Sometimes, you get a craving pancakes for breakfast, plain and simple. If you're a regular reader of our breakfast adventures, you've probably noted that we always have either hash brown, or home style potatoes with breakfast, and we rarely, if ever, order pancakes. Yet, variety is the spice of life, and even we occasionally like to break out of our mold.
Photo: The Original Pancake House is located in an upscale, attractive strip mall, in a new section of West Roseville.
Not too many mornings ago, core breakfast club members Dan and Bev were on shopping expedition at a major home improvement warehouse store, and noticed The Original Pancake House across the street, and upon closer examination, they noticed that the restaurant was only open in the morning and early afternoon, the restaurant specializes in pancakes (duh!), and they only serve breakfast entrees. Wow! Eureka! Like the true breakfast afectionados they are, Dan and Bev rushed into Pancake House, like lemmings into the sea... and the rest is history. Naturally when Dan returned to work, he told the sweet tale of pancake nirvana to the members of The Sacramento Breakfast Club, and that's all we needed to make a date to visit The Original Pancake House.
The Original Pancake House is not the sort of restaurant that we normally visit for two reasons:
It's a chain of 90 restaurants coast-to-coast, and we normally
avoid chain restaurants
However, sometimes you crave a delicious pancake, and sometimes, it behooves you to shatter the mold. Such was our mission on Friday, August 22, 2008, as The Sacramento Breakfast Club paid a visit to The Original Pancake House.
The Original Pancake House is located in a very new, upscale, strip mall, in northwest Roseville, just off busy Highway 65, in a neighborhood festooned with big-box stores. True, Original Pancake House is a chain of restaurants, but each restaurant is a franchise, and although the menu is standardized, each restaurant is physically very different, so your visit isn't just a cookie-cutter experience. The strip mall in which the restaurant is located is very modern, clean and beautifully landscaped. West Roseville is very new, modern and upscale, and the infrastructure reflects the affluence of the area.
Photo: Why does Dan have to stand near the center, and sully this otherwise fine photo? Note to the left of my friend Dan, you can see the centerpiece of the dining room, the fireplace. Note how busy the restaurant is at 0930 on Friday, August 22, 2008, and the beautiful, clean, modern decor of the dining room.
The decor of Original Pancake House, in a word, is beautiful. The walls are paneled with real, knotty pine, which extends about two-thirds up the wall; above the waistcoat, the walls are covered with attractive pin-striped, pastel colored, wall paper. Shelves are fastened to the top of the paneling, and plates decorate the shelves. There is no breakfast counter. In the center of the restaurant, against a wall, is a real fireplace, that's constructed of river rocks, but on this hot August morning, it wasn't lit. There are two large windows looking into the huge, ultra-clean and modern kitchen, where you can observe the activities of the kitchen personnel. There are many window that extend from floor to ceiling, which allows the dining room to be mostly illuminated by natural lighting, which is sure to please the green team. The dining room is very well-lit, yet quite subdued. Did I mention that the dining room is spotlessly clean and perfectly maintained?
We had the pleasure of being seated at a table for six by Andrea, our waitress, who is a attractive and pleasant young lady. Silverware, coffee cups and menus were already placed on the table. We ordered coffee, and started to explore the menu.
The Original Pancake House is open on weekdays from 6:30 to 2:30, and on weekends from 7:00 to 3:00, and they only serve breakfast, and that what their menu is about: breakfast, and breakfast only. Don't look for burgers, fries, salads, or anything that's not breakfast, as lunch isn't on the menu. Another surprise, don't look for such breakfast favorites as biscuits and gravy, chicken fried steak, or hash brown potatoes, as Original Pancake House specializes in pancakes, as their name implies. Their menu includes about 20 varieties of pancakes, waffles, omelets, crepes, egg specialty dishes, and healthy breakfast choices such as seasonal fresh fruit, various fresh-squeezed juices and cereal. Most items on the menu feature a stack of three, tortilla-sized, buttermilk pancakes. The menu features an array of two full pages of choices, and each entree appears to be soooooooo delicious... so where do you start?
