Monday, August 20, 2007

Broadway Pancake House, Brookfield

Broadway Pancake House
9215 West Broadway Ave.
Brookfield, IL 60513


August 16, 2007

We've had a pair of free passes to the Brookfield Zoo that we've been waiting to use since the spring, which we finally put to good use this week. Since we were already headed to Brookfield, we wanted to find some place to have breakfast first. Sure enough, there was a pancake house in Brookfield, and though we took the wrong way out of the nearby turnabout to get there, we eventually found it relative ease. The Brookfield Pancake House sits on a quiet street, just across from an old fashioned barber shop, and next door to something called Micro Thunder, Inc.. As you can see, it's also next to a dollar store. And not one of those cheap Dollar Tree stores that have taken over every strip mall in the suburbs (and unfortunate shopping malls as well), either. Check the dude in the jorts who's about to sit on the sign. Classic style.

The awning above the door displays the name "Broadway Pancake House," yet the sign just above it clearly reads "Broadway Family Restaurant." From the outside this might seem like a restaurant with an identity crisis. Just don't expect to find a shocking collision of themes inside. It's a pancake house, but feels more like a diner than a family restaurant. Our host/waiter was friendly and the service was good, but we were two of the only customers in at the time. It was after 1:00 on a weekday, so obviously business was slow. It must pick up later in the evening, because unlike most other pancake houses we've been to, Broadway is open until 9:00 at night for dinner.

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The menu gives you a decent but not quite impressive list of pancakes to pick from. I chose the silver dollar pancakes, while Ayinsan skipped pancakes altogether and tried the French toast special with eggs and sausage. My pancakes were fine. Nothing special, here.


Our bill came to under ten dollars for both of us, but that's without any coffee or juice. We'd both had coffee earlier that morning, and maybe we just wanted to save money by drinking ice water instead of juice. It's probably a fact that meals are more enjoyable when you get "real" beverages with them, so we're probably doing these restaurants (and our opinions of them) an unfair disservice when we choose not to have any with our meals. Not that we really think that our opinions are really filling (or emptying) the booths. I just don't want to put up an unnecessarily critical or pissy "review" that some pancake house owner is eventually going to find on Google. Is that a spineless attitude or what?

Anyway, the Broadway Pancake House is a good stop if you're looking for breakfast on the cheap, especially if you're planning on spending a few hours at the zoo afterwards (worth doing before Labor Day). Just don't expect anything more than a no-frills breakfast. No fancy crepes, Belgian waffles, apricot glaze, or chrome caddies of fruit-flavored syrups. But maybe that's just fine with you.


Ayinsan here. As you can see, my breakfast came arranged with geometric precision on the plate, with french toast triangles bracketing a large, yellow rectangle of eggs, and a sausage link perched at each end. Of course, I only had a few seconds to appreciate this effort before I tore it apart with my knife and fork.

Pretty much all that needs to be said about the Broadway Pancake House has been said. It's simple, quick and cheap, and while the food was nothing to get excited about, it's also nothing to scoff at. And somehow, I was left with the impression that the folks running this restaurant take a certain pride in their work. Maybe it was the attentive and friendly service, or the carefully arranged food, or maybe they were broadcasting sub-audible hypnotic suggestions through the Oldies radio station.


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