The Original Pancake House

22 E Bellevue Pl. Chicago, IL 60611 • (312)


Amidst the like likes of Prada, Ted Baker, Jil Sander and Armani you will find an oddly located, old-school pancake house smack dab in the middle of the Viagra Triangle (it gets its name from the fact that there are a lot of wealthy, older gentlemen partaking in high class escort services in the hotels that triangulate this area).

Hookers aside, there really is some great shopping to be had and if you want to hit the stores early, there are few places that are better to power up than The Original Pancake House (which technically isn’t the original, which opened in Oregon). But “early” is the key word here people, because not only does the early bird get the worm, it also gets a table without having to wait an hour.

Yes, this place packs ‘em in all these years later because they have a good thing going and they keep it that way. Been almost twenty years between the last time I visited and just now and they haven’t lost a step.

My strong recommendations are the pancakes, obviously, and specifically the pumpkin pancakes when in season (they are pretty famous for their apple pancakes as well). But the other call that might seem less obvious are the baked eggs. I’m not sure how they do it, but they bake their omelets instead of frying them and while you might think that would make them less flavorful, it’s quite the contrary. They are chock full and fluffier than a Pomeranian after losing a battle with a blow dryer. So pick whichever one tickles your fancy from veggie to western to spinach and feta- it doesn’t matter. It’s all good and probably the best thing you can buy in the neighborhood for under $100. That was intended to be a shopping joke, not about the escorts. Although I suppose it covers both.

5 teeth

Burger and Barrel

25 W Houston St. New York, NY 10012 • (212) 334-7320 •


If you poked your head in this place knowing nothing about it, you’d probably think twice or just walk right past it, because from the outside looking in, it looks like any other pub in the country. But looks are hella deceiving because housed within its four walls lies sheer, unadulterated awesomeness.

First, let’s start with what made them famous, the Bash Burger. Perfectly sized so as not to be a gut bomb, then topped with bacon jam, caramelized onions, pickles, American cheese and some sort of special sauce all worthy of Food and Wine Magazine’s best burger some 4 or 5 times now since 2009.

But burgers are not the only note this minstrel can play. Because before handing me what would easily be in my top 5 burgers in NYC, they handed be the best damn Bloody Mary I’ve ever laid lips on. The Bloody Maria is not your normal bloody lass, however. She’s made with jalapenos as opposed to horseradish, and let me just say, “Dios mio!” That’s one spicy bitch!

The other star worthy of an amen would be the French toast sticks. The good news is that they are literally perfect for the kids. The bad news is that they are so good you’ll probably wolf them down yourself, leaving your kids crying and in tears. No? Just me? Well, that’s because you haven’t tried them yet. Once you get a taste of those crispy, soaked through sticks, topped with that incredible berry compote, you’ll be shunned as a father just like me.

And speaking of shunned, there were two misses, sad to say. The first being the B&B Bubbly. A Proseco drink with fruit that didn’t quite manage to taste as inventive as its description. The other miss being the baked eggs, guilty of a similar crime. I’d skip both and try something else. Word on the street is that the fried chicken is pretty ridonkulous as well. Guess I’ll find out when I return, which can’t be soon enough.

4 teeth