Bounce into the Bouncing Log Café
STORY AND PHOTO BY: REBECCA JONES
If you are hungry for down home southern cooking with a European flair, head down to one of the newest eateries in
Boiling Spring Lakes.
Opened in July of 2015 at 3148 George 11 Highway, the Bouncing Log Cafe is the creation of husband and wife, Loyd and Jackie Tyler.
The cafe reflects the personalities of both a marriage of cultures and cuisines: Loyd is from Greenville, NC, home of
eastern style BBQ, and Jackie is of Swiss dissent, having spent many years in Geneva, Switzerland. The culmination being the Bouncing Log Cafe, ”Where Southern meets Swiss” explains Loyd.
There is a telltale small Swiss cross in the logo that gives the first hint of Jackie’s European roots. With a nod towards local heritage, the Bouncing Log Cafe is named after, “The spring that feeds the big lake,” [in Boiling Spring Lakes], explains Loyd, “It was known as ‘bouncing log spring’- legend has it-the name came from Native Americans after a petrified log continuously rolled and bubbled in the spring.”
The Tyler’s brought both of their backgrounds and skill sets to forge their mom and pop endeavor. Loyd is retired mid-level corporate and Jackie is a former head baker, as well as being brought up Swiss. “The culture is to making everything at home” she explains. Big on entertaining at home, friends and family always complimented her baking skills which in part inspired her to take the next step towards the restaurant venture— baking is in her genes. These days Jackie gets up at 6:00 a.m. to start the day’s baking at the restaurant.
All the burgers and sandwiches are served on homemade European artisan breads. “Served on crusty European breads with no preservatives added says Jackie.
The artisan breads and buns compliment the gourmet menu and fresh ingredients. “We are big on serving fresh unadulterated food,” stresses Loyd. “The burgers are certified angus beef, a butcher’s blend of sirloin steak and ground chuck.”
There are 6 specialty steak burgers served with tater tots on the menu, including a Build Your Steak Burger. Some of the cheese choices available are Swiss (Jarlesburg), Gruyere and gorgonzola; other toppings include fried egg, avocado, maple rum BBQ sauce, pineapple bacon relish and the homemade specialty: log sauce. “No way to explain it, but to try it” says both Jackie and Loyd.
Indeed, it’s a creamy dipping sauce with a touch of sweet, that goes nicely with the crunch of the baked tater tots.
Everything goes better with tots as the eatery also serves sandwiches with a side of tater tots. The Yard Bird-n-tots, is a seasoned chicken breast, provolone, fire roasted red bell pepper with an olive muffalata aioli.
The number one sandwich seller has been the King George-n-tots, said the Tyler’s. “It’s a quarter pound, house made, crab cake made with Maryland Blue Crab topped with lettuce, tomato and sriracha- mayo.”
Another house favorite is the Heaven in a Bun-n-tots which is a hot ham and melted provolone with Dijon mustard. Or, as Loyd, describes it with a grin, “A hot ham and cheese on steroids.”
If you are in the mood for a salad, try the Swiss salad, with strawberries, apples, manchego cheese and a house made Swiss vinaigrette, or a Garden Salad, with baby Bella mushrooms, sweet green peas, sharp cheddar and croutons. Chicken breast, sautéed shrimp and fish of the day can be added to any salads.
Kids will enjoy the L’il logger, a menu for the kids 8 and under served with tater tots and homemade dessert.
In addition to the menu items, the Bouncing Log Cafe features a Meal of the Day. On the day I visited, the feature was meatloaf with gravy, made Swiss style, with thick homemade wine and cream gravy.
The plate comes with your choice of 2 sides: coriander candied carrots, boiled potatoes, or field peas. The peas are local dry beans from Bear Branch Milling here in Brunswick County.
Another daily special is Jackie’s specialty, Knopfli. Knopfli is a Swiss dish of homemade pasta. It is small dime-sized pasta, with creamy cheese sauce gravy.
Most of the diners highly recommend getting a dessert. Fresh baked desserts, depending on the day, include cupcakes, cookies, and cinnamon rolls. Jackie makes her own brown sugar with real molasses as well as fresh baked bread and bread rolls. Call in orders can be made for cakes.
The eatery will be closed on Thanksgiving, but will serve traditional hot plates with turkey and ham and all the trimmings including a homemade cranberry sauce, during the days surrounding the holiday.
The Bouncing Log Cafe is a true Mom and Pop. Their daughter Corrine, a student at the Early College at BCC helps out on weekends, and their son, four year old Scott, is content playing with his assortment of Legos.
To stay in contact and connect with their regular customers, The Bouncing Log Cafe offers a rewards program with discounts. “It offers a huge benefit to our regular customers,” says Loyd.
“We are enjoying the challenges and pleasantly surprised by the number of word of mouth customers, some that make the trip from Wilmington for the Swiss influenced recipes.” boasts the Tylers.
Jackie and Loyd work side by side, their enthusiasm for what they are doing is palpable as they discuss the menu, bouncing ideas off each other: family meals to go, ingredients, features, desserts; all tasty morsels of what’s in the works as the Bouncing Log Cafe continues to roll thru its first year.
The Bouncing Log Cafe is open Tuesday – Saturday 11am – 8 pm. They can be found on Facebook at bouncing log cafe or on line at www.bouncinglogcafe.com. They can be reached at (910) 477-3188.