You will notice a bit of up and down in the picture quality of this entry. This is because this review covers two trips to the Original Pancake House in Anaheim. The first visit was around Christmas and sadly was the last review Diner Photog Charlie Chu was able to attend before relocating to Portland. The second visit was just a week ago.
The Original Pancake House does honestly look like a house. It isn't much bigger than a regular house, either. During peak pancake times you can expect to wait and since they close at 2pm, it's all pretty much peak pancake time.
It can be surprisingly douchey at the Original Pancake House. I don't want to offend any of my Orange County readers but, y'all got some d-bags down there. But for every Ed Hardy dad and Zach Morris tween, there's a family out for Sunday brunch who are just regular folks. While we were waiting for a table, an older gentleman commented to a young woman who was carrying her baby, "My wife gave birth at the hospital not too far from here. When I was finally able to bring them home, on our way we stopped here for breakfast. My son's first restaurant experience was right here."
I love that the first page of the menu is basically a Wikipedia entry on "pancakes."
Now, no matter what you order at the Original Pancake House, you're going to be eating a pancake.
Maybe just one.
Maybe six of them made out of potatoes.
Even the non-pancakes kind of remind you of pancakes.
The coffee is really good. The waitresses are friendly and attentive. I hardly finished a cup before it was refilled.
On our first visit, I ordered the cottage cheese pancakes. They were all right. It was a pretty subtle flavor. On the second visit I ordered the Nebraska corn cakes. When the waitress told me "good choice, they taste just like cornbread," I was really excited. They were also just 'all right.' I've had better corn cakes at places that don't specialize in corn cakes.
I hate to say it, but the best thing I've tasted at the Original Pancake House was the beef scramble Charlie ordered. It was rich and cheesy and used a pretty great seasoning on the beef.
The runner-up was definitely the German pancake that #1 Diner Companion Antoinette got on our first visit. It's gigantic. It looks a deflated zeppelin laying lopsided on your plate. It's doughy and soft and delicious. She was smart enough to order it again on our second visit.
Overall, the Original Pancake House was just okay. I gave it two chances to impress and it didn't really do that. Faced with waiting twenty minutes for some only-decent pancakes, I may be tempted to go back to the Busy Apron just down the street and take my chances.
The Original Pancake House
1418 East Lincoln Avenue
Anaheim, California 92805