Hotcakes, flapjacks, griddle cakes, crepes, latkes, short stacks, batter cakes, silver dollars, Dutch babies, blankets, cakes, johnnycakes. Whatever term you call them, pancakes are a staple across many cultures. And they are delightfully delicious. I love pancakes. I love them. You can keep your waffles, I’ll take the pancakes please. I have made pancakes from scratch a dozen times. I use a recipe from my first cookbook and they come out good, but I do jazz them up a bit.
But, no matter how many times I make and remake and test other from scratch recipes, they just can’t compare with Bisquik. The texture, the crustiness, the melt-in-your mouth flavor. They are perfect every time.
Random mid-post update– The new issue of Food Network Magazine was delivered as I was typing. Look what was on the cover! Freaky…
My love of pancakes stems from my Dad’s love for them. Sometimes I think Sunday drives were an excuse for my Dad to find a new pancake place. I make them for breakfast, lunch, dinner. I eat them right out of the pan standing at the stove as I cook the rest of the batch. I top them with Mrs. Buttersworth. Sometimes I add a side a bacon so they don’t get lonely on the plate. But, as accessible as pancakes are, it is hard to find a good one. But, fear not my fellow flapjack lovers! I went on a multi-state quest to seek out the best I could find.
Let’s start the tour by crossing the Brooklyn Bridge. A few months back I wrote about Bubby’s and their delicious banana walnut pancakes. They were so good, it was necessary for them to show up again.
Next stop is for my dear friend Toni. She loves Lemon Ricotta pancakes and found great ones at Sarabeth’s.
Moving out of New York, let’s head to New Jersey. There are two places, at opposite ends of the state that make the best pancakes. The first, a Jersey City favorite, is the Brownstone Diner & Pancake Factory.
One Saturday morning, my sister Katina and I trekked across the Hudson, walked a few blocks from the Path station and were met with the warmest greeting and nicest people you could ever meet. And then, we tasted the house specialty. There is a reason Guy Fieri visited here on Triple D. I ordered the Old Fashion Buttermilk Pancakes with bacon, Katina got them with sausage and we did a meat split and switch. Not realizing how massive the pancakes would be (we could barely make it through two!) we ordered grits to split. They were perfectly fine, but nowhere near the level of the superior pancakes.
Down the coast a few hours are the South Jersey Shore towns of Cape May, Ocean City and Avalon just to name a few. Not the towns you see portrayed on a show of the same name. These are quaint, family towns. The places where I vacationed every Summer as a kid. The best pancakes in this region? Uncle Bill’s Pancake House. I remember the first time I had them. I ordered Chocolate Peanut Butter pancakes. I can still taste the creamy peanut butter mixing with the melting chocolate. Mmm…delicious!
For my final pancake stop, we’re headed to my home state, Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania is know for a lot of food items, the Philly cheesesteak, scrapple, pretzels, chocolate, Primanti’s. But, nestled in Bellefonte, Centre County, is The Waffle Shop. I had to dig around a little for information about this one because when I was an undergrad at Penn State, The Waffle Shop in State College and Bellfonte were run by the same owners. That changed in 2004, but thank goodness the pancake recipe didn’t seem to change. The yellow color is not a problem with your screen. The pancakes are eggy, fluffy, delicious even without a lick of syrup on them. And I indulged a lot and ordered them with pecans. The toasted, sweet Southern nuts were studded throughout the thick fluffy cakes turning them into breakfast bliss.
Now that we filled ourselves with pancakes, why don’t you tell me what your favorite place to eat them are or what kind of topping you like. Leave a comment or email me at dishinwithdaisy at gmail dot com.