Uncle Will’s | Long Beach Island

Uncle Will is one of those big breakfast kind of places. I think Uncle Will is a pig. No, not some fat slob, although maybe he is? I’ve never met him. But the mascot for this place is a giant friendly (borderline creepy) pig that looks like he belongs in Disney World. You know exactly what you are getting from here with one look at that mascot, a massive and delicious breakfast meal. They also serve dinner, but are very well known for breakfast so let’s stick to that.

I think they have even been on the travel channel. Remember, almost 99% of LBI’s restaurants and businesses are family owned so being on the travel channel is no small feat. Well done and well deserved. The breakfast here is great. The options they offer are even better, especially for gluten free eaters. The best part is the kitchen cooks all meats and gluten free items on a separate grill space to avoid cross contamination. WIN.

FOOD (8.1)

This place typically has a wait of at least 30 minutes but is well worth it. You’ll be hard pressed to find a better breakfast spot in this region of the island. They offer gluten free pancakes which I’ve heard are great but they cook it on the same griddle as regular pancakes. The servers will tell you that they clean down the surface before your gf pancake is cooked but that is a chance I will NEVER take. What if someone didn’t clean it well enough? Bye bye fun in the sun. I opt to create my own omelet instead to be safe. Besides, I don’t care much for pancakes anyway. I’m much more of a breakfast meat and eggs kind of guy.

I got a three egg omelet with bacon, ham, mushrooms, avocado and grilled chicken inside. Not sure how they fit it all into the neatly wrapped omelet but they did it. It was very impressive. The inner child in me may or may not have been testing their cook skills because deep down I thought it was an impossible task. I’m glad I was proven wrong. The omelet was fantastic. It came with a side of breakfast potatoes which were decent at best though. All in all, a very satisfying breakfast for this island.

DRINKS (N/A)

Everyone raves about their fresh squeezed OJ and coffee. But I just got water to cool down from the heat and nurse my hangover. OJ just gives me heartburn if I’m hungover. No score here but I won’t deduct any points overall.

SERVICE (6.7)

The service is really spotty here. Sometimes, there is a language barrier which NEVER helps with gluten free eating. I’ve had to go talk to the manager to make sure the kitchen knows since my waiter only understood basic English words plus the menu items. Other servers are really nice but you have to pry the information out of the them regarding cooking prep. Most of them, especially the manager, seem to fully understand the allergy though. Plus the kitchen does do a good job of making sure everything is separate, basically because it is setup that way. But first timers may have a tough time gaining confidence in gluten free eating here depending on who they get.

MENU HONESTY (N/A)

They only mention gluten free pancakes as an option on the menu but no disclaimers, labeling or other useful information. This is a shame because even if they had basic kitchen prep information on the menu, the service would be that much better. They are going to take a hit on points for this unfortunately which is a shame because I’d still recommend this place to anyone with a gluten allergy. The food is really good for an LBI breakfast.

DID I GET SICK (NO)

I’ve eaten here a lot and have never gotten sick. However, I only eat the omelets and potatoes which are always cooked on separate grills. I’ve never eaten the pancakes as I always deem that kind of cooking to be the riskiest. If you bring your kids here and they have an allergy, then they might want that instead so just be careful in making sure your server is fully aware of everything.

OVERALL (7.6)

The food is really good here and it is a fun, beach themed atmosphere (even with a massive pig for a mascot). They have great kitchen prep practices for gluten free eaters but the spotty service, lack of menu information and my lack of confidence in pancake cooking in general takes a toll on the overall score here. Still, I definitely recommend this place to gluten free eaters but make sure you communicate your needs very strongly to your server.