Thursday, August 16, 2012

Pancake Cafe, Naperville

Pancake Cafe
1292 Rickert Dr # 168
Naperville, IL 60540

 August 6, 2012

Tucked away in an unassuming Naperville strip mall, Pancake Cafe might just be the most quintessential pancake house we've come across to date. Mirrored walls, aged wooden booths, stained glass lighting and brass fixtures, this place has it all. I don't want to call it a dive, but the dark ambiance and unassuming design give it a soul-sucking charm, if you're into that sort of thing. Step in here and you could be inside any one of thousands of different restaurants just like it, so familiar and comfortable it feels that you'll be right at home, even if it's your first time inside. The menu is kinda boring, but I wasn't let down by my three berry crepes. Kinda hard to mess something like that up, I guess. Service was just fine, nothing to write home about but perfectly adequate. Unless you've been raised exclusively on Richard Walker's or Honey Jam, you won't walk out disappointed in your dining experience.

As for me, I got the cinnamon roll pancakes.  Maybe I've been spoiled by the cinnamon roll French toast at Mother's, which is drenched in icing and comes with a side of cinnamon sugar butter (mmm) but I found these pancakes to be...lacking.  Not that they were bad, mind you.  They tasted fine.  But they were basically regular pancakes dusted with some cinnamon sugar, with a little squirt of icing on top.  There wasn't much cinnamon-roll-ness about them, none of the over-the-top decadence that I've come to expect from items bearing the title of "cinnamon roll."  Sorta wish I'd gone with the banana crepes (which I've gotten here before, and which are excellent.)

This restaurant chain has two locations, that I know of:  one here, and one in Lemont.  For various reasons, I prefer the one in Naperville.  Despite my lukewarm review, I do consider this restaurant worth a visit.  Nice ambiance, quality food, and good service.  Really, that's all I need from a breakfast place.  It's also quite a bit nicer-looking on the inside than the outside, so it's a bit of a hidden gem.  Check it out if you're in the area.