The experience

I’m working again tonight, and not wanting to miss a Phipps Fiasco meal, we head out for brunch.  Mina’s favorite place is The Original Pancake House.  I don’t actually know where the original The Original Pancake House is, I know it’s not the one in Plano, but it’s really close to where we live, so that’s the one we go to.  We tell Mina we are going to The Original Vegetable House and she is not excited about going out to eat anymore.  We tell her that she can have broccoli pancakes.  She says, “Nooooo!”

They tell us it’s going to be about 20 minutes when we arrive.  This is not unusual for the weekend and time of day. (We went on a Saturday at 11am).  Their estimations were about correct.  What’s wonderful about this restaurant is they have a whole wall of children’s books.  I read The Flower Princesses twice and read a Disney Book once.  A few times in the past, there has been a very talented balloon animal maker.  He works for tips.  We tip him really well because he does such excellent work.  Unfortunately, he was not there today.

Mina and Benji; art by Mina

Mina and Benji as Flower Princesses

We sit down and the fun begins.  I am not surprised that it takes some time before anyone comes to get our drink order.  After we give our drink order, Ogre informs the waiter that he will be getting a Dutch Baby. They tell you to order this ahead of time because it can take up to 20 minutes to bake.  I believe they put two or so in the oven at a time because sometimes it comes out pretty quickly, and other times, it seems to take the twenty minutes.  He brings our drinks and then we wait and wait.  Finally, he comes back to take the rest of our order.  He says, “I’ve got the Dutch Baby going, did you want to add to that order?”  No, this family of four was going to split one Dutch Baby.  So I order mine.  I want the Small Appetite portion of the Bacon and Egg (which is clearly described as coming with three buttermilk pancakes and nowhere else does it mention anything about coming with hash browns, tomatoes, or toast) and a side of whipped cream and strawberry syrup.  The waiter looks at me and asks what side I want.  Huh?  I’ve ordered this many times before so I have no idea what he is talking about.  I reiterate that I am ordering the Small Appetite order of Bacon and Egg.  He says, “I realize that.  It comes with a side and lists off those sides above and ends “or three buttermilk pancakes.”  I’m not sure why he thinks I’m ordering strawberry syrup, but to be fair I simply answer “three buttermilk pancakes.”  Then I tell him that we’d like an order of sliced bananas ASAP.  Benjamin doesn’t like all this waiting.  Ogre orders a Bacon Lover’s with Chocolate Chip Pancakes for the kids and him to share.  The bacon here is OUTSTANDING if you’ve never tried it.

Benji - Bacon LoverMina dips bacon in whipped cream


And we wait some more.  Ogre’s Dutch Baby comes and he brings Benji’s nanas with it.  Benji is very pleased.  Mina is busy drawing on her activity sheet and I am just waiting.  Ogre slices up some of his Dutch Baby for Benji.  Mina sees this and requests some also.  Each time she finishes up her portion, she asks for more.  Ogre is almost out of his breakfast and I tell Mina she should wait for her chocolate chip pancakes and let her Papa finish up his breakfast.  Of course, Ogre lets her have his last bite and Mina is very pleased with herself. 

Dutch Baby

Ogre has now finished his Dutch Baby and we have to wait at least another 5-10 minutes before the rest of breakfast comes out.  When it finally does, all of us start in on the best bacon in DFW.  I tell Mina that we can share my whipped cream for our pancakes and she immediately dips her bacon in it.  I find this pretty, well, disgusting.  I tell her she cannot dip her bacon in the whipped cream we are sharing.  Ogre finds the fact that she does this very amusing and tells her she can dip it her whipped cream that came on her pancakes.  I concede, as well.  Chocolate Chip Pancakes are hugely messy and Mina asks for a napkin.  I point out her napkin sitting beside her plate and she tells me that it is gross and bloody from when she used it to wipe her bloody nose earlier.  That is gross.  I give her mine and request more napkins the next chance I get.  Mina asks me what would happen if we ate dessert after breakfast.  I tell her breakfast is kind of like dessert, at least the way she and I eat it.

Chocolatr Chip Pankcakes

Benjamin is enjoying slathering food all over his face with his fork and spoon.  We are talking to our kind dining neighbors when Benjamin knocks his chocolate milk to the floor.  “Uh-oh.”   We sop up as much as we can and our neighbors give up their napkins, as well.  Thanks, kind woman and gentleman, who did not mind that are kids were dining right next to you and making a huge mess with their spilled milk and bloody noses!  We make sure our waiter brings us and them more napkins.  We survive the rest of breakfast without any more incidents. 


The food

Consistently great!  In fact, we eat here frequently, despite the consistently bad service.  They have outstanding coffee.  (Definitely better than Waffle House or Benedict’s).  We have never had a bad meal and I tend to rotate through various breakfast choices.  The buttermilk pancakes are nice and fluffy.    Even when I don’t get strawberry pancakes I always get the strawberry syrup because it’s just that good!  It’s not overly sweet and has such a good strawberry flavor.  I also order my eggs “over medium.”  It’s very Goldilocksy of me: not to soft, not to hard,  jusssst right.  And they are perfect every time!  Ogre loves this Dutch Baby concoction, it’s like a baked pancake and then you squeeze fresh lemons on to it followed by powdered sugar to make a sweet lemony syrup.  It’s well worth the wait.  I’ve already sung the praises of the bacon.  Never had it better anywhere else!

The menu is expansive with your typical breakfast fare, but they also have things that are more healthful like the Lifestyle Omelette (Ogre gets this when he is “dieting”).  The Smaller Appetites menu is perfect for kids and for people like me, who don’t like a huge meal.  I have found that the portions are just right for me.


The service

I really want this place to have better service.  In the past, I’ve even gotten so fed up that I’ve complained to management about it.  It’s really hit or miss, but mostly miss.  I can usually sit down and know by which waitperson walks up if it’s going to be an expedient and pleasant meal.  If you get the Asian guy, you’re in luck.  Anyone else, well, don’t say I didn’t warn you.  The management has always been very responsive, I just hate being the squeaky wheel everytime.  I must say, though, that the coffee service was surprisingly good today.  Typically, we have to flag down people time and time again to get a refill.  Maybe things are improving. 


The Kids

GREAT FOR KIDS!  They have something that will entertain the kids while you wait, their paper placemats have fun activities on them and they have a lot of menu choices for them, including healthy ones.  This is Mina’s favorite breakfast restaurant.  And one of ours, too!


Rants, Ravings, and Ramblings

This place would have definitely received 4 stars if it weren’t for the service.  PLEASE, OPH, ADDRESS THIS ISSUE!!  I even considered that if we actually had good service TODAY, I’d give it 4 stars, but I couldn’t and it’s a shame.

Total price: $37.24

They have several locations in Dallas, one in Plano and one in Frisco (or maybe it’s Plano, that’s what their website says, but it’s on 121)

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