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Stacks vs. Alana’s: The Peninsula Sugary Breakfast Showdown. Banana Nut Zombies Included.

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Stacks vs. Alana’s: The Peninsula Sugary Breakfast Showdown. Banana Nut Zombies Included.

katya | Jun 14, 2005 02:30 PM

After checking out Alana’s Café in Burlingame last weekend, the boyfriend and I decided to try out another Peninsula breakfast spot for comparison. That would be Stacks – a four location Peninsula/South Bay chain that specializes in breakfast.

Location
Stacks is just down Burlingame Ave. from Alana’s, and is in a large corner spot. While Alana’s is pretty, cozy, and modern, Stacks has that Denny’s remade-with-floral-cushions-and-booths-and-fake-flower-displays look in spades that moms of a certain age go for. Despite Alana’s cramped single-file flow through half the restaurant, I’d still rather eat in the sunny yellow horizontality that is the charm of Alana’s.
Edge: Alana’s

Grub
The boyfriend and I were banana nut zombies and ordered almost the same dish, but in pancake and Belgian waffle form. I preferred the pancakes which included bananas, macadamia nuts, and coconut baked inside ($6.25 – short stack; $7.50 full). I could taste all three ingredients and they blended wonderfully together. The pancakes tasted rich in flavor – almost buttery - though without any butter in sight. The shortstack included two large pancakes and was still such a huge portion we couldn’t finish it.

The boyfriend preferred the Belgian waffle ($7.25) in which pecans were inside the batter, and fresh bananas and more pecans were on top (this also includes whipped cream which we opted not to get). The bananas tasted nice and cold next to the warm, slightly crisp waffles and warm, runny puddles of maple syrup. They were quite good; I just liked the ‘cakes with the extras cooked inside. While he preferred Alana’s, I wasn’t sure. I gave them a tie.
Very, very slight edge (when averaged out): Alana’s

Service
Our wait at Stacks and Alana’s was about five minutes. Both restaurants had efficient servers. We didn’t see them often, but water was filled and food arrived. Not that it matters, but…
Slight edge: Stacks

The Rest of the Menu that We Didn’t Try
The menu also includes lots of scrambles and frittatas, skillets with potatoes (and your choice of ingredients), and omelets. These range in price from $4.95 - $10.50 – with most around $8.00). There is also a lunch menu that consists of burgers, salads, and sandwiches ($7.50 - $10.25). As sugary breakfasts go, there were also crepes in addition to pancakes and waffles. I was very intrigued and a little scared by a few of the meat options that were in this section such as the bacon waffle filled with fresh diced bacon.

Winner of the Smackdown
Alana’s. But only by a bitchslap.

Stacks
361 California Dr. (at Bellevue)
Burlingame, CA 94010
650.579.1384
http://www.stacksrestaurant.com/

One block from Caltrain’s Burlingame Ave. station.
Other locations in Redwood City, Menlo Park, and Campbell.

Hours
I couldn’t find hours for the Burlingame location (on Stacks’ website or anywhere else), but the hours for the Menlo Park location are as follows:
Daily: 7 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

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