Best of Silicon Valley 2001 - Readers' Picks

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[whitespace] Pancakes
Really Stacked: With so many choices of toppings, the pancakes at IHOP get readers' Two Forks Up.

Readers' Choice:
Griddle Me This

Best Pancakes

International House of Pancakes
644 N. First St., San Jose; 408.294.4130
5403 Stevens Creek Blvd., Santa Clara; 408.996.3393
4200 Great American Parkway, Santa Clara; 408.980.8887

FOR THOSE OF US who were raised on diet food or health food (most women along the California coast, that is), pancake-eating is not to be taken lightly. It is an experience that must be savored, for it will happen none too often in our lives. In a perfect universe, we will be delivered a stack of pancakes roughly the circumference of a motorcycle tire. We want syrup--lots of syrup--enough to submerge said stack beneath an amber lake. And butter. At least two ice cream scoops of butter jutting up like partially submerged glaciers.

Although readers gave IHOP the big Thumbs Up for best pancakes, mayhap our women readers were not fairly represented in the vote.

Dotting Middle America with their faux chalets, International House of Pancakes has been flipping flapjacks for more than 40 years. Now better known as IHOP, the chain has perfected the science of the chameleonlike pancake. No longer are customers subjected to buttermilk vs. blueberry. Thanks to the busy menu designers at IHOP Central, patrons can now choose from banana nut, chocolate chip, potato and health nut pancakes, not to mention the foreign influence of Belgian waffles, crepes and the wonderfully exotic pigs in a blanket.

Perhaps it is the ever-expanding choice of griddle cakes that makes this the readers' favorite. Then again, it may be the four different flavors of syrup--including real maple syrup (heated, upon request)--that makes IHOP a top draw. But a recent visit suggested that it wasn't the size of the portions. A short stack of buttermilk pancakes arrived, toasty warm with at least one glacier of butter. But Mr. or Mrs. IHOP, it doesn't cost much more to increase the diameter of them cakes a few inches. This is good ol' flour and milk we're talking about, not truffles or saffron.

But, the syrup was plentiful and the plate big enough to gently swirl all four--maple, strawberry, boysenberry and pecan nut--into a colorful mosaic of insulin overload. KL

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From the October 18-24, 2001 issue of Metro, Silicon Valley's Weekly Newspaper.

Copyright © 2001 Metro Publishing Inc. Metroactive is affiliated with the Boulevards Network.

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