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East Idaho Eats: Smitty’s Pancake and Steaks ‘everybody’s favorite’

Business & Money

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IDAHO FALLS — To many, Smitty’s Pancakes and Steak House is more than a favorite breakfast place in Idaho Falls — it’s a town landmark.

“Everybody knows where Smitty’s is in Idaho Falls. I know people that just give directions based on where it is. It’s been here a long time,” customer Jarrod Clifford said.

Co-owner Katrina Lott said Smitty’s has been in Idaho Falls for nearly 50 years. She said her grandparents originally managed Smitty’s.

Lott said years ago Smitty’s restaurants were being converted into Perkins Restaurant and Bakery, but owners wanted to keep the local Smitty’s alive. Owners bought the franchise, tweaked the recipes to make it their own, and turned Smitty’s into a locally owned diner.

Despite the small recipe changes, Smitty’s has always tried to deliver perfect pancakes and delectable steaks.

“Our pancakes are our secret family recipe. We do a little bit of the mixing part, the dry part — just the family only knows that secret, (and) our steaks are hand cut in house,” Lott said.

Smitty’s regulars said the restaurant does a good job of sticking to its tasty, traditional menu.

“I get compliments all the time. (People) that came in 45 years ago, they’ve come in consistently throughout (the years and say), ‘It’s the same. Everything tastes the same, looks the same,’ and they love it,” Lott said.

Lott said they deliver what their logo states: “Everybody’s Favorite.” She says customers crave Smitty’s chicken fried steak, the Baby Dutch (a miniature German pancake), or its signature buttermilk pancakes. Smitty’s also has a potato pancake, where potato chunks are added right to the pancake batter.

“They have one of the nicest breakfasts in town. Probably in the valley,” Clifford said.

Lott said consistently great taste and quality meals are what Smitty’s is known for.

“That’s what sets Smitty’s apart from everybody else in this valley — the food’s homemade. I mean, it’s prepared while you wait. It doesn’t get any better than that,” Clifford said.

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