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Tuesday, August 28, 2007

The Consolation of Flapjacks

posted by on August 28 at 10:55 AM


As readers are aware, I love the arts, so the night before last, I rounded up some friends for some deep, art-enhancing breaths and we headed down to one of my favorite Seattle arts offerings: Laser Zeppelin, at the Pacific Science Center’s Laser Dome.

As the name suggests, Laser Zeppelin features the music of the monolithically amazing Led Zeppelin (in this case, Houses of the Holy) set to an awesome laser show. As the name suggests, the Laser Dome is where such shows take place—or so you’d think. Upon our arrival at the Laser Dome, we were informed that, due to technical difficulties, there would be no Laser Zep or laser-anything-else that night.

I voted for sitting in the car, cranking up some Zep, and pressing our palms into our eye sockets until we saw stars, but other people wanted food, and we settled on Queen Anne’s Mecca Cafe.

It was the best decision four white people have ever made. The sturdy goodness of the Mecca’s round-the-clock breakfast items is well-known, but have you ever had their pancakes? I got a short stack, and it held two of the most perfectly delicious pancakes I’ve ever had the pleasure to stuff in my face. No fruit, no powdered sugar (sorry for the midleading photo), just exquisitely griddled yum.

If The Stranger bestowed a Genius Award for pancakes, the Mecca would win.

In related news: I’m happy to see that all of the Stranger Reader Reviews for the Mecca treat it with the respect it deserves. Read ‘em all and write your own here. (And stay away from the Laser Dome until Aug. 30, when the technical difficulties are scheduled to be conquered.)

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After Laser Outkast we crowded into a tiny apartment, turned on the stereo, and drank huge goblets of cheap wine. It's all a bit hazy but I do believe we ate Ritz crackers.

Your pancakes sound delicious too, though.

Posted by Katelyn | August 28, 2007 11:15 AM

I'm not that fond of pancakes, but Mrs. Fnarf is, and I think her Genius Award would go to Cyndy's on Aurora. That's where I would hope to be going. Or maybe Pancake Chef in Sea-Tac, or Pancake Corral in Bellevue.

I may not like pancakes, but I do like a good pancake discussion.

Posted by Fnarf | August 28, 2007 11:15 AM

As far as I'm concerned, the pancake award goes to the Maltby Cafe in Maltby, Washington, which is sort of... northish by my parents' house. We've been going there for family breakfasts for years. Good God ya'll. I'm glad it's out of the way, otherwise I'd be spending my rent money on pancakes and thickcut bacon there.

Posted by Katelyn | August 28, 2007 11:17 AM

Geraldine's in Columbia City can make some damned fine pancakes. The only problem is, they do a pancake du jour, so some of them are duds. But most are DELICIOUS.

Posted by The General | August 28, 2007 11:21 AM

I think it's only fair to reveal that pre-outing puffs from a gravity bong (!) helped set the stage for pancake-induced euphoria. And the sweet Mecca waitress pushing extra butter & syrup didn't hurt, either.

Posted by Keith | August 28, 2007 11:30 AM

Y'all got to get down with OPH - Original Pancake House in Ballard. I became a fan when I used to go to the original OPH in Portland. Oh, they are the best.

The only downside is the Ballard location got rid of the cool old menu and the Amazing Larry (tho they will still make the Amazing Larry on request).

Posted by rubyred | August 28, 2007 11:32 AM

I was pretty eager in my anticipation of Original Pancake House in Ballard, but was sorely disappointed. Not good -- and not "original". I liked the scary old-people restaurant that was there before better. What was it called? God, I spend a lot of time in restaurants full of old people, but we were literally the only people in the joint -- and it was packed -- without a walker and an oxygen tank. The menu was full of stuff like plain oatmeal and grilled cheese. No pancakes. But a fun afternoon. But "original" pancake houses that turn into chains? Nope.

Another star candidate: Randy's in Tukwila, down by Boeing Field. Actually, I can't even remember the food -- the amazing decor had me too stunned to taste anything. When I die I want to live for eternity in Randy's.

Posted by Fnarf | August 28, 2007 11:45 AM

Well, I guess some of us go to restaurants for the food, not old people with oxygen tanks and pink and brown 70's decor (because that is all Randy's has going for it - the food is atrocious in both an ironic and non ironic way. )

Posted by rubyred | August 28, 2007 11:50 AM

Sometimes eating pancakes at a time other than breakfast makes them that much more delicious. A pancake for lunch would really hit the spot.

Posted by Amy Jo | August 28, 2007 11:56 AM

If you think there are more important things in life than pink and brown (and orange, you forgot orange!) decor, that's your problem.

Posted by Fnarf | August 28, 2007 12:07 PM

Amy Jo is so right. This post made me run up the the Globe to get two humongous banana flapjacks to go. They were divine. Thankee, Schmades!

Posted by Amy Kate Horn | August 28, 2007 12:11 PM

I heart Fnarf.

Posted by David Schmader | August 28, 2007 12:11 PM

I used to live within walking distance of Cyndy's and thought it was bad and overrated both times we went. I liked the atmosphere (I'm fond of old diners staffed by middle aged waitresses who call you "honey") but the food was on par with IHOP. Really, why do people love it so much?

Then I lived in North Queen Anne (down the slope toward Fremont and the Ship Canal). I'm sorry we didn't check out Mecca while we were nearby.

Posted by Matt from Denver | August 28, 2007 12:16 PM

ZOMG, David Schmader, ZOMG. I eat in this area every day, but this is the one establishment on the block I've always passed by. No doubt due to subconscious racial profiling. The ironic thing? I *love* pancakes.

Next time I crave Dick's, Mecca gets my dollars of money instead.

Posted by nbc | August 28, 2007 2:05 PM

So pretentious AND ridiculous.

Posted by Andrew | August 28, 2007 2:54 PM

@14 - You have passed by Mecca? We have a place for people like you...

It's called California.

Posted by LT L | August 28, 2007 4:39 PM

I love you, David Schmader! You have the best taste in music, movies, and food. You could write about anything and I'd read it.

Posted by rr | August 28, 2007 6:19 PM

Where is that picture from? That pancake is not made properly. Too much oil/cooked too long.

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