Friday, November 19, 2010

Pig'N Pancake, Seaside OR--The Taste of Nostalgia

Pig'N Pancake is a chain of family restaurants in Oregon. In fact, on Diner-Honeymoon, #1DW Antoinette and I saw four out of the six locations. Each one is a little different and is really catered to fit into the town where it resides. For example, the one in Astoria, which is more of an industrial port-city, looks more rustic with a log cabin look, while the one in Cannon Beach, a more affluent beach town, looks much fancier with vaulted ceilings and large glass windows. The people in Astoria called the people in Cannon Beach yuppies. The people in Cannon Beach wouldn't talk to us so we have no idea what they call people in Astoria.

The Pig'n Pancake in Seaside, Oregon is a very special place for me. I can't remember the first time my family ate here, but chances are, I hadn't even started elementary school yet. There's pictures of us in Seaside where I still have blonde hair. Antoinette doesn't believe that that's me. She believes that I was switched in at some point with the skinny blonde kid that is in those Tanner family pictures.

Seaside is a classic tourist trap beach town. The main drag in town is just a stretch of salt-water taffy shops and gift stores that sell seashells and sweatshirts. The Pig'N Pancake always fit perfectly into the beach town atmosphere.

I hadn't been back to Seaside in over ten years, and I was afraid that the town itself might have changed and Pig'N Pancake might have changed with it. Luckily, neither had changed a bit. Well, the elephant ears places now sells gourmet cupcakes, but other than thatn nothing changed!

Now, although I have fond memories of Pig'N Pancake, I have no recollection of the food quality. Not to get too granola Oregon on you guys, but Pig'N Pancake is a feeling, man. I just hoped that the feeling was "tasty."

We started with some coffee and we were both impressed. This coffee was nearly as good as House of Pies coffee, which is our benchmark for good coffee.

I had to cover both pigs and pancakes with my breakfast. Anything less would have seemed wrong.

I ordered the Banana Pancakes. Mostly because I was intrigued by the pineapple orange sauce. Note--not a syrup, but a sauce. The pancakes on their own were very good and the sauce was excellent. It was a sweet sauce but not too sweet. I tried the huckleberry syrup (it's an Oregon thing) and the regular syrup and both were delicious. The ham steak I ordered as a side was decent, if not a little fatty.

Antoinette ordered the pecan waffle with bacon. We've been burned before so we asked if the pecans were just a topping or actually cooked into the waffle. We were assured that they were in the batter as well as on top. Antoinette was also asked how she wanted her bacon cooked. I can count on one hand the number of times I've been asked that. It seems like it should be asked more even if there are really only two ways to cook it--crispy or not crispy.

The waffle was good, and although there were pecans cooked into the waffle, it just didn't have a strong pecan flavor to it. It was a decent waffle, but nothing to really make you sit up and take notice. The bacon was very good.

After our meal, we headed into the adjacent gift shop. There they sell the expected seashells and sweatshirts and the standard gift store junk--personalized license plates for kids, but never one that says "Antoinette." I'll be husband of the year if I ever find one for her.

They also sell stuffed pigs carrying plates of pancakes. I had to get one to take home with me. I also bought a Pig'N Pancake t-shirt. This is like my Disneyworld!

Up at the counter, I paid with my debit card and signed the receipt with a pink-capped Pig'N Pancake pen. Antoinette asked if we could buy a pen and the waitress just told us to keep it.

Pig'N Pancake was a pretty big dose of nostalgia for me. I loved the whole experience but it didn't blind me to the quality of the food. It was perfectly good, but nothing special. I wouldn't make a trip to Seaside (or Astoria or Cannon Beach, etc) just for it, but if you are there, Pig'N Pancake helps complete your experience.

Food: Good.
Service: Good.
Price: $7-$10
Pie: They make their own!

It's like a stained-glass window at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Porcine Flapjack.

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