Restaurant Reviews

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The Original Pancake House
Brookfield, WI

www.originalpancakehouse.com

This restaurant deserves its name; they know pancakes!

The Original Pancake House’s claim that they use only the freshest, finest ingredients is confirmed by your first taste of their super-tender pancakes. Never dry, and so flavorful you could eat them without any topping, although it’s difficult to pass up their special chocolate sauce, whipped cream, tropical syrup, creamy butter, or traditional maple syrup.

Choose from a wide variety of offerings besides traditional buttermilk pancakes:

Apple
Buckwheat
Wheat Germ
Banana
Blueberry
Chocolate Chip
Coconut
Hawaiian
Pecan
Potato
Swedish
Sourdough
49’ers
Dollar
Dutch Baby

While the size of their pancakes are generally smaller than typical family or diner style restaurants, the number and quality more than compensates.

Waffles, crepes, eggs, meat and other breakfast items are also offered.


The Machine Shed
Pewaukee, WI

www.machineshed.com

The Machine Shed gets a high rating for a down-home, farm style atmosphere, but the pancakes could use some down-home help.

Entering the restaurant, you are greeted by delicious aromas and an interesting “general store” of merchandise to peruse while you wait for a seat, if the restaurant is busy.

The breakfast/brunch menu selection is abundant, and this includes a buffet. Unfortunately, the buffet did not feature any pancakes; it did have chewy, rubbery french toast sticks and dry waffles, though.

Ordering pancakes from the menu, you can choose from buttermilk pancakes, pecan pancakes, or blueberry pancakes. If interested, you can try the Machine Shed’s special apple cider syrup.

My pancakes arrived with no syrup, but this was brought to me a minute or two later, along with butter. The pancakes were large and thick, about 6 or 7 inches in diameter. Nice and hot, the pancakes absorbed both the butter and syrup quickly. However, the fist and second bite revealed a somewhat disappointing pancake. It seemed dry and a bit tough–as if the batter had been over-mixed and the pancake overcooked (indeed, one side looked fairly dark). Tasting the pancake without syrup, it was much like a biscuit, really no sweetness to it at all.

The restaurant itself features a family setting with old country/farm tool decor. The drinking glasses were Mason jars! Checkered cloth napkins were a nice touch. The metal water pitcher they give you could use a better spout–it’s so wide, with no trench, that all the ice water could easily fall out as you tilt it. (Yes, you pour your own water.) If you order orange juice, this, too, comes in a Mason jar, and is only very slightly pulpy, but refreshing.

In summary, many hearty, meaty breakfasts are offered, and perhaps these food items are more the Machine Shed’s specialty than the pancakes. I didn’t finish the pancakes, didn’t take them home, and I wouldn’t visit the Machine Shed again for pancakes.

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