I’ve been on a bit of a pancake kick lately. Typically my increase in pancake consumption coincides with the end of strawberry season (and, with it, crepe-making season). Luckily, there are lots of places to satisfy cravings for pancakes in San Diego, including the circus-big banana chocolate ‘cakes at The Tractor Room, blueberry and lemon-curd topped ricotta pancakes at Whisknladle, and Snooze, which has nine different options, ranging from “plain ol’ buttermilk” to red velvet.
The best part? There’s no need to commit to just one type of pancake. Order the “pancake flight” and you can try up to three different flavors, all on the same plate. Once I saw that option, it was the only way to go. The first type of pancake to catch my eye was the sweet potato pancake, topped with homemade caramel, pecans, and ginger butter. That was a definite yes. The pineapple upside down pancake looked tempting, but I was concerned that the caramelized pineapple chunks, housemade vanilla crème anglaise and cinnamon butter would be overkill, so the second position went to the red velvet pancake, which came with espresso-infused maple syrup, cream cheese frosting, and chopped pecans. The third pancake was the pancake of the day: German Chocolate — another definite yes.
When the plate arrived, I immediately wished I wasn’t eating solo. The pancakes were big, and topped with so much whipped cream, nuts, and frosting that it was like trying to conquer three full-sized desserts in one go. The best pancake was the red velvet, which had a mild cocoa taste, and was well-balanced by the slightly tangy cream cheese frosting. It was sweet, but not nearly as much as the sweet potato pancake, which was covered in so much caramel syrup that, while delicious, disqualified it as a main course. In the middle of the two was the German chocolate, which had a deeper, richer, chocolate taste than the red velvet, and was topped with sweetened coconut, fluffy whipped cream, caramel sauce, and walnuts.
For $9, you get a ton of food, but if you intend to eat this meal on your own, my advice is to balance the sweeter selections with something more straightforward. There’s enough whipped cream, nuts, and sweet sauce on one pancake to cover at least two, so the relatively blank canvas of a buttermilk pancake is a good idea if you want to spread the sugar around. Another option is to order a flight of pancakes to share as a group, so everyone gets a few bites. The portion is easily large enough to split between a table of four (or even six!), and having just a taste of each option may be the way to go. Despite my best intentions, I only got about halfway through the meal before I had to bow out.
3940 5th Ave. (Hillcrest)
Open Mon-Fri 6:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m., Sat & Sun: 7:00 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.