“There are two sides to every…”

What’s the obvious way to finish that sentence? “Story,” you say? Think again: PANCAKES!

Pancakes originated 30,000 years ago (so the say) when cavemen from the Stone Age used grinding tools to blend and fry flour. Those cavemen were on to something, because pancakes are still a worldwide breakfast favorite. Call me a cavewoman, because I’m one of the biggest pancake enthusiasts on this side of the Mississippi. I have eaten my way through hundreds, even thousands, of local flapjacks — and have consequently learned the ins-and-outs of the best in town.

If you ask me, happiness can be summed up in one phrase: a syrupy pancake breakfast. Let’s get happy, Racine!

Douglas Avenue Diner — The 50’s style diner not only feels like a blast from the past interior-wise, but the food is just as fulfilling as if you stepped into your grandmother’s kitchen back in the day. The pancakes, which I always order as a side to my avocado/turkey eggs Benedict, are more cake-like and sweeter than normal flaps. Yum!

Meli Cafe Pancake House and Restaurant — The Washington Avenue hot spot is almost always packed, and for good reason. They (arguably) have the coolest looking pancakes in town. From caramelized bananas to vanilla ice cream to hot pecans to Nutella, there’s no telling what your neighbor might order. I, on the other hand, order the “Meli Pancake Wrap” with a giant multigrain pancake stuffed with scrambled eggs, turkey bacon, and cheese.

Mulberry’s Pancake Cafe — This family style restaurant in Union Grove touts your typical pancake stack. They’re warm, fluffy and hearty. The one caveat: the toppings. I am a sucker for whipped cream, and when I ordered the “All American Cakes,” I was far from disappointed. Bananas, strawberries, blueberries and whipped cream as high as the sky left me on cloud nine. The chocolate chip pancakes, with the chips baked right into the batter, were just as mouth-watering.

Cliff’s Boathouse — This locals’ hideaway is known almost exclusively for its famous potato pancakes. Their secret recipe better stay hidden, because boy do these puppies taste phenomenal! Eating the potato pancakes with applesauce, light butter and eggs/bacon on the side makes for the perfect pre-North Beach morning (as it’s just steps away). A must-try for Racinians.

Kiwanis Pancake Day — Grab your calendar, clear your plans for May 5 of 2018, and prepare for a day full of local camaraderie, live music, and — of course — pancakes (with OJ and sausage, too) Even though the cakes are made in bulk, they’re still as tasty as a sit-down restaurant, and the proceeds benefit the Kiwanis Club of Greater Racine (which then helps our community).

Robert’s Roost — The Roost is a country-themed, Downtown gem with pancakes as big as their plates (and likely bigger than your head). They’re very cakey and, in my opinion, win the award for “most decadent in town.” If you’re not in the mood for pancakes, their kringle french toast is just as scrumptious (and Instagram-able).

Paige Weslaski is a 2010 graduate of Case High School. She works in Downtown Racine as a marketing executive, and was named the 2015 RAMAC Young Professional of the Year.

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