Off the Griddle with Ihopapotamus at…Maureen’s Kitchen!

Hello Fancakes! I’ll start by saying thanks for the chance to write on here again. This was the push I needed to head to an incredible Suffolk breakfast/lunch spot. It’s not often I wake up early and motivated to drive a half hour for breakfast (just kidding, I had my mom drive me). Maureen’s Kitchen in Smithtown is a bit out of the way if you don’t live in Suffolk, but they have maybe the best pancakes… ever. I know that is saying much, but I’m serious.

maureens kitchen - map

(from Google maps)

On weekends this place is absolutely packed with a huge wait for not nearly enough tables. It’s best to be strategic and pick less busy times, but even if you pick a Sunday at 9AM, the wait is worth it. Walking into Maureen’s feels like stepping into a friend’s home for breakfast. And that home gives off the vibe of a diner and a soda shop combined. And that friend is obsessed with collecting anything related to cows. The cow theme is adorable and all over, from the seats to the black and white cows print motorcycle out front.

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On to the important part – the menu. This place has so much to offer. Obviously I came for the pancakes, but they have cannoli stuffed French toast, croissant French toast, corned beef hash (my boyfriend’s personal favorite), and loads of amazing omelet choices. The portions are huge and definitely worth the price. One stack consists of three big-sized pancakes that are easily enough to fill you up, and then some. Neither of us could finish our plates and we were really hungry walking in. The day we went for this review, there were two pancake specials: apple cider cranberry pecan pancakes and carrot cake pancakes. I was insanely tempted by the Oreo pancakes and the lovely bright green pistachio pancakes, but ultimately decided to pick something more seasonal.

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Mom went for the orange cranberry walnut and I picked the pumpkin walnut. The pancakes come with plenty of butter and syrup (maple syrup was an extra $1.75 so this was the fake stuff, which is my only complaint). But, we didn’t even need any syrup, they were that good (we didn’t “need” butter either, but we did use the entire amount they gave us because we’re us).

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The orange cranberry walnut pancakes had a light orange flavor and were studded with giant walnut chunks and gorgeous whole fresh cranberries. I was shocked to see fresh instead of dried cranberries and the way the three ingredients worked together was perfect. Not too sweet, not too tart, fluffy, chewy, and light.

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My pumpkin walnut pancakes were perfectly spiced. They were heavier than Mom’s which is absolutely fine due to the addition of pumpkin here, and they were perfect; lightly sweet, still fluffy despite the dense pumpkin, and deeply spiced. I’d take these over pumpkin pie any day. The walnuts again were the star. I guess we’re walnut gals.image4

(cows!!!)

All in all, this place is incredible. I’m sure the lunch menu is fantastic, but I’ve never met anyone who actually orders something other than breakfast food here. I wish there were three times as many tables in there, but Maureen’s Kitchen is worth a long wait, and I can’t wait to go back.

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5 out of 5 Paul Bunyans: Untitled1Untitled1Untitled1Untitled1Untitled1

Off the Griddle with Ihopapotamus at…Dots Back Inn

Editor’s Note: Hey Cakies, this week’s ihopapotamus post is brought to you by one of the potami covering the southern region – excuse her partiality, she can’t help it 😉

Fancakes, today I’m taking you on a trip down south to the Old Dominion, the Commonwealth, the state in which five presidents were born: Virginia! And not just any part of Virginia, but the capital of the Confederacy. Richmond, Virginia, also known as the River City, is known for its famous (infamous?) history and outdoorsy lifestyle. It also has pretty good food. Oh, and lots of tattoos.

I think we can all agree that Guy Fieri’s Triple D is THE measure of good food. Richmond has a few places that have been featured on this show. One is Dot’s Back Inn. This is where I went.

Dots Back Inn is a retro-themed diner in the only nice part of the Northside neighborhood of Richmond. If you go there, don’t stray that many blocks. Lots of crack up here, y’all. Joking, but kind of not…

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(photo from the Dot’s website!)

The inside is nothing to write home about, but it is American. And cozy. I call it having their priorities in order! I do believe those are Christmas lights laying sort of disheveled all over the place. Very classy.

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They have lots of delicious breakfast food. I actually thought it was only breakfast food, but while there I learned that they have a “Rosie the Riveter Lunch Pail.” #GirlPower

Of course, I ordered pancakes. They had a ‘meat pancake’ special, but I opted for the classic blueberry. I know, I know, I just said I’m in the South – where are the griddle cakes with, like, honey and corn and grits and fried-green tomatoes on top??! Well, I decided it would be unfair to compare the superior  Southern variations on things and so I stuck with classics, for fairness.

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(blurred for anonymity…)

First of all, this place was FAST. It was awesome. We stepped in at 10 am, ordered at like 10:05, and I swear we had our food less than ten minutes after ordering.

Second of all, the pancakes were delicious. Real, perfect blueberries, beautiful melted butter, amazing texture, and great taste, of course. The outside of each pancake was perfectly crisp while the inside was soft and melted in my mouth. The sweetness was spot on for me – I don’t like super sweet. The sweetness from the blueberries was plenty, so maybe if I had gotten plain pancakes it wouldn’t be sweet enough for me. This is sweetness thing is also crucial because I don’t like maple syrup, so I need the pancakes to be satisfactory on their own. And they were.

Overall, it was a great experience. I had never been before, and it did not disappoint. I actually brought leftovers home, but before I put them in the fridge, I took like three more giant bites just to get the amazing-ness in my mouth again. Worth it.

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Thanks, Guy Fieri, for finding me my new go-to brunch place. I mean, if I lived in Richmond **COUGH COUGH** Which I don’t…

5 out of 5 Paul Bunyans: Untitled1Untitled1Untitled1Untitled1Untitled1

Off the Griddle with Ihopapotamus at…3 Guys Restaurant

Effortless Pancaking. After a long Saturday night in New York City, one should not expect to accomplish anything of remote importance on Sunday. The first – and perhaps only – task should be engorging a carb-loaded meal.

(photo from This Week in New York)

On a recent Sunday morning I didn’t find pancakes. Pancakes found me. There would be no valiant march downtown to a Michelin-star brunch. There could only be the all-American concept of delivery breakfast. And the purveyor of flapjacks was 3 Guys at 96th Street and Madison Avenue in the Upper East Side.

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(map from google maps!)

The pancakes at Three Guys are typical diner fare.  I ordered a stack of regular pancakes, without the frills of strawberries or chocolate chips, which come three to a stack. At first glance the pancakes looked undercooked. There was very little darkness to the surface or edge of each flapjack. But they were actually light and fluffy, without any of the runniness that condemns an undercooked pancake. The accouterments of Aunt Jemima syrup and Land-O-Lakes butter, coupled with a side of bacon, satisfied expectations.

syrup and butter

The pancakes at Three Guys hold up well in a metal and plastic delivery tin. They arrived warm and ready to be transferred directly into my stomach. Be sure to request any syrup or butter, as the food arrived without any condiments. A side order of some kind is recommended as well, as the ‘cakes are not very large. Perhaps five inches in diameter. That’s a circumference of 5π for any math wizards out there.

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Prices are in step with the neighborhood. An order of three regular pancakes will run about nine dollars. A side of bacon costs another five. It is the right amount of food to cradle me into a late morning nap.

Required: Internet, bank account, couch.

3 out of 5 Paul Bunyans: Untitled1Untitled1Untitled1