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Lick the Plate: Home-style goodness at the Original Pancake House Encinitas

On more than one occasion, I have noticed my friends and acquaintances posting decadent pictures of pancakes and more at The Original Pancake House in Encinitas.

Being originally from the Midwest, it’s been a place on my radar for Lick the Plate for quite some time now.

So we made it a point to take a friendly pancake research excursion and had it double as a business breakfast.

In an area known for an eclectic plethora of ultra-health minded breakfast eateries, I quickly found the pancake house to be a perfect place to enjoy the home-style comfort food that we all can love and appreciate.

The hungry guys duo of Brooks and Quinn preparing to dig in to the best pancakes around at the Original Pancake House in Encinitas.  Photo by David Boylan 
The hungry guys duo of Brooks and Quinn preparing to dig in to the best pancakes around at the Original Pancake House in Encinitas.
Photo by David Boylan

They’re known for their classic favorites such as the homemade corned beef hash which is made up of potatoes, onions, kosher corned beef and of course cream.

But they also aren’t afraid to go all over the map with menu items such as the Tahitian Maiden’s Dream, a crepe filled with an assortment of bananas, sherry and brandy, and an apricot sauce.

Or the Danish Kijafa Cherry Crepes which are three crepes that are adorned with Montmorency cherries and simmered in Kijafa sauce and powdered sugar.

The Original Pancake House has more than 100 franchise locations across the United States, and is consistently named as one of the top 10 breakfast joints in the nation.

Funny enough, they’re even expanding into Asia, with locations opened in Seoul, South Korea and Tokyo, Japan!

Opened in Portland, Ore. in 1953 — the Pancake House is a three-generation family owned business — and you can tell. They specialize in breakfast foods that have influence from all over the world.

These include the 49er flapjack, a sourdough crepe, and the classic Eggs Benedict.

One of their most popular menu items is the Dutch Apple pancake, a large pancake that is covered with sautéed apples and cinnamon sugar that is baked and glazed for mouthwatering results.

They’re also known for the smaller Dutch Baby, an oven baked, air filled pastry that is served with lemon, powdered sugar and whipped butter. The list goes on they specialize in many other dishes inspired by German and other timeless northern European pastries.

For our three-man crew — our meal was fortified with many cups of fresh coffee — and we quickly tore into our three dishes. We can be hungry guys and were not disappointed.

I had a corned beef omelet that came with a full stack of warm, sweet and savory pancakes that were a treat to eat alongside the generously portioned omelet.

I was immediately enthused.

The Original Pancake House stays true to their name and really do serve the perfect pancake — good old fashioned in every sense of the word, and I was stoked on how quality isn’t sacrificed despite such hearty and generous portions.

For my companion and coworker Brooks — he went full charge ahead with the bacon pancakes that are not only infused with bacon plus covered in bacon bits and maple syrup to create what I would call the perfect pancake trifecta of breakfast success. He was so content with his food for the day he didn’t bother having another meal until dinner.

For my other companion Quinn — it was a difficult choice given the abundant and temptation-worthy selection of waffles available.

Between the coconut, bacon, strawberry, apple and pecan options in place he indulged in the blueberry waffle served with a blueberry compote — a much smaller dish that was light, crisp and was simply a (slightly less) guilt-free delight to indulge upon. It’s a lighter choice than your average pancake dish but just as delicious.

They do waffles right here, and they are a rich golden brown that are melt-in-your-mouth delicious when served with whipped butter and whatever warm compote or syrup you chose to indulge upon.

Between these dishes we were needless to say completely satisfied and will continue to frequent one of Encinitas’ finest breakfast establishments.

As a family business you can tell they take pride in maintaining high standards with the food they serve — and serve batters and sauces made fresh in-house and with quality ingredients.

The Original Pancake House is located at 160 S. Rancho Santa Fe Rd. Encinitas. Visit online

David Boylan is the founder of Artichoke Creative an Encinitas based integrated marketing firm. He also hosts Lick the Plate Radio that airs Monday through Friday at 7 p.m. on FM94/9, Easy 98.1, and KSON. Reach him at [email protected] or (858) 395-6905.