Sorry for the brief absence! Andy and I took a trip to St. Louis for his dad's 50th birthday (don't worry, I have some food stories to share).
To finish up my experience in New Jersey, this is a post about one of the best breakfast places in the country, The Original Pancake House. They have a great overview of the restaurants' history on the website, but I will offer a brief one here.
The Original Pancake House was founded in Portland, Oregon in 1953. The menu is a combination of the founders knowledge of international pancake recipes, and offers a deliciously unique breakfast experience. I grew up in Portland, Oregon, and the original The Original Pancake House is a feature in many of my best childhood memories. Granted, when I was younger, I remember being very restless during the two-hour waits and played endless games of hangman to help pass the time before I could drink a steaming cup of hot chocolate and munch on the powdered sugar heaven that is the Swedish Pancake. The James Beard Foundation even designated the Pancake House as a regional landmark restaurant!
When we left Portland, my whole family was distraught over the idea of leaving our favorite breakfast indulgences, and the warmth and friendliness of The Original Pancake House behind.
Eventually, the founders decided to franchise the name of The Original Pancake House and they started popping up all over the country. And one of those franchises happened to open up not far from the town we moved to in New Jersey! This was the location my parents, my friend Cailyn, Andy and I enjoyed at the end of our visit. It isn't quite the same as the Portland location, but the food is still just as good and maintains the strict level of quality set by the founders.
When I was younger, the Swedish Pancakes were the only thing I ever ordered. But as I got older, my tastes changed, and now I can't resist (and neither can my mom) ordering one of their most signature dishes, the Apple Pancake:
This is a huge, thick, puffed pancake topped with cinnamon and sugar slathered apples- all baked in the oven. It is an impressive pancake, that puts most breakfast-joint specialties to shame!
My dad's choice has always been the ham and cheese omelette, so Andy took his recommendation and ordered it as well:
This omelette is a monster made with, urban myth says, 5 eggs, a 1/2 pound of ham, and a 1/2 pound of cheese! And it comes with a side of three buttermilk pancakes smothered in syrup and butter. As my dad says, "is that a heart attack waiting to happen or what!? But the thing is, you'll die with a smile on your face". Truly, every once in awhile, the indulgence is well, well worth it.
Unfortunately, there is no The Original Pancake House in Rhode Island, but if you ever find yourself in a state with a location, make it a stop one morning!