August 22, 2010

Where to find the best pancakes in Flagstaff, Arizona

One of the giant Mormon Lake Lodge pancakes
Pancakes, flapjacks, silver dollars, short stack, crepes... The beloved breakfast classic goes by many names and all of them equal a mouthful of happiness. While an American breakfast staple, pancakes are eaten around the world in various forms all day long and have been for centuries. Some are sweet treats for dessert, others are in the salty realm with cheeses and meats if you can believe that. But here we generally just have fluffy bready slightly sweet flat circles that are cooked up on a griddle, flipped then served with syrup, butter, and sometimes fruit toppings. Here’s a look at some of the best ones being served up around Flagstaff.

Wildflower Bread Company
530 East Piccadilly Drive (at Butler & Lone Tree)
Sure they've got traditional pancakes, but wildflower also has some of the most special stacks around: they’re signature lemon ricotta pancakes. These have ricotta and lemon gently cooked right in for a fresh morning feeling on your taste buds. They come with a sweet blueberry compote which eliminated the "need" for syrup, but it comes with that too and a light and fluffy butter. These are some of the best in town.

Mormon Lake Lodge
Main Street - Mormon Lake, AZ (You really can’t miss it – it’s the only place to eat in  the tiny town)
For a cowboy breakfast head out to Mormon Lake and stop at their Lodge restaurant. Their Cowboy Flapjacks are gigantic (think as big as your head). They taste delightfully buttery and fluffy. Consider getting them as part of the Pega Special, which is two pancakes topped with two eggs plus a side of bacon or sausage for a massive meal sure to fill you up (and leave leftovers for later) for a horseback ride, mountain bike ride or walk through the trails in the area. Added bonus: Mormon Lake Lodge was Flagstaff’s first “green” restaurant. So you’ll find plenty of naturally, organically or sustainably grown items on the menu, including the Flapjacks.

La Bellavia
18 S. Beaver St
La Bellavia is known for their Swedish Oat Cakes. These huge buttermilk and oat cakes are served with a hot cinnamon apple topping. They taste like a treat, but they’re relatively good for you. One of these babies can fill you up, so don’t go crazy and get a big stack unless you’re going to be sharing with the kiddos. You can also order a side-sized oat cake, which is the size of a normal pancake other places, to compliment another breakfast entrée like the spuds medley or as a kid-sized meal.

Brandy’s Restaurant & Bakery
1500 E Cedar Ave
Brandy’s used to be owned by the folks as La Bellavilla. (The owners of Brandy are the ones who founded both.) So there is some Déjà vu to the pancakes at the two spots. They have similar tasty and hearty Swedish Oat Pancakes here as well as Brandy’s Pancakes, which are buttery buttermilk cakes that can be filled with apples, bananas, blueberries or chocolate chips. They also sell their pancake mix so you can whip up a batch of these beauts anytime of the day or night.

Old Town Creperie
120 N Leroux St (in the alley behind the Old Town Shops by Uptown Billiards)
Try what is basically the French-equivalent (kind of) of thin pancakes- crepes- at the Old Town Creperie downtown. This outdoor-ish spot has a vintage feel with crepes and more crepes on the menu. The classic here is the Genevieve with a nice lemony light taste but not too sweet topped with a raspberry puree and whipped crème. Make it more of a dessert stop with the Leroux filled with Nutella, chocolate chips and other goodies. If you’re willing to get your mind past a pancake-ish meal being sweet, then try one of their “Savoy” crepes with meats and cheeses like the Grilled Chicken Spinach with a béchamel sauce or the Frankie with organic egg, cheddar, tomato, spinach and a white sauce. The Creperie has a large selection and something for everyone to try. You can find a full menu on their

(Originally written for Flagstaff Live! by me, of course)


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