The Original Pancake House
Normally, we do not write about chain, corporate or franchise food establishments. We occasionally dine at these places, but instead prefer to give our business to local chefs and owners who reside in the Cleveland area. When a chain restaurant moves into a community, the corporate food people usually send one of the experts to the new location to train and assist in the food preparation. For example, when Maggiano’s first moved into Beachwood Place, the food was tremendous. We went a number of times. After about three months, the quality slipped to its normal passable version. The same occurred when Bravo and Bahamas Breeze opened in Woodmere. Good, good food at first and then a slip into what becomes the norm. We no longer frequent any of these places.
Today, we’ll break our self-imposed rule, because after many years and numerous visits to the Woodmere location of The Original Pancake House, the food is still remarkable.
Since opening, we have tried a number of the options, but like so many places with a consistent menu, we have adopted favorites and have stuck by them. Jeff finds it near impossible to order anything, other than the Dutch Baby. It is like no other breakfast food you’ve had. The “baby” is a thin, rich layer that is curled up at the perimeter, which is baked crispy. Rather than gooey syrup, fresh lemons, butter and powdered sugar are served. Jeff advises using ALL three. Squeeze a lemon across the open top of the whole, wipe the butter (don’t forget the crispy ends) and then gently tap some of the powder sugar over the lot. The tangy lemon and sweet, sweet sugar mix with the butter and the “baby” for an exceptional breakfast treat. Michele likewise has trouble moving beyond a favorite. Hers is the Georgia Pecan Pancakes. Like all of the pancakes we’ve tried, they are light and fluffy with this version filled with toasted pecans. A smattering of pecans is also spread around the top. Served with whipped butter and citrus based warm tropical syrup, they are gone in a flash. Recently, she found they offer a small portion and that has removed some leftovers from our refrigerator that Jeff usually finished off. We’re not so certain how Jeff feels about that decision.
If we have one complaint about the place, it is the coffee. It tastes like something this place has avoided since opening, corporate. If it was better, you’d assume this was a chef-owned and spouse managed little place run by a couple of Cleveland natives. How ever this management team has accomplished this feat, let’s hope they can continue. This is one franchise we’ll frequent again and again.
http://www.originalpancakehouse.com/ 28700 Chagrin Boulevard Woodmere, OH 216-292-7777