If you’re the kind of person who likes to go to places that have “original” in their name, thinking that this is the first one of it’s kind, you will be disappointed to know that there are many “Original” Pancake House locations all over the United States, and the original, original one is in Portland. On the other hand, you’ll get a hearty flavorful breakfast here and may find satisfaction in just having participated in the great tradition of Original Pancake Houses. Adjust your expectations accordingly and read on.
We headed here from Van Nuys, California…about an hour drive on a Saturday morning, with the intention of eating here, heading over to the micro-kid friendly amusement park Adventure City (just a few minutes away) and then continuing on down to San Diego to spend the rest of the weekend with visiting family. We arrived at 12:45 pm and found the place super-crowded. It was at least a half-hour wait for us. We were hungry but it was a good sign.
The menu was a pancake lovers dream…so many kinds/combinations to cheese from with a number of crepe options as well and potato pancakes too! We ordered coffee, the “Dutch” with a side of hash-browns and an order of straight up buttermilk pancakes.
Our first cup of coffee was definitely not strong enough. We noticed it was Farmer’s brand which is served at Nat’s Early Bite in Sherman Oaks and always comes out there very strong and satisfying…they brewed a new pot for us which tasted better but we were left wondering what the norm was. If you like coffee you can taste, make sure to ask them to brew it strong.
With a little bit of coffee in is we began to notice the surroundings…this was not a particularly nice place…there was gum under our table and a quick glance around showed us gum under several other table topes. Not so great to see while just sitting at our table. Also, the Half and Half for the coffee, which was already at the table when we arrived, looked like it had been there for a while with a little bit of a congealed layer on top. OK, so not a great start, but the place was packed and we were hungry.
So the food…the Dutch Baby is a large crepe-like pancake which comes out like a bowl…it’s served with powdered sugar, whipped butter and lemon. It’s really good! And really large. They do have a smaller version of it called the “Dutch Baby” which would have probably been sufficient especially if you’re getting something else with it.
The hash-browns were excellent. Served in a perfect round on their own plate…a very healthy portion (well, “healthy” as in it will fill you up…I suppose oil-fried hash-browns are not actually all that healthy…) that was perfectly crispy on the outside and fully cooked on the inside. (How many times have you eaten hash-browns that are crispy on the outside and underdone on the inside….not here my friends…not here!) Maybe slightly too greasy on the inside but if you’re a fried potato aficionado, you must try the hash-browns here at least once in your life.
The actual pancakes were okay, Addie thought they were a little floury and felt like she’s tasted better elsewhere.
Our server was VERY friendly and the food came fast. We’d read some previous reviews about unfriendly service and feeling rushed…wasn’t our experience.
If we lived closer to one of the may “Original” Pancake House Locations we’d definitely be regulars to try some of their other pancake creations…such as the “Tahitian Maiden’s Dream” or the “Danish Jijafa Cherry Crepes” (full descriptions on their website….but the one that looked absolutely insane was the Apple Pancake…the menu says to allow thirty minutes for them to prepare this, but we saw one come out…an entire plate full…oven baked with granny smith apples and a “Sinkiang” cinnamon glaze…at least three inches tall. It was clear this dish would allow you to get all of your eating for the day done in one sitting.
We definitely wish we could go back…and that before we did, they’d clean the gum out from under the tables. You won’t leave hungry or unhappy.
The Original Pancake House
Multiple locations throughout the U.S.
1418 East Lincoln Avenue
Anaheim, California 92805