Perfect Pancakes

Whole grain, buttermilk or buckwheat: There's something for everyone
Lorna Yee  |   January 2010   |  FROM THE PRINT EDITION
The pancake toppings bar at Portage Bay Cafe

Best Northwest-Style Pancakes
The sun-drenched room at the U-District location of Portage Bay Café (additional locations at South Lake Union and in Ballard) makes it one of the most popular breakfast spots in town. Looking for a healthful, yet delicious way to start your morning? Portage Bay’s generously sized pancakes ($9) come two to an order, and are made with local Bluebird Grain organic emmer faro heirloom wheat and low-fat yogurt. These tasty whole-grain pancakes come with a trip to the legendary toppings bar, where you’ll find an assortment of fruit, nuts and organic maple syrup. All together, a virtuous start to your morning.

Best Traditional Pancakes
Hector’s has been a favorite destination in downtown Kirkland for years, where hoards of hungry families enjoy its fresh dinner-plate-size buttermilk pancakes, plain ($7.25) or with huckleberries ($8.25). Soft, tender and with a lacy edge, these pancakes are also available miniaturized when you order the 2-2-2 (two eggs, two strips of bacon or two sausages, and two 4-inch pancakes for $7.75).

Best nontraditional Pancakes

Wintry climes got you down? Head over to Ballard’s northern Italian restaurant Volterra, where the weekend brunch features belly-warming buckwheat- and chestnut-flour pancakes, topped with a sweet mound of thinly sliced sautéed apples, melting chestnut-flavored mascarpone, all lightly dusted with a cloud of powdered sugar ($9.95).

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