the menu struck my fancy. Lately I have branched out to other things, and there isn’t anything unsatisfactory on the menu (unless you order the fruit bowl when the melons are imported from someplace really too far away for them to have been picked ripe; one should always pay attention to the season). Mind you, it also helped that we had a waitress who would check with me what I wanted with my fruit bowl. It’s almost as important as the food to have good wait staff, and it was tragic when she left the place. Anyway, the girlchild has apparently developed almost as strong a fondness for their chocolate chip pancakes as I had for their fruit bowl. I find that satisfactory.

Anyway, it’s one of those places that always has a line out the door. There is a bench in front and some mismatched numbers hanging from a hook on the door. If by chance you happen to arrive when there’s no line, you still can’t tell whether to grab a number until you’ve looked inside, as the numbers are missing quite a few in sequence. They might actually do better with cards that have stars, squiggly lines and squares, and it might provide greater amusement for the small fry as their seating is limited enough that people are admitted based more on their party size than on the number in their possession. Although it’s as loud inside as any place with antique molded tin ceilings tends to be, there is a back room which was added a few years back that is somewhat quieter, though it also has somewhat less charm.

All in all, the place has good memories and I would likely eat there even if the food weren’t good enough to make you have to shuffle off to the next place down the street whenever the line’s too long.

(Update 12/24/10: Sadly, Dressner’s has closed. What looked like a temporary renovation when Marie last went by in the fall has proven to be permanent, with a new restaurant opening in the old space and a “grand opening” banner in the window. We’ll certainly miss them!)