Monday, July 18, 2011

West Hollywood: Griddle Cafe

The Sunday before last at 8:15am found me and fellow morning person David at The Griddle Cafe, a West Hollywood institution popular enough that when we arrived, 15 minutes after opening time, the restaurant was already mostly full.  Griddle is quite unassuming as far as appearances go, with a worn-down, diner-like atmosphere.  There are booths along the wall, tables in the middle, and a U-shaped bar that takes up about half the room.

Coffee is served in French presses, but I didn't want *that* much caffeine, so I went for a latte instead.  David's hot chocolate was quite pretty:

The pancakes and French toasts here are known for being epic in both preparation style (just check out the first few pages of the menu) and, especially for the pancakes, exceptional size.  We decided to share one "Mounds of Pleasure" pancake - coconut and chocolate-filled with whipped cream on top - and the "Mom's French Toast," which doesn't have any fillings or toppings.  Behold:

Both the pancake and French toast were excellent, with the former being a sugar-high-on-a-plate and actually wider than the plate, and the latter seeming moderate by comparison.  Each table has a bottle of real maple syrup, which is nice (though hopefully only useful for the plain French toast).  I have no idea how anyone could finish even a single pancake on their own!  David and I gave our best effort, which resulted in consumption of ~60% of the pancake and ~75% of the French toast.

Service is efficient; we didn't feel at all rushed, but were out the door at 9:00am.  Sharing is definitely the key to survival at Griddle.  If I went with a group (and showed up promptly at opening in order to get one of the booths), it could be fun to order a stack of two or three pancakes and slice them like a layer cake.  There is, in fact, a "Red Velvet panCAKE" that is topped with cream cheese icing.   Hats off to Griddle for fully acknowledging that it is, in many ways, serving ridiculous quantities of dessert as breakfast!