The Original Pancake House
Kim: “Tom…Tom, wake up!”
Kim: “Do you want to go for breakfast?”
Tom, racing upstairs zipping my hoodie: “I’M READY!”
A Thursday morning couldn’t have started any better than this enticing offer. I was easily convinced to get breakfast out this morning by my roomie, Kim; and what a good choice, as if there was one to make. I’ll take this moment to tell all the businesses out there that if you’ve ever questioned the monetary return on that investment in advertising a small one by two inch coupon in the Pennysaver, it works!
We headed out to The Original Pancake House, easily confused with IHOP, but different in a less international more original way. It almost demands saying the whole name because one, OPH is awkward, and two, flashbacks of Naughty by Nature, you down? roll into my mind. I know this blog is all about promoting the local culture and standing up for the small one-of-a-kind places, but… I feel like there’s a lot to appreciate in any dining experience, chain or local. So there’s my validation, everyone who works there probably lives in Pittsburgh and our server, Frank, was no less than awesome! (Ask for him, he offers compliments to pretty ladies) They have two locations in Pittsburgh one on McKnight Road and the other, where we ended up, in Scott Township on Swallow Hill Road.
Tom: “Whoa, do these people not know how to exit a parking lot?”
Kim: “Calm down, we’ll…oh $h!t!”
Tom: “It’s cool,” as I drive over the curb to ensure a sweet front row spot to the bacon show.
The menu is simple and complex: simple as in written in English and has anything you could want, complex, though, in the decision making. As he dropped off our coffees Frank joked, “I bowled a three hundred and one last night!” Kim looked on in amazement, while I donned a puzzled woke-up-20 minutes-ago face. Smiling, he finished, “Did you ever bowl a 300 and lose?” We asked Frank to help us choose and he immediately asked if we’ve ever been here. As we were answering “No” he was already pointing to the bright yellow box in the top left corner of the menu. “This is a must if you’ve never been here: the apple pancake.”
Sold. –Our famous one of a kind specialty that everyone loves! With fresh Granny Smith apples, oven baked and bubbling with goodness, with pure Sinkiang cinnamon glaze- Attentive to the extra cooking time, he left to place that order while we decided on something else for our traditional “halfsies” meal.
Carbs and loads of sugar, check; let’s get something eggy. Six-egg soufflé style omelettes with choices like Greek, Polish, Steak, Western, Vegetarian, Feta Spinach & Sundried Tomato; there’s something for everyone. I’m feeling Polish, I thought (I feel that way a lot, thanks Pap). Kielbasa, green peppers and mushrooms: score!
Frank’s back to get the other half of the order, but not before another quick one. ”I had a dream I was a muffler last night.”
Tom: “Oh yeah…”
Frank: “I’m pretty exhausted today!”
Kim also ordered an OJ and we found out it was freshly squeezed. Where are we… Heaven?
Pretty much everything comes with a side of buttermilk pancakes, but, BUT, I recommend dropping the extra $ and subbing in one of their specialty pancakes. Swedish, Bacon, Coconut, Pecan, Cinnamon Peach, they even have pancakes wrapped around sausage links! Umm, so if you don’t know me you wouldn’t be able to see time slow down and my eyes glaze over when I caught wind of the bacon pancakes. This is tricky, it could be Bacon Bits in the batter or it could be done up right with some real deal pork belly. (It’s the latter, so start your engines and get over there)
An-tici-pa-tion. Here it comes, all three giant plates and two more to divvy up the goods. My mantra, “So what if people stare, it’s gonna taste amazing.” And so the eating began, I’ve got to say everything was prepared perfectly and timing was impeccable. I felt like it was my birthday and they were going to sing and clap when that apple pancake came to the table! B-T-dubs, get it with French Vanilla Ice Cream when you’ve got dessert on the mind, that cinnamon sauce just oozed on the plate and would be stellar on top. Although it was “called” a pancake, it was way more cake than pan. Oh, and those bacon pancakes, I’ve just found a replacement for that death-row last meal of my Mom’s turkey, mashed potatoes, and filling sans celery!
If you go, they are open seven days a week from 7AM to 3PM at both locations. Portions are pretty large so come hungry; we did end up taking a reasonable third portion home with us and Frank’s last joke…
“A husband and wife woke up to a phone call late at night.
He answered and responded, ‘How should I know I’m hundreds of miles away?’ then hung up the phone.
As he was laying down she asked, ‘Hunny, who was that?’
The husband responded, ‘No idea, he wanted to know if the coast was clear.’”
*** We at eatPGH.com see the value in providing the fine folks of Pittsburgh plenty of voices when it comes to reviewing the foodie fare around town. We graciously allow those with equally temperamental taste buds such as ours to post their enthusiastic comments and yes, sometimes-enthusiastic critiques, using eatPGH as their megaphone. We know, we know… how kind of us! This post was brought to you by Lucky Guest Blogger, Tom McGraw. He’s been chillin’ in PGH for about 6 years and is not afraid to drive quite a distance for good food. Tom loves bacon and other breakfast meats. Follow his inconsistent tweets @brunchmunchies for some helpful hints on brunch hot spots in Pittsburgh and recipes and photos of brunch related stuff & things.