IN THE MIX: Pancake Review with Special Guest, Comedian and Actress, Kim Coles

Right before the holidays, I was incredibly honored to have Comedian and Actress Kim Coles join me as a Guest Reviewer for Ma’amCakes!

Kim, best known for her work on In Living Color, and Living Single, has also appeared on many television shows including Frasier, Six Feet Under, Celebrity Fit Club, and The View.

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Although I typically don’t mention how I meet my Guest Reviewers, Kim and I have a rather cosmic connection, as I actually met her on a night that I lost my job. That evening, I happened to be partaking in part-time promotional work for one of the studios, and my assignment was at The Comedy Union on Pico Boulevard in Los Angeles, CA. Kim, who was performing that night, along with the owner, took me under their wings, fed me drinks, and helped me figure out a plan of action. Of all the nights to lose your job, but still have to work an additional gig, I couldn’t have asked to be around more caring, positive, and hilarious people. For that, she should maybe consider changing her name to Kim Cools.

As fate would have it, a few weeks later I happened to spot Kim at JFK Airport in New York City(!), and to make sure it was really her, I Tweeted her just to confirm. Next thing I knew, I was in a three-way Tweet convo between Kim and Sherri Shepherd that unfolded like this:

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And finally, as I’ve locked myself in my apartment to write this review on a Saturday night (that makes me a serious writer, by the way), low and behold I discovered that today is Kim’s birthday. Coincidence? I think not!

Upon choosing a restaurant for our review, Kim informed me she was eating gluten-free, so I took her to… any guesses?? Bea Bea’s! Not only do they have some of the best pancakes in Los Angeles, but they have the largest amount of gluten-free breakfast options I’ve ever seen; I mean, check out this extensive menu!

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Kim mentioned she had many fond memories in that part of Burbank, as Living Single was shot down the street at Warner Brothers.

When repeating restaurant locations for a review, I typically try to order pancakes I’ve yet to experience from the menu, and Bea Bea’s is no exception. So, during this outing, I went with the Pink Ribbon.

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Talk about In Living Color! The freshness of the strawberries, blueberries, and bananas is making my mouth water all over again; throw in the pancakes, and I might start licking my laptop screen! The Pink Ribbon pancakes at Bea Bea’s are everything you’d imagine them to be, and more. But what’s the best part about these pancakes, you ask? The fact that they don’t need a drop syrup. After all, Ma’amCakes’ is motto is: that a truly delicious pancake doesn’t need syrup.

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Kim decided to go with the Pooh’s Sunrise (which, FYI, is on the back of the menu), so that she could incorporate bacon and eggs into her meal, and also asked to switch the maple syrup for agave. Kim definitely enjoyed her food. “These are amazing,” said Kim. “And the best part is that they don’t make my tummy hurt, like typical pancakes can do.” When asking Kim which pancakes she would try next time, Kim replied “Either the Chocolate Tuxedo or the Chocolate Fantasy.” With those choices, I’d be perfectly happy to be her partner, er, pancake in crime for the next outing!

Thank you so much, Kim, for being a part of Saturday brunch with Ma’amCakes! Be sure to check out Kim’s Gratitude Journal, and for those of you in the LA area, you can see Kim in her one-woman show at the Pasadena Fremont theater on February 21st and 22nd, as well as her performances at The Comedy Union.

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Check out our Ma’amCakes Review Tweet on Jeff Margolis’ Website!

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Check it out!

IN THE MIX: Pancake Review with Special Guest, Renowned Television Director and Producer, Jeff Margolis

Last weekend I was extremely fortunate to have Jeff Margolis join me as a Guest Reviewer for Ma’amCakes!

Although Jeff recently (two weeks ago, to be exact) directed AND produced the 19th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards, (to which he proudly mentioned, “we finished one second under!”), his resume is richly compiled of popular television shows ranging from “The Sonny and Cher Show,” to HBO’s “Michael Jackson: One Night Only,” “President Clinton’s 50th Birthday Celebration,” and ABC’s “Quincy Jones…The First 50 Years.” While Jeff has worked in television for over 40 years, his award show credits include The Oscars, American Music Awards, The Golden Globes, The Emmy Awards, The Miss America Pageant, and The Academy of Country Music Awards. With that said, as we are right in the heart of Awards Season, you can imagine my astonishment when Jeff agreed to join me as a Guest Reviewer!

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MJJMThrowback to the “Michael Jackson: One Night Only,” special.

As Jeff announced that he wanted to dine at Mel’s Drive-In on Ventura Blvd. and Kester Avenue in Sherman Oaks, CA, I quickly realized this choice was somewhat ironic. Throughout that weekend my dad was back home in NYC celebrating his 60th birthday, and his father (my grandfather, who passed away years ago) was actually named Mel. So, needless to say, this restaurant suggestion was quite sentimental for me. Ok ok, let’s all say a collective “awwww,” it’s alright!

