Sunday, May 9, 2010
TBG Eats: Bacon Pancakes from The Original Pancake House
Current Weight: 169.0 lbs.
I'm aware how this is going to sound coming from me, but the members of my family know their way around some unusual, unappetizing food unions.
When I was growing up, my dad put hot sauce on everything. He hit his dinner plate of steak, chicken or fish with a torrential downpour of Tabasco, Texas Pete's or Red Rooster. He did the same with side items like salads, dill pickles and potato chips. However, he achieved his greatest infamy on the rare occasions when pizza was our meal for the evening.
My father was born and raised in 1950s-60s Georgia and spent 20 years in the Marine Corps. His was a hardscrabble upbringing in which dinnertime was often the highlight. He even had his own "supper philosophy" which, to him, meant something that was once alive – preferably fried – along with two sides. Since pizza didn't meet his animal flesh-in-Crisco criteria, we only had it when my dad was "on duty" (the military equivalent of the graveyard shift) or when my mom was mad at him.
My dad would grab five slices out of the box, saturate every inch in hot sauce and then remember he hates pizza after a few bites. He'd put the uneaten remains back in the box, forcing my brother and me to intently smell the leftovers. What if one of us overlooked the slices with the equivalent of molten-hot magma comingled with mozzarella cheese? Remember, these were only eight-year-old taste buds, y'all.
Around the same time, my aunt was our primary babysitter. An evening with her meant dinner at McDonald's or Burger King, if we were there during the week. On weekends, she might upgrade our entrees to Sizzler or Bob's Big Boy. If she was between jobs, she'd save money by cooking for us. It wasn't hard to tell if Aunt Sue had recently joined the ranks of the unemployed, because she only knew how to cook one "meal".
I'm still not convinced that it's too late to pursue child endangerment charges for being served her fried bologna topped with Heinz 57 sauce.
Mrs. Bootleg is not without her own sin of ridiculous sustenance, as she reflexively tops those ubiquitous fast food crispy chicken sandwiches with ketchup. I mock this – and the other examples above – knowing that I'm the same guy who looked forward to the Krispy Kreme chicken sandwich, the deep-fried White Castle and chocolate-covered bacon at the past three San Diego Fairs.
I'm also the same guy who's failed in two attempts to take down the enormous apple pancake at The Original Pancake House. Not wanting the weight of a whole cinnamon-dusted orchard nestling in my small intestine all day, I've gone in a different direction during my last two breakfast visits.
This is the description of the Bacon Pancakes straight from The Original Pancake House's menu:
Buttermilk pancakes filled with real bits of bacon. Served with whipped butter and hot syrup.
These are the actual Bacon Pancakes straight from The Original Pancake House's kitchen:
"…filled with real bits of bacon"? Six light, spongy buttermilk moons absolutely SMOTHERED in bacon. It's bacon asphyxiation – which, I assume, has roughly the same mortality rate as any other erotic asphyxiation technique.
The bacon "bits" were thick, chewy and salted perfectly. There was more than enough crumbled on top to ensure a forkful in every bite, but there's even bacon blended in with the pancake batter. The quart of maple syrup that I poured atop this porcine masterpiece catapulted my order into the breakfast stratosphere.
Somehow, the sweetness from the syrup intensified the saltiness from the bacon and vice versa. The pancakes withstood my maple assault and maintained most of their texture despite a level of grease, sugar and salt content that's almost certainly been assassinating most of my inner organs since my first bites a few weeks ago.
And, if I had to pick a food to be found, face down, 50 years from now…it's this one.
Grade: 500 (out of 5)