Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Is It Really The Original Pancake House?

Walking Up to the Original Pancake House

      Our visits to The Original Pancake House were at a high when we were doing brunch every week with Kris, Karn, and Helen before they moved to Michigan.  We never had a bad experience except that Helen used to dislike the long lines that could be outside the entrance door.  The four adults looked at it as a time to visit.

It's Always A Nice Day Inside
      Flash forward a few years and Carole, Karen, and I were there for a lunch visit.  Everything looked familiar (I noted the faux painted tray ceiling) right down to some of the crew.  We looked over the menu and I remembered the fabulous Chocolate Chip Pancakes topped with
whipped cream.  It seemed a little too sweet for lunch and would probably knock me out for the afternoon so I focused on the Chicken Crepe served with four potato pancakes.  Carole chose the Eggs Benedict, also with the potato pancakes, and Karen went with the Tuna Salad Sandwich on croissant with "their own" Idaho potatoes.  I wanted to have their fantastic Hawaiian Kona Coffee but this was an impromptu visit and I couldn't allow myself another caffeine indulgence.  

Tuna Salad Sandwich
    Karen found her choice very satisfactory.  She liked the addition of diced pickles to the tuna salad.  Carole was OK with her eggs benedict (she's an expert on breakfast food as the owner of a B&B), but thought the hollandaise sauce was a bit dark and potent.  We both found the potato pancakes to be perfect!  They were light with creamy fillings and a lacy outer coating.  My chicken crepe was complemented with ripe olives and green peppers.  The sherry mushroom sauce was a little thick and gloppy (probably the roux was too thick) and the crepe could have been cooked a bit longer for my taste.  The flavor was there though with a definite note of sherry.

Eggs Benedict
Chicken Crepe
and Potato Pancakes
      As for my comment that we have never had a bad experience...the table next to us obviously was.  It was a mother and teenage daughter and the pancakes were definitely served too brown.  We're not sure what the problem was with the sandwich, but it was also sent back.  There was a lengthy explanation with the second serving and all appeared to be well taken care of. 

      So how original are they? The first restaurant dates back to 1953 in Portland, OR.  There they started with recipes collected by the owners from around the world visits and started franchising nationwide shortly thereafter.  I doubt they were the very first pancake restaurants, but they do have some clever recipes with the Dutch Baby and Apple Pancake that are of plate size.  I've only had the Dutch Baby once and they're definitely meant to share.  Those creations, and others, possessed enough originality for the first Original Pancake House to be the recipient of the James Beard Foundation Award as an American Classic.

Original Pancake House on Urbanspoon

Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day.  I think I like it because I get to go outside afterwards...well, most days anyway.

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