Friday, October 23, 2009

Top 10 Pancakes

Posted By on Fri, Oct 23, 2009 at 7:13 AM

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Why order a short stack when you can have the whole stack?
Pancakes are good for the soul. It's why everybody loves them. And so Fat City set out to discover the Top 10 pancakes in the Kansas City area. What follows is the result of a carb-laden conversation between Jonathan Bender and Charles Ferruzza.

The secret to a perfect pancake, told to Charles Ferruzza decades ago by a short-tempered short order cook, is the temperature of the griddle (not too hot or the surface will brown too quickly), the texture of the griddle -- well-seasoned steel is best with just an evanescent sheen of butter, never margarine, the flavor's off -- and a good spoonful of batter that's not too thick (the flapjack will be too doughy) or too thin -- you want a pancake, not a crepe. The perfect pancake should be airy, not dense. 

10) Po's Dumpling Bar -- Onion Pancakes. These dim sum regulars are the right amount of grease on a weekend morning -- an outstanding savory pancake.

9) Jerry's Woodswether Cafe -- Blueberry Pancakes. If you can finish one of these, you deserve a medal. It's not often that pancakes are big and tasty, but these fit the bill.

8) The Cook Shack Cafe -- Pancakes. The pancakes taste homemade, and that's a good thing. A fat pat of butter lets you know that the triple stack is going to be filling.

7) Chris Cakes -- Pancake mix. There are not many caterers dedicated to pancakes but the company, based in Louisburg, Kansas, sells its fluffy mix at Price Choppers in Overland Park.

6) Kelly's Diner. Apple Cinnamon Pancakes. It's almost like dessert for breakfast at this down home diner in Lawrence -- but bring cash -- credit cards are not accepted.

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5) The City Diner. This popular River Market breakfast joint is legendary for serving one of the biggest pancakes in Kansas City: It measures over twelve-and-a-half inches across. It's hard to eat one -- particularly with eggs, bacon and a half-order of biscuits and gravy, but we have seen people do it. The City Diner is another cash-only establishment.

4) The Classic Cookie. This is a Saturday morning destination spot for breakfast lovers in the Waldo and Brookside neighborhoods. If you have to wait for a table -- it's a tiny joint -- a short stack is a good way to warm up quickly. 

3) Mama's 39th Street Grill. There are many varieties of flapjacks here, including pineapple pancakes -- which only sounds like the 1960 Annette Funicello pop hit Pineapple Princess.

2) Winstead's. The iconic local burger joint also serves breakfasts in the morning and the pancakes are practically perfection.

1) Cascone's Grill. These pancakes are beautiful and feather-light. The Cascone family has been selling them for over a half-century, so you know they're doing something right.

(Image via Flickr: dr_loplop)

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