The Park Slope Gastronome

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Saturday, December 22, 2007

The Original Pancake House of Fort Lee

The Original Pancake House of Fort Lee takes up a corner of a typical suburban mini mall, with a Blockbuster and hair salon as its neighbors. It's a franchise with over 90 restaurants operated by individual families that shouldn't be confused with an IHOP or Denny's even though the exterior has the same type of blandness. I had breakfast with my folks here last weekend and learned the food is pretty good. The prices are a bit on the high side, though I will say the portions are large for the most part

We started off with a large glass of freshly squeezed orange juice for my dad and I to share and three cups of Royal Kona coffee. My mom went with the blueberry pancakes with a side of bacon, though she came very close to ordered the bacon pancakes. Neither my dad or I could decide on sweet or savory, so we decided to split a Meat Lover's Omelette and some banana pancakes.

The blueberry pancakes came 6 to an order with the blueberries folded into the batter while you got 8 of the banana version and the fruit was sliced atop standard buttermilk pancakes, which I've just learned while rereading the menu is the way it's described. The menu reads: "Buttermilk pancake filled with diced bananas and lightly dusted with powdered sugar." As you can see below, the bananas were just served on top.

Each pancake was approximately the size of a large cookie. They were larger than silver dollars but slightly smaller than what I'd call a typical pancake. Each order came with warm maple syrup as well as its own special sauce - blueberry compote and hot tropical syrup respectively. Both my dad are I were not into the tropical syrup. I liked the flecks of coconut, but not so much the overly sweet guava-y taste, or whatever fruit it was. The three strips of bacon on the side cost $4. Though they look a little overdone in the photo, they weren't. They still remained chewy due to the thick-cut nature.

The size of the omelet was pretty ridiculous, though you can't tell from the photo. It came stuffed with bacon, sausage, ham and cheddar cheese. As a side you can get toast or three buttermilk pancakes. We opted for whole wheat toast and also a side of home fries. Our server told us that because it's cooked in an oven, it would take a little longer. Fine we said, but what does an omelet's cooking time have to do with bringing three cups of coffee over? Towards the end of the meal he completely disappeared and no other waiter approached our area or acknowledged us. It took a good 15 minutes to get a coffee refill.

We barely made a dent in the omelet. The home fries were bland and mushy, not even as good as what any greasy diner would slop on your plate. Back in Brooklyn, DMR was able to nurse a hangover with a feast of leftover pancakes, toast, eggs and bacon. Even with that serving, a third of the omelet still wound up in the trash.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have been known to frequent the Original Pancake house in Caldwell, NJ. Way back when a friend used to work there. I have to say, if you get a chance to go back the Dutch Baby and the Apple Pancake are both freakin' amazing. I recently found one here in Portland and I can't wait to go there and indulge!

January 25, 2008 1:07 PM  
Blogger China-Latina Chowhound said...

Ann - is that you?

I used to go to the one in West Caldwell as well when I was groing up. We often went after church. I have lots of memories of being there with my dad, who is Episcopalian and NEVER goes to church (my mother and I are Catholic and went to church EVERY Sunday), so I guess he always just met us there... I loved their huge omelettes and fresh corned beef hash - yum!

January 28, 2008 8:28 PM  

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