Sunday, February 13, 2011

Millbrae Pancake House

Millbrae, CA (because if it were in San Bruno or Burlingame, the name would not make much sense)

Today's breakfast was a peninsular rode trip down to Millbrae Pancake House. It is located in Millbrae, CA right along El Camino Real* (for those of you not familiar with the San Francisco area, Millbrae is about 15 miles due south of San Francisco and it is the city that is due west of Highway 101 and the San Francisco International Airport). Millbrae Pancake House has been family-owned and operated since 1959 (I like that year for some reason). Joining me today for breakfast was one of my oldest San Francisco friends, Amy (and by that I don't mean that she is old, just that I have known her almost as long as I have lived in San Francisco, and unlike most people that you meet that say they are "from San Francisco", she actually was born and grew up here). (Hi, Amy!)

As the name of the restaurant implies, Millbrae Pancake House specializes in pancakes (and seeing as I already used the corny IPOO joke on my Seal Rock Inn Restaurant entry yesterday, I won't say that Millbrae Pancake House was originally known as International House of Other Pancakes ~ or IHOOP for short; besides I am sure that the NBA would take umbrage with this). This place is a very popular local joint with families on the weekends; luckily it is a very large place (about twice the size of your normal IHOP®).

There are several good pancake choices from which to choose (as choices that you can't choose aren't really very good choices now, are they?). I was thinking of going with either the German Pancakes or the Swedish Pancakes, both of which I have had there in the past and knew were good. I decided on the Swedish Pancakes ~ Three French crepes served with powdered sugar and lingonberry butter. I also wanted to compare these to the smaller version 18 silver dollar pancakes served at Sears Fine Food (see 'blog-entry from November 21st, 2010). I also had a side order of hash browns (What the heck do I really care about extra carbohydrates?) and a cuppa the house coffee.

The crepes/pancakes were very good and the portion pretty large. I would guess that this more than equaled the 18 silver dollar ones at Sears Fine Food. Their lingonberry butter was very good and they provide plenty of it; there was more than enough to go around on all three of the pancakes (I did use it all up, as there was no way I was wasting any). Their coffee was about what I expected it to be ~ on par with what I had at Seal Rock Inn Restaurant (because of which, I felt it necessary to get another decent cuppa at the Peet's® in San Mateo later in the day; they were offering both their House blend and Garuda blend ~ as I just had the House yesterday, I went for the Garuda today).

Amy went for one of their omelettes, the Florentine ~ Spinach, bacon bits and onion topped with sour cream. Now the really cool thing is that Millbrae Pancake House gives you the option** of substituting plain ol' boring toast with either two of the German Pancakes or Swedish Pancakes. Amy also chose the Swedish Pancakes as her side; she said the German Pancakes couldn't be as good as the ones her mom makes (don't ever argue with mom's home cooking!). Plus, all omelettes are served with hash browns; it was really an awful lot of food, I had to "force" myself to help Amy finish her pancakes. The omelette had lots of fresh spinach in it and the "bacon bits" were actually large chunks of bacon strips (Sean, you would have loved this one).

As condiments on the tables, they have two types of Tabasco®, the standard red and the green jalapeño version, and Tapatío®. I used some of the green stuff on my hash browns and Amy initially went with a little Tapatío® on her omelette and hash browns, then tried some of the green junk later on (she had never tried the jalapeño one before and liked it better than the normal red version).

Glen Bacon Scale Rating: Swedish Pancakes ~ 6.7; Peet's® Garuda Blend ~ 6.9; (Amy never really gave me a GBS Rating for her meal, but she did seem to like it a lot, too.)

*(Useless cunning linguist and historical pointer of the day:

El Camino Real in Spanish means "the Royal Road" or "the King's Highway"; it does not refer in any way to an "authentic Chevy coupe utility".

The original El Camino Real in California was the 600-mile trail connecting the 21 missions of Alta California; stretching from San Diego in the south to Sonoma in the north.)

**(Is there really a choice? Who would choose toast over pancakes, Eddie?

"I'll have 'Death', please.")


  1. Almost everybody loves ligonberry pancakes!