Pumpkin Pancakes - Mackinaw City, MI
Sunday I enjoyed some delicous pumpkin pancakes at the Pancake Chef, located on Central Avenue in Mackinaw City, Michigan. Mackinaw City is best known for the Mackinac bridge spanning the gap between Lake Michigan and Lake Huron and the ferry to Mackinac Island, a popular Midwest vacation destination. But back to the pancakes...
Pancake Chef identifies the pumpkin pancakes as its house specialty and serves them year 'round. They tasted like pumpkin pie--definately ginger, cloves, cinnamon and nutmeg were among the ingredients-- but with the texture and weight of medium-density pancakes. Each order ($5.95 I think) includes 5 5-inch pancakes, but I could only manage to eat half of the serving before becoming completely stuffed. Instead of butter or syrup, the pancakes are accompanied by a little bowl of whipped cream. Spreading the whipped cream on each individual bite (or dunking the forkful) prevents it from melting on the hot pancakes. Memorably delicious!
I swirled a little pancake into my dining companion's butter and syrup as an experiment... also tasty.
Two service aspects also made the dining experience great. First of all, the waitresses come around with trays full of juices for you, which is nice. The best thing, however, is that when you're ready to leave they offer you a free "go cup" filled with coffee to take with you as you head back out on the road. Obviously the tray of juice drives sales and the coffee gambit helps them turn the tables faster during the busy tourist season, but it's still nice. Pancake Chef has a website (www.pancakechef.com) which offers directions but, sadly, not recipes.