(In case you missed how the Big Breakfast Adventure got started, you can read it here: How it all began )
I am going to put it right out there: pancakes are not my favorite breakfast food. In my little world, the British part of me thinks a pancake is what the American part of me thinks is a crepe. And when it comes to pancakes, the British part of me is still winning. I grew up eating pancakes (crepes) just once a year on Pancake Day (aka Shrove Tuesday) & was a day my mouth looked forward to with eager anticipation for the other 364 days of the year. Thin, lacy crepes drizzled with fresh lemon juice, sprinkled with castor sugar and rolled up, before being eaten. I would eat as many as were made for me…& then leave the table wishing there were twice as many more still to be made. Sigh. I can still taste them now. I still want to eat them. Right now. If I had a crepe pan I would be abandoning this blog immediately to go & make some. Sigh.
Anyway…given that (American) pancakes are not my favorite food & especially not for breakfast, I decided I needed some expert assistance as I headed over to Hector’s in the ever-lovely Kirkland, where Seattle magazine assured us we would find the best pancakes in Seattle. Enter Annie (13) & Sam (8). Pancake experts if ever there were any. So, I borrowed them from their parents at some ridiculous hour & we made a very excitable drive over to Kirkland….windows down, singing wildly along with Michael Bublé & screaming “BINGO!” every time one of us saw a yellow car. Needless to say I only won when I had the advantage of seeing them in the rear-view mirror before the kids had a chance to spot them.
Hector’s was full of very bright sparkly servers & shortly after we arrived at 8 am, hordes of hungry Kirklandites. Good job Hector’s is a large place. Sandy settled us into our booth & armed us with a cupful of crayons & pictures to color. Of course we already knew what we wanted but I can just never resist looking at the menu anyway. It’s always a bad idea, but especially if what you came there to eat is not your favorite in the first place. Hector’s menu made my heart pound & my mouth salivate. I guess I’ll be going back there after this 55 Best Breakfasts in Seattle gig is over. Egg-Zactly.
Sandy brought us complimentary scones, which, yummy as they looked I didn’t eat because some old, familiar words kept ringing in my ears. “Don’t eat that. You won’t eat your breakfast”. I think it was the whole crepe-reminiscing moment that switched the parent on in my head. UGH. There quickly followed juices for Annie & Sam & my pot of peppermint tea. Yum! In fact, more than yum…the apple juice was extraordinary to the point where it deserved it’s very own image. Annie had to get another one because I kept drinking hers. I would go back to Hector’s just to drink their apple juice. WOW.
And then, finally came the pancakes. I went for the Huckleberry Pancakes: 3 almost-plate-sized pancakes stuffed (& ‘stuffed’ is a good word here) with huckleberries. Annie & Sam both went for the “Two! Two! Two!”…2 eggs (I swear they must have been ostrich eggs they were so huge), 2 rashers (strips) of bacon & 2 pancakes. Sam downed an amazing quantity of food for an 8 year old. Annie’s plate didn’t last long either, but we were all agreed that each plate had more food than one human should consume at one meal. I didn’t get through all 3 of my pancakes – partly because pancakes really aren’t my thing & partly because they were huge. I admit I left all the edges, since that’s where there were no huckleberries.
I went to Hector’s hoping to be truly wowed & have my American-pancake opinions turned on their head. I was disappointed that neither of those things happened. Mind you, I haven’t eaten a lot of American-style pancakes as they’re not something I would normally choose, so I am hardly an authority on them. Since they were never going to get a fair review from me…let’s turn it over to our pancake experts.
ANNIE: “They were good. Kate (my sister) should go work here with her Blueberry Pancakes…she’d fit right in. The apple juice was amazing. It was really good. It was a really fun place & we had a really fun time there.”
SAM: “Their pancakes were really good. The drive there was fun. We all loved it. I am glad we got to go there. All their food was good. Their orange juice was not like an every day orange juice, but it was really good. And I think that’s all.”
So there you have it. Hector’s makes really good pancakes…the best in Seattle according to our resident pancake experts.