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Start off gameday with breakfast staples at The Original Pancake House

Eric Prister, Colin Rich and Jess Shaffer | Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The Original Pancake House, formerly known as Bibler’s Original Panckake House, is a South Bend staple, and particularly a Notre Dame home football Saturday staple which serves solid breakfast dishes in a nondescript but enjoyable family atmosphere.
With its close proximity to campus, The Original Pancake House is a great choice for students looking for a weekend breakfast spot outside the dining hall. Even on home football weekends, The Original Pancake House is busy, but can accommodate a large amount of customers, which makes it an excellent way to start out the game day.

The most famous and popular dish served at the Original Pancake House is the apple pancake, and the popularity is well deserved. More like an elephant ear than a pancake, the apple pancake is served hot and covered with apples and cinnamon. It comes with either whipped cream or ice cream and is more than enough to satisfy even the largest appetites. The apple pancake is extraordinarily flavorful, and the ice cream does an excellent job of mixing hot and cold in this high-quality dish. But buyers beware: The apple pancake takes 25 minutes to prepare, so alert your server as soon as possible if you want it to arrive with the other food.

Another enjoyable dish on the menu at The Original Pancake House is the crepes which can be served with a wide variety of fillings. The house specialty is the Danish kijafa cherry crepes, served with a hot cherry filling. The crepes themselves are flavorful, and the cherries (or any of the other fillings) make a great combination of sweet and savory tastes. For large appetites, the three filled crepes may not be enough, but a wide variety of side items are available to supplement it.

For the less ambitious who pass on the more publicized apple pancake option, a safe and hearty fallback is the Original Pancake House’s bacon omelet. This delectable, three-egg treat comes with a generous portion of golden hash browns and your choice of buttermilk pancakes or jellied toast. The omelet likens itself more to a burrito than your standard egg envelope of meat and cheese. The House cooks fried bacon into the eggs before wrapping them up and filling the center, as if by magic, with warm, gooey cheddar. The final two-plate product is an irresistibly satisfying mixture of sodium and sweetness, and only meant for those with hungers ranging from moderate to extreme ravenousness.

The House’s selection seems to have a pulse on what combinations get breakfast-eaters up and moving. The Original Pancake House pairs French toast and bacon, no side ordering necessary. The French toast is your standard fare, satisfying but not necessary spectacular or special. Plain and simple, the French toast comes in a large portion dusted with powdered sugar; this option is successfully unobtrusive and meets minimum expectations. While the French toast may be relatively unremarkable, the bacon definitely surpasses the suspect quality of typical diner food. Thick, crispy, salty and crunchy, this bacon is the thing that odes to breakfast meats are made of. True quality, nothing about the Pancake House’s bacon will remind you of the fatty, greasy thin “lesser bacon” that may or may not be spotted in the dining halls.

The coffee of the Original Pancake House has all the smoothness to be the perfect start to your day but enough boldness to get the most anti-morning person awake and perky. This delicious coffee blend excels its many restaurant counterparts, and refills abound.
A good start to your day or to your meal, sip on some Joe and gawk at the odd decor of baskets, plaid, and “country home accessories” while you enjoy the comfort of being in the hands of friendly, attentive servers.

As a final capstone to an excellent meal, The Original Pancake House offers homemade orange juice, which, though served in very small amount, is delicious and refreshing.
Good food, close proximity to campus and a relaxed atmosphere make The Original Pancake House an excellent choice for students who want to start their game day experience early, or are simply looking for an alternate weekend morning activity.