Track Kitchen

Diner | Small Town Café
excellent
Worth a detour
Save

The Track Kitchen is so laid-back and friendly that the first day I ate here, I finished breakfast, brought my dishes back into the kitchen (as all customers do), and walked out … forgetting to pay! When I returned the next day and confessed my crime to Carol Carter, who runs the place, she joked, “I’ve got my eye on you!” I did remember to pay that day – for both meals – but I get the feeling that there are customers pay weekly, or whenever they remember to do so. It’s that casual.

Named because it adjoins the dirt track where thoroughbred horses are exercised, this little breakfast-only joint is more like a friendly company dining room than a regular restaurant. The same people come every morning, sit in their usual seats, and table-hop throughout the meal. They are the trainers, owners, and riders of the sport horses around which much of Aiken’s life revolves. They range from billionaires to hourly wage earners, from Arabian sheiks to southern rednecks.

What do they eat? Good old southern home cooking. Nothing on the menu is exotic or audacious — not in the least. But that’s the charm. These are square-meals breakfasts prepared with care. You know this even before breakfast arrives because you will wait a good while for it. (If you are in a rush, go to Waffle House.) Every plate is doted over by the one and only person who does the cooking: Carol. The last time I stopped in — the first customer of the day — she was sitting at her kitchen counter painstakingly dicing green peppers, destined for one of her fine and fluffy western omelets.

Carol’s grits are rich and buttery; eggs are cooked exactly as requested. Country ham is pretty good, although not ringing with cured-meat savor like the best of them, but Track Kitchen bacon is fabulous. It is baked, the slices put close enough together in the oven that several might stick together, resulting in deliciously unctuous bacon clusters that are crisp but barely bendable – just the way bacon ought to be.

What to Eat
Track Kitchen, Bacon
Bacon
Must-Try
Baked bacon often arrives in clumps of stuck-together strips.
Track Kitchen, Western Omelet
Western Omelet
Must-Try
House specialty: western omelet.
Track Kitchen, Grits
Grits
Grits are dense and satisfying.
Track Kitchen, Country Ham
Country Ham
Country ham is only moderately salty.
Track Kitchen, Home Fries
Home Fries
Home fries are nice sops for running egg yolks.
Track Kitchen, Pancakes
Pancakes
Pancakes are fine, but omelets are better.
Track Kitchen, French Toast
French Toast
French toast 4-stack
Directions and Hours
open now
Sunday7am - 11:30am
Monday7am - 11:30am
Tuesday7am - 11:30am
Wednesday7am - 11:30am
Thursday7am - 11:30am
Friday7am - 11:30am
Saturday7am - 11:30am
Roadtrips
This restaurant is featured in the following eating tours.
10 stops | 48 MILES | 1 hr 22 min

Aiken has long been a vacation destination for the horsey set – back in the 1950s, weekly non-stop train service direct from New York served wintering horses, horse owners, and their staff. It remains a destination for horse people of all kind. If riding (or watching) the four-legged athletes conjures up an appetite, there is…

Information
Price
$
Seasons
Fall, Winter, Spring
Meals Served
Breakfast
Credit Cards Accepted
No
Alcohol Served
No
Outdoor Seating
No

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