Photo: Andrea hands Dan his perfectly prepared breakfast of Eggs Benedict.
Naturally I introduced myself to Andrea, and told her about The Sacramento Breakfast Club, our mission, and our Internet activities. After she took our orders, Steve, the manager came over to greet us, and I took the opportunity to pepper him with questions about the restaurant. He seemed interested in my Internet activities, and in conversation with him, I learned that the restaurant opened in September, 2005, which surprised me, as the dining room appears to be brand-new, and that the men's restroom was out of order. It seems the day before a "customer" somehow made away with brass fixtures from the restroom, which rendered the restroom useless. They knew who the culprit is, and Steve feels its only a matter of time until the Roseville Police Department catches this guy...
If you like coffee, you've come to the right place, as The Original Pancake House serves some of the most delicious coffee that we've had the pleasure to enjoy. Coffee is served in a large cup on a saucer, which is something of a rarity in 2008, and your coffee cup is bottomless, as it never seems to become less than half full.
Photo: Core male members of The Sacramento Breakfast Club, appear, from left to right, Dan MacLeod, Mark MacIntire, David Demario, Brad Holther, and your author and web master, Eric Rench. In the center background of the photo, Andrea shows off her company t-shirt, which is the uniform of the day, along with khaki slacks.
It took Andrea several trips to bring our orders to the table, as the main entree, e.g. eggs and meat, is served on a large platter, and a plate of pancakes is served on the side, on a smaller plate. Our orders arrived fresh, hot and in a very timely manner. At first we wondered what was going on, as there was no maple syrup on the table; how can you eat buttermilk pancakes without maple syrup? Not to worry, as Andrea dazzled and amazed us by placing small dishes of whipped butter and jars of hot-from-the-kitchen maple syrup on the table, which made for a very nice touch.
The food arrived fresh, hot, cooked to order, with an attractive presentation. The portions aren't enormous, but they seem to be "just right," and present a very good value. You won't go away hungry, but unless you're Paul Bunyon, you won't go away stuffed, but you'll leave with a smile on your face, and you'll rave to your friends and family about the delicious breakfast you enjoyed. Or maybe you'll post your experience on your web site...
Photo: My breakfast of eggs over easy, Canadian bacon, delicious coffee, and a stack of three buttermilk pancakes on the side. When this photo was taken, I hadn't applied butter or maple syrup to my stack of pancakes.
Everybody ordered a different entree from the menu, but all of ordered an egg dish, with a stack of three 6" buttermilk pancakes on the side. In my case, I ordered eggs over easy with Canadian bacon, with the stack of pancakes on the side. For me, this breakfast was very significant, as I haven't enjoyed Canadian bacon, or buttermilk pancakes in a restaurant for as long as I can remember.
Surprise! As we were working on our meals, unannounced, unexpected, and on the house, Andrea brought a Dutch Baby to our table. What is a Dutch Baby? It's sort of a cross between a pancake and a pastry, and its served with whipped butter, lemon juice, lightly coated with powdered sugar, and in a single word, it's delicious. Andrea applied the fresh condiments to it before our eyes, and thanked me in advance for publishing this breakfast adventure on the Internet. Journalism does have its perks!
Photo: My friend Dan makes our waitress, Andrea giggle... darn, what is it with this guy? ... as this over-the-hill, Cold War, Air Force veteran warrior, still seems to know what to say to women to make them laugh, smile, and feel really special. Andrea squeezes fresh lemon juice onto the unexpected and complent-of-the-house Dutch Baby pancake/waffle combination dish that she has just brought to our table. Does this lady really have to put up with Dan's antics? She is so professional and tolerant... geez!!
The Original Pancake House, is attractive, comfortable, and seems to have carved out a niche for itself with their menu full of different, creative, and interesting breakfast entrees. We loved the service, the beautiful decor, our friendly waitress Andrea, and most of all, the delicious food.
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