Thursday, March 15, 2012

Eggs Michael at The Original Pancake House

An early morning errand in the posh Gold Coast neighborhood afforded me a look at where the elite meet to shop and eat. In the midst of these environs sits a small one-story building on E. Bellevue where The Original Pancake House does business. At the time I thought it was a local chain restaurant but have since learned that it had started in Portland, Oregon in 1953, and has since expanded to over 100 locations across the country, none of which reside in Iowa.

At this particular franchise, the interior was confined but cozy, the staff was friendly, and tables and chairs were crafted from solid, dark-stained wood. Seated I peruse the menu. Not being particularly fond of either pancakes or waffles, I chose a unique Benedict specialty called Eggs Michael: a split and toasted English muffin with two grilled sausage patties, two poached eggs, topped with a mushroom sherry sauce, served with a trio of potato pancakes with small sides of applesauce and sour cream.

The mushroom sherry sauce was a delicious alternative to Hollandaise, boasting a similar brightness. The yolk was a little runnier than I prefer – medium – but the whites were firm. The pancakes were potatoey enough for my savory preferences, with a light crisp on the exterior. On a lark I ordered a side of the house salsa. Zesty, with wee crunchy bits of onion and jalapeño it was excellent on the pancakes with a dollop of sour cream.

Given a choice between The Original Pancake House, and IHOP, the 800-pound gorilla of pancake franchises, I'd pass on IHOP every time. Throw Waffle House in the mix? It's hard to pass up on cheese grits or hash browns covered in chili, but I'm willing to give it a go.

Original Pancake House on Urbanspoon

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