Bacon pancakes at Original Pancake House.
TNT Diner reader Heather e-mailed me asking me about the new Original Pancake House on Meridian in Puyallup. I dutifully went to research pancakes and found a great discovery - bacon pancakes. It's an efficient and tasty way to eat breakfast - bacon and flapjacks all in one vessel. What's not to like?
The Original Pancake House, a Portland-based chain, also has about 15 other kinds of pancakes besides bacon: Banana, coconut, potato, blueberry, buckwheat, sourdough, corn, wheat germ, granola, Georgia pecan, Hawaiian pineapple, blueberry, chocolate chip and the classic pigs in a blanket. And there's a lot more breakfast on the menu - in fact, that's all they serve.
The Original Pancake House is a small chain with only three locations in Washington – the other two in Kirkland and Seattle. The South Hill franchise was opened June 29 by Blake Williams and Ryan Medford. Williams previously worked in management at a Salem Original Pancake House. This is the first restaurant for both partners.
Medford told me the emphasis on scratch-made food and the micro niche of serving breakfast, and only breakfast, drew the two to open a franchise of the small national chain. They're only open from 6 a.m.-2 p.m. daily. The menu is flapjack focused, but diners also will find crepes, omelets and waffles, along with a few other specialties like Dutch Babies and apple pancakes.
The bacon pancakes ($8.25) were my pick from the flapjack menu and they were a delicious pile of six fluffy buttermilk pancakes loaded with chunky bits of smoky, thick bacon. I appreciated the tangy taste of house-made batter (it takes three days to make the buttermilk batter made with a starter, Medford told me). They're served with a warm pitcher of house-made maple syrup. They import the maple and blend it with sugars on a kettle in the kitchen every morning, Medford told me after my visit. I don't know if I appreciated the nuance of that, it tasted a bit too sugary for my palate (I prefer savory and flavorful to sweet in my breakfast food). The chocolate chip pancakes ($7.75) were the same fluffy buttermilk cakes loaded with Ghiradelli chocolate chips. Like their bacon siblings, they had a buttermilk tang. Pancakes come without meat or egg partners here – $7-$8 for a plate of cakes might be a tough deal to swallow for breakfast in a time when diners are looking for bargains. The cakes on their own can be filling, but I like more protein with my breakfast. A side of four sausage links will run you $4.25. You've been warned.
A better, more filling bargain might be sausage and eggs with a choice of hashbrowns or pancakes at a cost of $8.50. It was a pretty straightforward sausage patty with eggs over medium, but with one problem: the hashbrowns were crunchy undercooked and had an off, bitter flavor, presumably from the grill. The hashbrowns are chunks of potatoes with no onion or peppers add-ins – they're just straight chunks of grilled potatoes.
Bargain eating tip: Order an omelet and a specialty plate of pancakes for three people to share. The omelets are large, football-esque baked concoctions and looked pretty impressive. Provided there isn't a plate sharing charge, this seems an economical option.
Original Pancake House
Where: 16116 Meridian E., Puyallup
Hours: 6 a.m.-2 p.m. daily