Chatter About the Batter: Which Pancakes Matter

Photo courtesy of The Loop

Consider the humble pancake. Though claimed by many cultures, it has become an integral part of the American breakfast identity. Served in living rooms, diners and pancake houses across the nation, it is beloved for its easy preparation, satisfying mouthfeel and natural pairing ability with maple syrup. Though dozens of area establishments dish out the golden discs, we return from a summer hiatus to review three of the most popular pancake spots among the student body. All samplings were conducted with plain pancakes, topped with a splash of syrup and a pat of butter.

IHOP

Liam: Many times, IHOP is written off as a subpar fast food chain, but if you ignore their mediocre eggs and ridiculous Minion pancake advertisements, their simple buttermilk pancakes are better than you’d expect. For a relatively cheap price, you can order a five stack of pancakes, topped with delicious, artery-destroying salted butter and a tasteful selection of syrups. Although a little dry and not the best quality, IHOP definitely comes through for an enjoyable meal. Rating: 3 Globes

Pete: The International House of Pancakes is far and away the most well known pancake distributor in America. It offers a consistent and speedy breakfast experience at a low price all day long. Their signature dish, unfortunately, falls victim to mass-market blandness. The product represents the most basic, unoffensive incarnation of the breakfast treat we love so dearly. Ultimately, IHOP serves an unremarkable, if not slightly mealy, pancake. Rating: 2.5 Globes

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Photo courtesy of Yelp

Mamaroneck Diner

Liam: As much as I love the Mamaroneck Diner for their omelettes and hash browns, their pancakes, like their parking lot, don’t quite hold up to my criteria. Unless you like burnt and overcooked pancake batter, I don’t recommend Mamaroneck Diner’s pancakes. Some may argue that pancakes are better with a little bit of a “crunch,” but even if so, Mamaroneck Diner overdoes this “crunch.” While the pancakes are not my favorite, I strongly recommend their alterantive breakfast options, including their delicious eggs. Rating: 2 Globes

Pete: Mamaroneck Diner offers a unique pancake for those who take a very specific approach to breakfast consumption. It centers primarily around the thick, crackly crust that covers both sides and provides an enjoyable crunch. This, unfortunately, comes at the cost of significantly increasing density and compromising internal texture. Mamaroneck Diner has committed its batter-based fare to a very specific niche market, so order at your own discretion. Rating: 3.5 Globes

Harbor House

Liam: Harbor House sometimes goes unnoticed by the larchmont citizens who walk down Palmer Avenue looking for Starbucks or Red Mango. It’s their loss, because Harbor House

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Photo courtesy of Restaurant News

has, by far, the best pancakes in Larchmont. Their pancakes are extremely palatable, with fluffy and smooth batter that is perfectly cooked. Harbor House’s buttermilk pancakes should serve as a model for anyone trying to cook up the perfect pancake. Hopefully, the cooks over at Mamaroneck Diner can take a look at Harbor House’s pancakes and take some notes. Rating: 5 Globes

Pete: Eating a Harbor House pancake after a trip to IHOP inevitably invites certain comparisons. One cannot help but feel that if IHOP represents the mass-market McDouble, Harbor House is the highend, individually tailored 12oz patty of prime meat. Focusing primarily on texture, a Harbor House stack provides a fluffy descent into the clouds of culinary delight. Its warm and spongy texture carries butter and syrup like no other. This is the pancake you’ve been looking for. Rating: 5 Globes

By Liam Katz and Peter Simpson

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