If I’ve learned anything from the countless professional development courses that I end up taking, it’s that sometimes you need to take a step out of your comfort zone.
That’s probably how I ended up having apple, cheese and onion pancakes for lunch.
The Pfanntastic Pannenkoek Haus is not only magnificently named, it’s also located in a dingy-ass strip mall about two blocks away from Mount Royal University in Calgary.
Decked out in blue from top to bottom, the restaurant features quaint Dutch things like kissing dolls, the color blue, clogs, and a little sweet/cookie shop, featuring various forms of liquorice (ranging from almost edible to industrial-strength fertilizer).
Now the menu is comprised almost entirely of pancakes in one form or another. There’s some tamer ones like strawberry or cherry, but that’s no fun.
The waitress recommended the apple, onion, bacon and cheese from the more ‘experimental’ page in the menu, and the cheese, onion, potato and bacon just in case we didn’t like the first one.
Because I’m a basic bitch, we also ordered the black forest pancake.
The cheese, onion, potato and bacon pancake was…
Really, really good..
The cheese (a mixture of gouda and some other less important cheeses) formed a crispy crust on top of the pancake, sandwiching the slightly crunchy onions, potatoes and perfectly crisp bacon. A cup of sour cream accompanies this dish, and adds to the rustic, farm-house feel.
The waitress suggested we try it with ‘Schenkstroop’, which, upon further research, turns out to be the original pancake syrup, from the company that invented syrup specifically suitable for pancakes and crepes.
The version with apples was a bit less exciting, but still palatable. The apples, in my opinion, weren’t nearly tart enough, and were indistinguishable from the onions, bacon and cheese.
Our final conquest was the infamous Black Forest Pancake.
A 12-inch crepe, decked out with three scoops of ice cream, dollops of whipped cream, heaping mounds of stewed cherries and a chocolate shot glass full of kirschwasser (black cherry liqueur).
To be honest, you really didn’t taste much of the crepe. Personally, the pancake acted as an edible cherry, whipped cream and ice cream delivery mechanism. The flavours were a bit ham-fisted and not subtle in the least, but if you’re ordering a plate of whipped cream and cherries, I’m not sure what subtleties you’re expecting. Everything was bold and sweet and the only thing I could complain about was the sogginess of the pancake after I poured the kirsch.
But seriously, the problem involves a shot of liquor in a chocolate cup. I’m sure we can figure out some way to get rid of it without getting the pancake wet…
Would I come back here on a regular basis?
Realistically, probably not (this would be difficult as I live three hours away), as I’d imagine the novelty of savoury, cheese covered pancakes would wear off in time.
This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t go. The pancakes are quite delicious, and more importantly, they’re a breath of fresh air in a world where our lunchtime options are limited to buffets, salad bars, and shitty chain restaurant burgers.
So there you have it.
A tiny glimmer of culture in the land of cows, canola, and dirty oil money.