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The Original Pancake House, Three Area Locations


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I remember seeing this bizarre choice of restaurant visits by Jim Leff, and finally got around to trying The Original Pancake House. Last night was one of "those" nights, the kind where you're awake at 1 AM, then 3 AM, then 5 AM, before finally saying "to hell with it" and going out to eat breakfast and drink coffee.

Anthony's was closed (it's only open for breakfast on weekends), so I was forced over to The Original Pancake House as a backup. The place was bustling with mostly tourists - or should I say, parodies of tourists: cowboy hats (men), baseball caps (men and women), backpacks, snot-nosed little urchins on Spring Break, and the most detached waitstaff I've seen in quite awhile, not that I blame them.

I ordered The Two By Four ($6.95, two eggs and four buttermilk pancakes), and put in an emergency request for coffee ($1.95). As I sat there reading The Onion, minutes started ticking by, and I got crabbier and crabbier - no coffee, anywhere, and no waitress (these are waitresses, not servers) who'd lend an eye, despite about ten of them running around.

Finally, the coffee arrived after I asked for it. Gone in 45 seconds. Okay now, when I'm paying $1.95 for coffee in a joint like this, and it's served in thimbles, I pretty much demand that there's a permanent, full-time person roaming the floor, whose only function is to walk around carrying a coffeepot and refilling empty thimbles. Finally, I got a second cup.

The food arrived: the eggs, ordered over-easy, were overcooked; the pancakes, undercooked, with raw batter in the middle. That's my morning.

Cheers,

Rocks.

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Your mistake was ordering the regular pancakes - the buckwheat pancakes and potato pancakes, and some of the non-pancake stuff like the baked omelets are actually pretty good.

That being said, the place gives off weirdness for some reason.

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Your mistake was ordering the regular pancakes - the buckwheat pancakes and potato pancakes, and some of the non-pancake stuff like the baked omelets are actually pretty good.

That being said, the place gives off weirdness for some reason.

I've had better luck at the OPH in Bethesda (not to mention the OPH in Delray Beach FL) but in any event my go-to at OPH has always been the apple pancake. I first had one of these things at Bickford's, a regional New England chain, and OPH's version dwarfs Bickford's. I no longer even try to eat the full-size version. The junior is more than big enough.

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agree with Hannah..the omeletes are outstanding (even egg white), as are the potato pancakes....the more exotic seasonal pancake choices can be good (like pumpkin pancakes..regular breakfast items are undistinguished...compared to IHOP, this is haute cuisine breakfast food.,,,first went in Delray beach, which is the best one I have been to...

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The Original Pancake House in Falls Church was home to one of the worst breakfasts I've had. Bad, cold food, poor service...I feel safe in saying that I will never go back to that one again.

I dislike IHOP intensely but I'd take it any time over the "Original Pancake House".

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Yeah, I think I was with Sean on this trip to OPH. Agreed that the service and food were way below grade. I don't dislike IHOP per se, but would gladly go to IHOP over OPH any day of the week.

Been to that one, agreed. Plus in that neck of the woods, I like Linda's Cafe. However, we've never had a bad experience at Rockville or Bethesda.

By the way, if anybody knits, OPH is doing a hat and scarf drive for the fall. Contact Jeff Bulman at greatfood@ophrestaurants.com.

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The breakfast choices in this area are the only thing that make me think about living is Southern California again. Leisurely meals at breakfast-only joints were kinda a way of life there. Give me a warm LBC morning, a hot cup of coffee while I wait on the curb for my table, and heart-slowing omelet and I am a happy camper! Egg Heaven, the Pot Holder, Hawaiian Breakfast (Hermosa), Back Burner (Hermosa), man, I am getting hungry just thinking about it. Seven bucks got you a grotesquely over stuffed three-egg omelet (with fresh avocado(Haas, at that)), breakfast potatoes, toast, and bottomless coffee. Almost always needed a nap immediately following my meal.

That said, the fewer than half-a-dozen times I have eaten at OHP have all been underwhelming at best, substandard at worst. The omelets I have had there more closely resembled frittatas and where stingy on fillings, food temp was wildly inconsistent, the place has a cold feel to it (Falls Church location), and I have never left there feeling remotely stuffed.

Been to Linda's a few times and was not disappointed, but haven't been in the last 6 years or so.

I make great omelets and homefries, but sometimes I want to be waited on. Is there anywhere for a great breakfast in NoVA?

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The breakfast choices in this area are the only thing that make me think about living is Southern California again. Leisurely meals at breakfast-only joints were kinda a way of life there. Give me a warm LBC morning, a hot cup of coffee while I wait on the curb for my table, and heart-slowing omelet and I am a happy camper! Egg Heaven, the Pot Holder, Hawaiian Breakfast (Hermosa), Back Burner (Hermosa), man, I am getting hungry just thinking about it. Seven bucks got you a grotesquely over stuffed three-egg omelet (with fresh avocado(Haas, at that)), breakfast potatoes, toast, and bottomless coffee. Almost always needed a nap immediately following my meal.

That said, the fewer than half-a-dozen times I have eaten at OHP have all been underwhelming at best, substandard at worst. The omelets I have had there more closely resembled frittatas and where stingy on fillings, food temp was wildly inconsistent, the place has a cold feel to it (Falls Church location), and I have never left there feeling remotely stuffed.

Been to Linda's a few times and was not disappointed, but haven't been in the last 6 years or so.

I make great omelets and homefries, but sometimes I want to be waited on. Is there anywhere for a great breakfast in NoVA?

I've thought the Falls Church location better in my couple visits than the one in Bethesda. That's not to say either was very good.

Which is a shame, because I grew up on Walker Brothers in Wilmette, IL [also an OPH]. Simply great.

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