Pamela’s Pancakes

abbyeats_600pxAfter two months of living in temporary housing while my husband packed up our house in New Hampshire, we have finally made the big move to Pittsburgh. I haven’t cooked more than a couple of fried eggs since November and that’s been one of the most difficult things about this transition. However, there are some amazing restaurants and intriguing local delicacies here and I’ve barely scratched the surface of the great dining this city has to offer. After a week of packing, moving, cleaning, selling our house, driving and stressing out about all of it, we woke up on our first morning in our new home surrounded by boxes with no food in the fridge. I hadn’t even unpacked the coffee pot yet. It was Saturday and it was early, but we were hungry and in dire need of a hot cup of joe. We rubbed the sleep from our eyes, got dressed and ventured out.

Breakfast can be a deceivingly difficult meal to get right. Most people are very particular about how they like their eggs prepared and they are easy to mess up. Twenty seconds too long on the heat and over easy eggs become hard cooked. It takes a deft hand to make perfecly fluffy pancakes and moist french toast. Finding a great breakfast place is like striking gold. We were never happy with our breakfast choices in Concord, NH so I’ve been particularly excited about finding a few good diners and coffee shops here in our new hometown. During my first couple of weeks here, someone took me to lunch at a place called Pamela’s down in the Strip District. They had excellent sandwiches and salads and the decor was kind of 50’s retro with a diner-like atmosphere. I also noticed that they serve breakfast all day. I thought I might have struck that illusive breakfast gold. Pamela’s has a couple of other locations, including one in Squirrel Hill, which is very close to where we live. That’s where we headed on our first Saturday morning in Pittsburgh.

Apparently, this location is almost impossible to get into for Sunday brunch. But on Saturday morning, we walked right in and found a cozy booth in the back. Almost immediately, large cups of hot coffee arrived at our table and we examined the menu. They had excellent looking egg dishes, pancakes with fruit and whipped cream, omelets, french toast and most of the usual things you’d see on a breakfast menu. They also had some interesting variations, like french toast made with a croissant, malted waffles and something called Lyonnaise potatoes. Jason ordered scrambled eggs mixed with cream cheese and scallions served with the Lyonnaise potatoes. I ordered crepe hotcakes with a side of bacon.

pancakesIt only took a few minutes for our breakfast to arrive. Our eyes bugged slightly when the plates went down on the table. My crepe hotcakes occupied the entire plate! Jason’s breakfast looked delicious, the eggs decorated with small dollops of cream cheese and sprinkled with scallions. The Lyonnaise potatoes were soft homefries in some kind of creamy sauce, sort of like chunky mashed potatoes au gratin. It all looked delicious and we gratefully tucked in. The crepe hotcakes were sublime. They were thin yet fluffy and the butter and syrup kind of floated on top and barely soaked in without making the hotcakes soggy.
pancakes 2The most remarkable thing was the crispy edge that surrounded each hotcake, creating a halo of crunchy texture that was absolutely irresistable. I ate half the plate of hotcakes and was stuffed, but I could not leave those crispy bits behind. Jason had a few bites and together we almost finished the whole plate of hotcakes.

We went straight home after breakfast, climbed right back into bed and took a mid morning nap. I dreamed that I was sleeping under a blanket made from Pamela’s crepe hotcakes, warm and comforting with delicate pools of melted butter and syrup glistening on the surface, pulled up to my chin so I could nibble on the crispy edges when I awoke. We’ll most certainly return to Pamela’s for breakfast, for more crepe hotcakes and some of their other offerings. It was truly KILLER DELICIOUS.

About radioabby

I'm a broadcast professional and home cook who loves music, travel and exploring unique, distinctive things, places and ideas. I love to cook, discover new flavors and improvise in the kitchen.
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