The "Dutch Baby" alone sets the Original Pancake House apart from low-rent, breakfast-focused chains like IHOP or your favorite local short-stack-serving dive. And again, the little things suggest why the Original Pancake House might earn the respect of foodies (or at the very least some influential people at the James Beard Foundation), while IHOP and Denny's generally earn our scorn. Bacon is cut thick and cooked to a happy medium between crisp and chewy. The yolks of my over-easy eggs were a rich, fresh orange rather than a pale yellow. Only the sausage patties, thin, desiccated and generically spicy, were a disappointment.

For me, though, the Original Pancake House represents something of a dilemma. It's a very good breakfast spot, and — especially rare nowadays — it's a restaurant where the entire family, parents and kids and grandparents and kids' bratty friends, can enjoy a decent meal.

On the other hand, having seen the crowds the Original Pancake House is attracting, I find it troublesome that an out-of-state chain is raising the bar, however slightly, on something as simple and universally loved as pancakes. Almost exactly a year ago, I reviewed Rooster, the downtown crêperie whose success (it recently expanded its tiny Locust Street location) suggests there is a market for higher-quality, locally sourced breakfast.

The Original Pancake House stacks up.
Jennifer Silverberg
The Original Pancake House stacks up.

Location Info

Map

The Original Pancake House

17000 Chesterfield Airport Road
Chesterfield, MO 63005

Category: Restaurant > American

Region: Chesterfield

Details

The Original Pancake House
Buttermilk pancakes...$5.95
Potato pancakes...$7.50
"Dutch Baby"...$7.95
Apple pancake...$8.95
17000 Chesterfield Airport Road, Chesterfield; 636-536-4044.
Hours: 7 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Tue.-Fri., 7 a.m.-3 p.m. Sat.-Sun. (Closed Mon.)

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Without more local options, who can blame the chain restaurants from meeting market demand? I already have to look forward to an eternity of Rachael-Ray-sounding ogres forcing me to order the Grand Slam breakfast at Denny's. I'd hate for the rest of my earthly days to be more or less the same.

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