If I want pancakes, I know where I’m going: The Original Pancake House in South Hill.
With more than 15 kinds of pancakes on the menu, I can’t think of another restaurant here that has that kind of variety, and dedication to the good ol' flapjack.
This is pancake nirvana, look at the choices: bacon, banana, coconut, apple, 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. They specialize in oversized omelets that can best be described as “footballesque.” The menu also lists specialties like the Dutch Baby, and crepes, too.
My pancake choice for my most recent visit was the Georgia pecan cakes ($8.25). Six fluffy cakes came loaded and sprinkled with pecans. The syrup on the side was called “tropical,” but mostly it tasted like a syrupy, sugary interpretation of marmalade. The cakes were deliciously satisfying and I liked the flavor play between the nutty cakes and the concentrated orange syrup, but I just wish the syrup had been just a touch less sweet.
For kids: chocolate chip pancakes and pigs in a blanket are the meals of choice. This is a great place to bring kids. Kids are doted upon.
Last year when I first stopped in at the South Hill restaurant, I gravitated straight for the bacon pancakes. An overloaded plate was stacked with six large cakes ($8.25). Embedded in the pancakes were thick, chewy bits of bacon. What a great idea – no need to clutter the plate, just tuck the bacon inside.
The bacon cakes came with maple syrup, which they make in house. When I interviewed owner Ryan Medford last year, he told me they make the syrup in house by importing the maple and blending it with sugars. Like the tropical syrup with the pecan cakes, I found the maple syrup too sweet, but it may not bother your palate.
If I could change one thing about the Original Pancake House, it would be to give diners more choices in creating customized breakfasts. Pancakes come solo and are $7-$8 for a plate of cakes, sans eggs, breakfast meats or hash browns. It’s just – a lot of pancakes. If you’re a big cake fan, then that might sit well with you. I found after half a plate, I was just full of carbs. I like a side of protein with my breakfast. I wish the menu offered half orders of all the flavors of pancakes, with substitutions of eggs or breakfast meats.
In navigating the menu, I’d suggest if dining with a group, order one plate of pancakes to share, then order eggs and breakfast meat and hashbrowns to go with. Beware of the upcharges, meat and potatoes on the side can cost around $4 each. It can turn breakfast easily into a $11 or $13 per person affair.
The Original Pancake House is a small chain with only three locations in Washington – the other two in Kirkland and Seattle.
Original Pancake HouseWhere: 16116 Meridian E., PuyallupHours: 6 a.m.-2 p.m. daily Call: 253-604-0791Website here