Friday, June 10, 2005

The Original Pancake House

There several well known maxims that one should follow, "Never eat at a place called Mom's and don't play poker with a guy named Doc." Well, I would add, "Don't eat in a place that calls itself The Original." Like Dandelion, which we had visited the night before, The Original Pancake House was taking over a building that had sat vacant for a good amount of time - the restaurant McGrath's (not sure of the name but the place would have had skyrocketing Blue Wig scores...) had closed a couple of years ago. When I heard that something associated with breakfast food was going to renovate the place I was very glad.

You see, I've always loved breakfast. French toast, bacon, scrambled eggs, bacon, pancakes, sausage, bacon, hash browns, Denny's skillets, and bacon are all great things. And I like bacon as well. The benefit of going to church as a teenager with my Mom was that we would go to Perkins afterwards. She knew how to bribe appropriately. In my college years, there was the Hamburg Inn No. 2 where I would have the Reuben Omelet (better than you think!) with home fries. When I worked on the soul bereft east side of Seattle, a little outpost of reality was preserved at Chace's Pancake Corral where the hash brown omelette with tabasco sauce and a side of sour cream made my stomach roar with pleasure.

But there wasn't a place in Ballard that had captured my breakfast buds. Sadly, this place ain't it. The place seems rickety when you walk in, like it still has some remodelling or finishing to be done. Even though there it seemed like they weren't too busy, we still waited a few minutes for a table - apparently on some weekends there are half hour waits.

The room itself has the ambience of a summer camp cafeteria. I was a bit disappointed in not having many "skillet" or omelette choices, but this is a pancake house. I settled on something called like "Larry's special" which was supposed to be a sausage, egg and potato scramble. Well, it was a huge plate of bland nothingness which I had to put a lot of tabasco on to get down. However, the pancakes were about the best I've ever had, along with great maple syrup. My wife's swedish pancakes were very good as well but she could see that it wouldn't be enough food so she ordered some bacon. It came promptly, but the waiter was in a hurry and tripped and it fell all over our table. He came back a few moments later, with, I suspect, the same bacon (but maybe not, restaurants always have piles of bacon ready to serve...).

We were followed yet again by menu dopplegangers. The frat boys at the table next to us ordered Larry's hash thingy and Swedish Pancakes as well. Now that was really, really, really weird. At Dandelion the night before, there are only a few entrees, so two tables ordering the exact same things isn't too weird. But The Original Pancake House has a huge menu. The odds of two tables in two straight visits having the exact same entrees are very slim. I think I'm being followed by the undercover Ballard restaurant police.

Clientele
4 Hard Hats
2 Blue Wigs
1 Hipster
1 Cellphone

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