The Original Pancake House
130 Park Place
Kirkland WA 98033
Pancakes! Waffles! Omelets! Oh my!
By: Steve G
Often imitated, but never duplicated. Thats the message implied by the name of The Original Pancake House. With a menu loaded with a wide variety of pancakes from around the world, The Original Pancake House isn't afraid to make the claim that they serve up some of the best pancakes in town. To most people, the word pancakes brings to mind imagery from the most common spots: International House of Pancakes and Denny's. With a strict adherence to some of the highest quality ingredients, such as fresh grade AA eggs and AA butter (highest quality), and pure whipping cream, the original pancake house is all about freshness and quality, proving that everyone else is a pretender to the throne.
There might be a few questions that are rattling around in your head.
Where did it start? The first Original Pancake House (which sounds a bit redundant) was founded in 1953 in Portland, Oregon. Since its first opening, the restaurant has spanned three generations to become a very large franchise of over 100 locations across the U.S.
How did they get all these recipes? The Original Pancake House sent out a huge request for some of the best pancake recipes in the world and picked the best and most creative formulas to include on their menu.
You could sum up the style of the restaurant in two words: very homey. There are no flashy gimmicks or decorations. The wooden tables and chairs are as plain as can be. A few booths along the walls offer a small step up in comfort from the wooden seats, but to be honest no one cares. They are here for the pancakes. The line out the door is clear-cut proof of that.
As for the menu, it is chock full of pancakes, although they do offer up other items such as baked omelets, corned beef hash and their special recipe sausage. But lets not get off topic, the main event of the menu is the pancakes. Using our best imitation of Bubba Blue from Forrest Gump. There's buttermilk pancakes, buckwheat pancakes, potato pancakes, sourdough flap jacks, Swedish pancakes, bacon pancakes, banana pancakes, Dutch Babies, Georgia pecan pancakes, and coconut pancakes.
We settled for the Apple Waffles, Dutch Baby, Ham and Cheese Omelet, Blueberry Pancakes, and Three Little Pigs in a Blanket.
The apples waffles were served with a side of AA eggs and sausage. The key ingredient that made these waffles so great was the apples. Cut into small pieces, the Granny Smith apples were added directly to the batter before being cooked. Each bite became a small apple-filled delight, making it less of an add-on topping and more of a contributor to the overall flavor. It is definitely recommended as a dish for those who have a sweet tooth, or even those with only a semi sweet tooth.
We've never encountered a baked omelet, but after eating one at Original Pancake House, we were glad we did. Very fluffy and thick, (around 1.5-2 inches) the omelet was stuffed with hickory smoked ham and cheese and tasted great. The next time we make omelets at home, we're going to have to try baking them as well.
The blueberry pancakes are also made with the same skill. Filled with plump blueberries and dusted with powered sugar, the pancakes were satisfying, but the berry flavor didn't seem to come through too strong.
If you're looking for something a little more off-beat, the Dutch baby might be a good choice. It is made with a batter that is poured into a red-hot skillet then re-baked causing it to rise in the pan only to fall monumentally after being removed from the oven. The Dutch baby looks reminiscent of a failed souffle of sorts. The center was a custard-like experience that had copious amounts of powered sugar that could satisfy anyone's sweet tooth. The only issue with the Dutch baby is that in such a large dish, the lack of variety makes each mouthful feel very repetitive and sugar by itself can only add so much to the dish. Usually its served with fruits or other types of spices like cinnamon, but Original Pancake House serves their Dutch baby plain. The Dutch baby is great to experiment with but we recommend also getting another side dish to liven up your taste buds.
Fans of the American classic, pigs in a blanket, might find Original Pancake House's three little pigs in a blanket a good choice. Made with pork sausage links and three thick pancakes, the three little pigs in a blanket were a slight variation on the dish. The pancakes were good, but seemed to be consumed too quickly as it was rolled up around the sausage. To be honest, the meal was a little slim and those with a bigger appetite might want to opt for another side dish as the three pigs were not as supple as we expected.
Aside from the Three Little Pigs in a Blanket, the portions at Original Pancake House were massive. The Original Pancake House is a breakfast lovers dreamland. The pancake menu has a lot of variety and originality. The specialty items, such as the omelets, are exceptional. Even those with the largest appetites will be satisfied. While it might not be the most well-known in the Northwest, The Original Pancake House should be considered when looking for a superb breakfast. If you don't believe me, believe the line of patrons going out the door on weekends.
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