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 V.21 No.37 | September 13 - 19, 2012 

The Mouthful

Scratching the Hotcake Itch

Perfection on a plate?
Perfection on a plate?

Although many local restaurants offer pancakes on their breakfast menus, really good ones are few and far between. You often might be better off sticking to a plate of huevos rancheros for your weekend brunch needs. But for those times when you desperately crave a stack of fluffy, golden brown flapjacks swimming in butter and syrup, here are three local joints that will satisfy the urge.

Slate Street Café, 515 Slate NW

For those times when you desperately crave a stack of fluffy, golden brown flapjacks swimming in butter and syrup, here are three local joints that will satisfy the urge.

Definitely an upmarket atmosphere, but for a pancake connoisseur, it’s hard to beat Slate Street’s buttermilk hotcakes. On the weekends, the brunch menu replaces the traditional variety with a Dutch oven-baked pancake topped by forest berry compote. But never fear, you can still ask your server for a regular old short or tall stack with a side of real maple syrup. And bacon. Do not forget the bacon.

Sophia’s Place, 6313 Fourth Street NW

They’ve only got them on the weekends, but oh Lord, does this tiny little North Valley restaurant know how to do it right. The blue corn pancakes with piñon butter are a justly renowned specialty. Eating a plate of them on Sophia’s patio in the early fall while sipping strong coffee is just about as close to paradise as you’re going to get, at least through the medium of breakfast foods. Be warned, though: Sophia’s is as famous for its Saturday morning crowds as it is for its food, so make sure you either get there early or aren’t in a hurry.

Mannie’s Family Restaurant, 2900 Central Avenue SE

Everybody knows that pancakes are closest to their Platonic ideal in a real, honest-to-goodness greasy spoon. True, Mannie’s goal isn’t gourmet, but when you need a plate of no-frills griddlecakes of the quintessential American diner variety, head to the corner of Girard and Central. I recommend the No. 8 breakfast, which offers one egg, bacon or sausage (go for the bacon), and two pancakes for the unreal price of $4.95.

 
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