How do you feel about…Dutch pancakes? They’re larger and thinner than traditional American pancakes, but not as large and thin as, say, dosas. Although come to think of it, could you imagine employing a dosa to serve as a vehicle for fruit and syrup instead of curried potatoes? It would be the biggest pancake ever! You could support an entire unit of a child army on a dozen or so, surely. While the world is not ready for such a thing, the pannenkoeken (specifically, the pannenkoeken at Pannenkoeken Cafe) serves as an excellent introduction to the concept.
(Note that Chicagoans may think they’re already familiar with the treat by way of the Original Pancake House and its signature Dutch Baby, but that’s more of a German-inspired invention, and does not really resemble actual pannenkoeken.)
The cafe, in Lincoln Square, sells their pannenkoeken in both sweet (Chocolate Banana with thinly sliced bananas, drizzled with Belgium chocolate, sprinkled with toasted hazelnuts, and topped off with fresh whipped cream and Dutch cocoa powder, $7.75) and savory (Bacon Cheese, with high quality bacon and mild white cheese, $6.75) varieties, not unlike the various creperies around town.
Those two pannenkoeken make up half their online menu, but we knew better than to trust that. Sure enough, the menu they faxed us revealed a world of other breakfast options, both for in-store and on-the-go. After all, what place closes at 3pm every day and doesn’t serve eggs? You can get them in breakfast sandwich form ($3.50/$4 on croissant), as one or two eggs any style with bacon or sausage ($4.50 and $6, respectively), or omeletized (the Denver is $7.25 for two eggs, $8.25 for three).
But really, who’s going at this point and not getting the namesake dish? While that question is functionally unanswerable (although apparently someone loved the French toast [$5.95 for a half order, $6.95 for a full order, $1 extra for strawberries and whipped cream]), we can say with some confidence that Pannenkoeken Cafe has intrigued the neighborhood. When Drive-Thru tried to go one weekend morning, they were shut out by an indefinitely long line. They next time, they still had to wait 45 minutes (owing to the tiny size of the restaurants), and the service was similarly annoying.
It remains to be seen whether Pannekoeken’s pannenkoeken will make itself essential enough to be worth the wait.
[Photo: a pannenkoeken (not from Pannenkoeken, sorry), basykes/flickr]
p.s. Pannenkoeken pannenkoeken pannenkoeken!