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National Pancake Day

Written by Lois Rodriguez. Photographs by J. Griffis Smith.

pancake2When you wonder, or someone asks, “What’s for dinner?” You can say pancakes. Yep. Even if you don’t think it qualifies as dinner, today is National Pancake Day. On this day, where pancakes are concerned, anything goes.

Pancake Powerhouses

Buffalo Grille, Houston

Kerbey Lane, Austin

Magnolia Pancake Haus in San Antonio

Ol’ South Pancake House, Fort Worth

Readers Recommendations

Blue Bonnet Cafe, Marble Falls:  "Reminds me of Mom's cooking." - Karen MacEntee

Buns n' Roses, Marfa: "Best breakfast place west of the 100th Meridian in the Big Bend Region of Texas. You can also get flowers at Buns n' Roses, of course." – Ken Whitley, Marfa

The Coffee Shop Cafe, McGregor: A great breakfast starts, and can even end, your day in a perfect way." – Pat Richardson, McGregor

Old West Cafe, multiple locations: "Slapjacks" include banana nut with peanut butter syrup and blueberry-lemon. Reader Rodney Reincke of Grapevine also recommends "The Bandit," which is "big soft biscuits, with sausage gravy and several patties of sausage on the side, plus crambled eggs mixed with onions and chedder cheese. It's served with coffee and a fruit dish to finish up."

Don’t worry if you didn’t start the day off with pancakes. Plenty of places serve them all day long. Or you could make your own. Here's my gingerbread pancake recipe.

I’ve had amazing pancakes across the state. Here are a few that come immediately to mind (which translates to possibly my favorites):

Ol’ South Pancake House in Fort Worth is known for its “World Famous German Pancakes.” They say they serve more than 40,000 servings each year! That’s one big stack!

I’m a sucker for the Dutch Babies, miniature German pancakes with fresh-squeezed lemons and powdered sugar. The lemon-addict in me is sated.

Like many places, they will serve pancakes just about any way you want options to build on their buttermilk, buckwheat or corn cakes with fruit, nuts, chocolate or peanut butter chips and more.

The sweet potato "flapjacks" at Frank in Austin are a mighty contender against my other faves on their menu – the Makers Toast (French toast with Makers Mark bourbon blueberry sauce) and their finger-lickin' chicken and waffle. I always walk away with a happy face. I just wish I could get it more often than weekend brunch. The friends that I go with also rave about the shrimp and grits and the Texas, or Avo, benedict. 

The gingerbread pancakes at Kerbey Lane in Austin hit the spot, and with the apple whole wheat pancakes I’m happy to have made a healthier choice without compromising flavor. The menu here, by the way, is full of plates that sate my appetite and please my palate all while allowing me to make healthy choices.

Trips back to my hometown, Houston, often include a stop at Buffalo Grille with some of my favorite people – my friends Katy, John, William and Daniel Miner.

It’s great to catch up over a plate-sized blueberry pecan “hot cake” for me. There's plenty more popular options on the menu. I can't say I've managed to venture out to explore. The pancakes make me happy. Certainly, the company has a hand in that, too.

It’s true that one of the best accompaniments to any meal is good company. Luckily, I was at a table with my San Antonio "framily" on my visit to Magnolia Pancake Haus because there can be a bit of a wait at times, but recollections of the wait typically fade mid-meal.

I indulged in their specialty Apfel Pfannekuchen, a puffy German pancake with cinnamon apples. So good. The rest of the table – Susie, Nico, Jose, Pat, Mike, Gigi and Isabella - did a good job of sampling the diverse menu, featuring lots specialty items. But its mainstay may well be Magnolia's Old World Buttermilk pancakes with homemade syrups. Along with familiar add-in options, you can order apple cinnamon, bananas foster with a rum praline sauce, or applewood smoked bacon pancakes.

From the October 2016 issue.

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