Saturday, July 9, 2011

Local Diner Makes Good...Pancakes

Original Pancake House's chocolate chip pancakes: it looks
like a lot, but trust me, it goes fast! (Photo by dajobe)
I've always heard it said that when looking for a new restaurant to check out, a long line out the door is always a good sign.

I can believe the statement, but being a bit of a peoplephobe, I tend to feel a little crazy when packed like a sardine in stores, movie theaters, or restaurants. I think in another life I was a hermit or something.

So imagine my dismay when I visited the Original Pancake House in Aliso Viejo and saw a plague of people spilling outside. It was both nauseating and intriguing, and I ventured on, determined to find out why my friend recommended this place.
Original Pancake House: it only looks empty from the street.
Inside it is teeming with hungry breakfast enthusiasts.
(Photo from Yahoo Local)

It's kinda like a Denny's or IHOP, except on a much more modest scale. Besides pancakes, they offer crepes, waffles, and omelets, among the other traditional breakfast foods. In fact, the keyword for me about this place would be "traditional" - a straight up, no frills, no fusion menu of standard breakfast items. Even their more adventurous pancakes, like Georgia Pecan, Hawaiian, or Bacon are made from ingredients that are common in American cooking.

However, for those seeking a little adventure, I suggest their crepes, which are described as being inspired from Swedish, Danish and even Tahitian ingredients.

As for the quality? I've gone twice, and it's always been fresh and delicious. The service was excellent and fast! I was laughing with my friend that it took longer to be seated than it did to be served. But as I bit into my Cherry Kijafa Crepes (crepes covered with Montmorency cherries simmered in Kijafa sauce) it was SO worth it. I went old-school and had it with coffee, which was hot, tasty and endless! Their free refills enabled this caffeine addict to leave satisfied, if not shaky and happily jittery.

Based on what I read about it in Yelp, I wasn't the only one who liked the place; it received four out of five stars (out of a total of 200 reviews).

My final assessment of the place is that yes, there is a long wait, just be prepared for it. Make sure you go with someone you like chatting with. Also, bear in mind that the parking can be troublesome too, since the plaza where the restaurant is located can barely accommodate all of us pancake chasers. The place closes early (I think around 2 p.m., but I suggest you call and confirm) and I noticed that around 12:30 it looked like the rush had ended, so you might want to experiment with what time you decide to go.

Original Pancake House
26951 Moulton Parkway, Aliso Viejo
(949) 643-8591

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