I liked the idea of Bacon Chip Pancakes when I saw the listing on the menu at The Pancake Shop. The description reads, "Bits of tender, crisp bacon mixed into the batter makes a wonderful taste."
Server Susan Clayton summed it up when she said that particular pancake "takes care of the sweet and the salty."
I love going to The Pancake Shop, whose motto is 'Home of the Everyday Special." It used to be one of those places on Summer Avenue we'd go late at night to get something to eat. The old Pat's Pizza was another place. They served the pizzas on tall pedestals. A recliner for the owner, I believe, was the first thing you saw after you pressed the buzzer and were allowed inside. It stood in front of a TV set.
The Pancake Shop has that same homey feeling. One wall has pictures of pandas Ya Ya and Le Le and a photograph of a 1950s-looking Elvis with a toy stuffed panda. The restaurant is open 24 hours, so you can order a rib-eye dinner anytime. I got the feeling all the customers know each other and all the staff.
Head waitress Angela Smith said the Bacon Chip Pancakes have been on the menu since Bob Druien took over the restaurant from his brother, Mike Druien, 10 years ago. She believes The Pancake Shop is 60 years old.
Bacon Chip Pancakes aren't the most popular item, she said; their banana pancakes and the chocolate chip pancakes are popular. The banana pancakes are topped and filled with bananas. For a little more money, you can order the banana pancakes topped with strawberries and whipped cream. The chocolate chip ones are filled and topped with chocolate chips, chocolate syrup and whipped cream. Young people love the chocolate chip ones "'cause they've got that sweet tooth," Smith said. "Or they've got the munchies."
I ordered one of each pancake, but I saved the sweet ones for dessert.
I loved the ones with the bacon chips. I added butter and poured syrup over them. I love fried chicken and waffles, so this salty-sweet mixture is an adequate substitute.
I'd classify the banana pancakes as comfort food. They're not cloyingly sweet; they've got a milder taste even with the whipping cream and other toppings.
The chocolate chips pancakes were good, too, but to me, a stack of these cake-or-cookie-tasting pancakes could take the place of a birthday cake at a party.
My overall favorite way to eat pancakes, though, is just a plain stack topped with a sunny-side up egg with butter and syrup. You probably can get that combination at The Pancake Shop, too.
The Pancake Shop is at 4838 Summer; 901-767-0206.