Anyone who has been following TE since its Angelfire days or bothered to read through the archives will know that I have a certain fondness for pancakes. Well, I suppose I haven’t written about them all that often, but I very frequently reblog suggestions to read this article. For me, that’s good enough justification for my opening sentence.
Yesterday, as a combined celebration of Father’s Day and my mom’s XXth birthday, the family went out to The Original Pancake House for a (very) late lunch. Now, I’ve been to one Pancake House location many times, and it’s not really anything to write home about. But for this occasion we drove all the way across the city to the much bigger and newer location that I had never even seen previously.
In retrospect, it’s not really that much more impressive than your average sit-down restaurant, but at the time I was very much wowed by its size and fanciness. Also there’s a tiny gift shop at the entrance which is weird on its own, even moreso because it didn’t seem to sell any pancake-related goods.
The big downside to this particular establishment is that their menu is absolutely massive. Pages and pages and pages of choices. I strongly agree with the theory that a good restaurant has a smaller menu that focuses on a number of specialty dishes. The Original Pancake House has more entrée options than the friggin’ Olive Garden. It took me forever to finally make a choice, because I kinda felt like an omelette, but also those blintzes looked delicious, and a nice Belgian waffle is always great. Oh, and then all the other things on the menu. Augh!
I finally settled on the same thing that I always get at the Original Pancake House: triple berry pancakes with a side of turkey bacon. It’s not very adventurous, no, but I really doubt that I could be so satisfied with anything else. You’ve got raspberries, strawberries, and blueberries all swirled up in a generous helping of whipped cream, laid on a huge bed of six pancakes. It’s basically the perfect meal. I mean, at least for me, because I love berries. And pancakes. The turkey bacon is always a little disappointing, but there has to be a tradeoff for being able to eat bacon and not having to feel bad about it afterward. Maybe one day I’ll get used to it.
I did not take a photo of my meal. Sorry. Taking pictures of my food has lost all of its appeal now that everyone does it every day. Instagram, I hate you more than you could ever know.
Anyway, the meal was delicious and the service was adequate (the “how were the first few bites?” visit came as I was taking my last bite). However, I felt that while the building and décor were very fancy and new, the chairs seemed a little lacking. They were passable, sure, but I don’t know… I guess they could have been a little nicer. They were so bog-standard in a place that seemed like it wanted to be more than the average dining establishment. But hey, if that’s the worst thing I have to say about the place, I think that’s pretty good! Oh, no, wait. I complained about the too-big menu as well. You mileage may vary on that one.
So yes, I would give the McGillivray Original Pancake House my official seal of approval. While it’s a bit of a drive, and it doesn’t have quite the same “this has been here forever” character that the one at The Forks does. But that’s to be expected, since it’s considerably newer, and I’m perfectly fine with that. I don’t see myself making the drive out there again any time soon, because I don’t normally do sit-in dining, but I’ll be perfectly pleased if it’s picked to be the place of another family gathering.