Gringo’s Diner, Hilton Head, South Carolina

If you ever anticipate being in a jam, go to Gringo’s Diner. They will come to your rescue, and they will serve you a very good meal.

Eric and Sinclair, alas, had to leave us to get back to Charlotte Sunday, so we decided to go out for a latish breakfast. We all voted for Gringo’s Diner. We drove over to Coligny Square, which in some ways is the core of Hilton Head, and ultimately found parking places — something that actually can be possible on Sunday mornings. And we actually found a table outside — all tables, I think, are outside — on a lovey morning.Well, Nancy found the table and occupied it while I took everyone’s order and got in line.

I dutifully placed the orders and, I might say, I did a very good job, with one exception. I forgot to give them Nancy’s order. Did I mention that it was Nancy’s birthday? By the time I realized my error, a new line had formed. I foresaw a disaster. Not as big a disaster as the time I actually believed Nancy when she said she wanted a vacuum cleaner for Mother’s Day, but a disaster. I casually strolled around the corner, out of sight, and ran pell mell to the entry and began pleading with people to let me butt in line. I pleaded exclusively with males, knowing that they, too, had faced existential crises, and were likely to be sympathetic, or at least willing to honor Guy Code. I got to the counter and pleaded with the (male) cashier to add and speed up Nancy’s order to the earlier group order so that it all came out all at once, as if I had never fallen short in my husbandly duties. My pleas touched his heart, and he graciously agreed, for which he received a princely reward.

The orders were: For Nancy, a breakfast burrito, with lots of eggs and vegetables wrapped in a flour tortilla.

Thanks to a benevolent Providence, it arrived hot and fresh with the other orders. Nancy was pleased, and with her ever-present grace, refrained from comment on my performance.

I had ordered sausage and eggs, over easy, with home fries, toast, and grits.

Delicious eggs, properly cooked. Excellent sausage, nice and meaty. Good grits, with actual texture. Nicely buttered toast. Alas, the home fries succumbed to the Lack of Bacon Grease problem that so infects home fries these days. They were fine, and after I added my usual lashings of pepper and hot sauce, and mixed them in with the egg yolk, they were a delight.

It gets a little fuzzy here, as I seem to have deleted my notes. I have deduced that Eric ordered pancakes,

and that Sinclair ordered either (a) a burrito, (b) eggs, or (c) pancakes. Take your pick. In any event, everyone was happy with their breakfast. The food was good, the morning beautiful, and the company was exceptional.

There are several kinds of breakfast. First, those in which you order breakfasty food and have a good talk with friends or whoever else is around. Then there is the fancy breakfast in which you spend a lot of money and have breakfasty foods to which non-breakfast items are added, and you drink enough to match the tab. And there is the breakfast in which you sit alone and eat cereal or yogurt or a muffin or cold pizza or a quart of rocky road ice cream by yourself.

Gringo’s Diner falls within the first type of breakfast. Normal breakfast foods really are pretty hard to beat, especially at Gringo’s prices. So is having a good talk with friends or the other folks sitting at the counter. If that’s the sort of breakfast you want, then head to Gringo’s Diner.


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