Bring a hearty appetite to Bothell breakfast mecca

  • By Jackson Holtz Herald Writer
  • Friday, August 5, 2011 12:01am
  • LifeBothell

It can take two, three, sometimes four trips to the kitchen to deliver all the food to a table of expectant and hungry visitors at the Original Pancake House.

A fluffy, two-inch tall omelette whipped up with five eggs isn’t enough. The plate-filling platter of protein comes with plenty of carbs: three 6-inch round pancakes and a pile of home-fried potatoes.

The restaurant, a family tradition born in Portland, Ore., more than 50 years ago, isn’t just about quantity. Their food is delicious, too.

Although there have been outlets of this small chain in Ballard and Kirkland, the newest location in Bothell is the first in Snohomish County.

The restaurant opened quietly this spring with no fanfare or media blitz.

The first day only a few customers noticed, a waitress reported. But by the second day word spread and seats in the restaurant quickly filled.

They’ve been full ever since.

It’s no wonder the restaurant has a comfortable and roomy waiting area in front.

On a recent Sunday, a friend and I had to wait about 15 minutes for a table. A hostess ushered us through a set of double doors into the dining room.

That’s where diners sat with cups of coffee patiently anticipating the arrival of their breakfasts.

Excellence can’t be rushed. Two signature dishes at the Original Pancake House — the Dutch baby and the omelette — take up to 30 minutes to prepare, especially during busy weekend morning rushes.

Having scored the table, we had to wait again for our food to arrive.

Is it worth all the fuss? You bet.

The Dutch baby ($9.95) is a huge inflated sphere of sweet, egg-y dough. Dutch babies are made with a popover batter poured into a piping hot cast-iron pan. That creates a lot of air, pushing out a ridge of crisp, golden brown crunchiness. They come with a lemon wedge, butter and powdered sugar. Ask for syrup and jam, too.

A cheese omelette ($8.50) includes choices of side dishes: pancakes, fruit, toast or potatoes. I paid $2 extra to upgrade to buckwheat pancakes that were chewy, full of flavor and fluffy.

A side of bacon ($3.95) proved the restaurant’s commitment to quality. The slices were thick, nicely cooked and delicious.

Both orange and grapefruit juice ($2.75 for a small) came fresh squeezed, pulp sticking to the rim of the glass. Attentive waitresses made sure coffee cups stayed full with a nice house blend.

There are plenty of other menu choices too. Crepes, waffles and more than the ABCs — apple, blueberry, chocolate chip and coconut — of pancakes.

I’m not a big fan of doggy bags at breakfast, but I saw plenty of people boxing up leftovers. (I barely could finish half the omelette and only dented the pancakes and taters.)

Expect to have to wait a bit to get fed at the Original Pancake House; don’t expect to leave hungry.

Jackson Holtz: 425-339-3447; jholtz@heraldnet.com.

Original Pancake House

1904 201st Place SE, on the Bothell-Everett Highway, Bothell; 425-419-4476; www.originalpancakehouse.com.

Specialty: Pancakes and omelettes

Hours: 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily.

Prices: Moderate.

Alcohol: None.

Vegetarian options: Many.

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