Pancakes are objects of pure pleasure, designed to make breakfast sweet. But too often they’re the result of early morning shortcuts: born from a box, mixed until tough and chewy, and sodden with syrup. Thankfully a few locals are griddling up traditional European pancakes so unique that you’ll wish every breakfast could be so continental.
Jägerhaus is a slice of old-school Orange County. The restaurant’s thick, fluffy German pancakes are delightful: massive rounds the size of pizzas with craggy, crunchy crusts and tender, doughy centers stuffed with cherries, apples, or peaches. They’re dusted with powdered sugar, but even with the accompanying crock of wonderful spiced-plum jam, they’re never cloying.
The Original Pancake House eschews sugary stacks for yeasty sourdough pancakes and old-fashioned 49er flapjacks. But just as good are the Swedish pancakes—like crepes with lacy, crisp edges. You could drown them in maple syrup if you like, but try a smear of lingonberry jam. The traditional topping brings the sweetness of raspberries and the tartness of cranberries.
The Dutch Baby—a dramatic, high-walled puff that’s the pancake-equivalent of deep-dish pizza—actually hails from Seattle. So it’s only natural that Plums Café, our very own slice of the Pacific Northwest, churns out Dutch Babies—clouds of airy dough sprinkled with powdered sugar and drizzled with lemon juice—with daily regularity. There’s no better reason to rise and shine.
IF YOU NEED PROTEIN to start your day, Jägerhaus has hearty German breakfasts to get you going. Try the grilled bratwurst with two eggs of any style and toast. Substitute the restaurant’s excellent potato pancakes for the rustic home fries, and you have a breakfast that’ll hold you through a day at Disneyland.
2525 E. Ball Road, Anaheim
Original Pancake House
locations in Aliso Viejo, Anaheim, Huntington Beach, Orange, and Yorba Linda
369 E. 17th St., Costa Mesa