Nestled in the heart of Main Street, in-between old bottle green shutters and adjacent to the old butcher’s shop ‘El Ginger’, sits Pancake Factory; sited in the old Al-Andalus restaurant on College Lane.
A small but friendly place with approximately 8-10 tables inside and a further 5 outside, Pancake Factory is a pleasant place where you can hook up with friends for breakfast, have lunch with loved ones or meet clients for a meal. The location is ideal as it is bang in the centre of town but remarkably quiet as it just misses out on the hustle and bustle of Main Street.
The decor currently feels like a mish-mash of different styles and I for one would perhaps like to see some more consistency in the approach. There is a turquoise blue wall at the rear of the restaurant very reminiscent of 50’s American diners. Perhaps developing this idea could be very fitting in the neighbourhood which has a hipster vibe going for it, complete with tattoo parlour.
Pancake Factory staff worked continuously and moved from table to table; taking orders, bringing food out and clearing place settings with a cheery disposition if somewhat nervous at times – they’ve only been open since 4th August but I am sure they will become much more confident as their experience grows.
The menu opens as if the shutters to the windows on College Lane itself, however, there is no need to open the shutters should you be searching for pancake perfection. The left shutter describing 8 crêpes from the traditional lemon and sugar crêpe “London Lemon” to the more decadent Hungarian special served with walnuts, caramel and chocolate sauce “Budapest Gundel.” The right shutter describes 8 American style pancakes such as: “Cote D’Azur” with blueberries and maple syrup and, “Tijuana Thrill” with strawberries and chocolate sauce.
The American Style pancakes arrive as a very decent stack of five fluffy pancakes soused in delicious syrups and sauces and a scoop of ice-cream should you wish. As recommended by our waitress, I tried the Montreal Madness with apple, cinnamon and maple syrup; this can very easily become my new favourite flavour combo.
The menu itself has a good selection of various breakfast items such as DIY sandwiches, omelettes, granola and English Breakfast staples, however, American pancakes need crispy, streaky bacon on them and I was surprised to see that this was not one of the extras you could add to your pancake stack. The Cote D’Azur with blueberries and maple syrup was crying out for this. I do believe they are trying to rectify this issue. The lunch dishes sound appealing – I hear the Hungarian Goulash is delicious – there is a good choice of starters, mains, salads, pasta dishes and savoury pancakes on the menu.
Pancake Factory opens from 9am to 5pm and is great for breakfast or lunch. Alternatively, if you’re booked in for lunch somewhere else, Pancake Factory is an ideal place to stop for a quick dessert before you get back to work!
Good luck focusing on your spreadsheets and presentations after dining on pancake glory.
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