Best Of 2000

Best Flapjacks: South City Diner

If you're looking for a pancake of pioneer proportions, you'd be hard pressed to match the plate-sized slabs from the grill of the South City Diner. For more than 60 years, the South City Diner has been a South St. Louis landmark. But in 1992, when Peter Spoto reopened it, the diner had been closed for three years. "It has a lot of history to it," says Spoto, the diner's owner/operator. "It was an old greasy-spoon, diner-type place, and it was only open for lunch. I updated it and upscaled it, the diner and the menu. Today it's a real, true New York-style diner. By that I mean it has a very large menu, and you can get breakfast, lunch or dinner any time of the day, which is indicative of a diner. There's no cutoffs: no 'breakfast stops,' no 'dinner stops.'" What this means is that the South City's hot, golden-brown flapjacks are available anytime you want. Or, rather, anytime you've got room -- these babies are an easy half-inch thick. "We get a lot of comments on how big they," says Spoto. "People aren't able to finish 'em. They're buttermilk pancakes, and we've got enough baking powder in them, so they rise pretty good. They're a pretty good meal. I think they're, what, 8, 10 inches across?" And on Sunday mornings, you can even get them with blueberries.

Previous Winners