To be honest, Mel’s Drive-In is a spot in which I’ve only visited late-night, so I was looking forward to trying their pancakes for the first time!

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In spite of the above choices, I decided to ask the waitress if there were any other pancake options just to double check – sure enough, not listed on the menu were Whole Wheat Granola Pancakes!

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While I honestly was expecting diner-pancakes that were trying to be “healthy,” I was pleasantly surprised just how good these pancakes were! Not only were they cooked to perfection but they tasted lite, and I didn’t feel disgustingly full after. I then asked the manager how these pancakes tasted so good while still tasting so healthy, and guess what their secret ingredient is? Cinnamon! The Whole Wheat Granola Pancakes might just be the best thing on Mel’s menu – that is, if they ever get added to the menu!

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For Jeff’s breakfast, he chose the classic Buttermilk Pancakes with bacon on the side. “These are really good,” said Jeff, “I’m really enjoying the flavor, and the syrup!” Although Jeff liked his pancakes, I think after seeing just how much I enjoyed mine, we quickly Sonny and Shared so he could do a pancake comparison. “Oh yea, these are great. I do enjoy the Whole Wheat Granola Pancakes more. Both pancakes are good though – mine are very fluffy, and yours have a fluffy inside with a crispy outside. Yeah, both of these are great!” It was only after we both cleared our plates that Jeff informed me he normally doesn’t eat pancakes – he ordered them just for our review. Now that’s a true FanCake right there!

Overall, the pancakes at Mel’s Drive-In were much better than I anticipated. To the Manager, (or Mel): ya might want to think about adding the best meal on your menu to your menu! And speaking of menus, “American Food at Its Best?” You can say that again!

Thank you so much, Jeff, for being a part of Saturday brunch with Ma’amCakes!

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Check Out My First Citysearch Guide on (What Else?!): The Best Pancakes in LA!

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Did your favorite spot make the list? (Once you click the link, be sure to click the “Guide Tab”) AND keep in mind, I can always add to the list…!

Ma’amCakes’ Review is Featured in Yelp’s Weekly E-Letter!

Ma’amCakes’ Pudgie Elvis Review at Jacks N’ Joe has been mentioned in Yelp’s Weekly E-Letter, “Yelp’s A Nutter For Peanut Butter!

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Huge thank you to Katie B. for the compliment!

Lovin’ the Compliments!

Always love getting compliments on Yelp! …and also love anyone who makes a pun on a New Kids on the Block song!

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Thanks so much, Jenn K!

IN THE MIX: Pancake Review with Special Guest, Celebrity Makeup Artist, Elle Leary

Oct 10, 2012

This weekend I was stoked to grab some Saturday pancakes with celebrity Makeup Artist, Elle Leary. Elle has painted the recognizable faces of varying talent including Josh Duhamel, Ron Artest, Ellen Page, Paul Rudd, Pat Sajak, Alanis Morrisette, Dane Cook, Jennifer Coolidge, Steve Carrell, Pete Wentz, and more. In addition to this uh-mazing clientele list, Elle has created looks for assorted publications such as, Vogue, Harper’s Bizarre, Nylon, 944, and Out. As Elle is (pretty much) bi-coastal these days due to her demanding schedule, I was super fortunate that she could meet me for some pancakes!

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Although I had several places in mind for our brunch, Elle informed me that she is actually intolerant of pancakes with gluten; needless to say, I had to scratch my original ideas. After violently searching the internet for gluten-free pancake options in LA, turns out the restaurant with the most variety is (where else?) BEA BEA’S! Yes, yes, I know what you’re thinking: I’ve already reviewed here! While I did come across Hugo’s and Jacks n Joe during my gluten-free search, their options weren’t as enticing as Bea Bea’s. If I’m getting an awesome Guest Reviewer for a Ma’amCakes piece, I must take them to the creme de la creme of gluten-free pancake spots!

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So, those (above) were the pancakes I was debating between (obviously I’m going to review pancakes I haven’t previously tried at Bea Bea’s!). In attempting to decide, my thought process went as follows: I do love s’mores, and thought that dish would be a great way to celebrate the end of summer. Or, in recognition of BCA Month, the Pink Ribbon would be appropriate. But, when it came down to that final moment, (you know, when the waitress is patiently waiting for you to make up your mind) I listened to past IN THE MIX guest, Kelle King, as she always told me to “go for the Just For You Pumpkin!”

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Now, typically, I very much dislike the end of summer. However. Looking at these beautiful, orange, autumn pancakes really got me to embrace the change of seasons. “Pumpkin pancakes topped with pumpkin cream cheese marmalade and whipped cream” – who would have guessed that translated into “when you bite into this dish, you can actually taste Thanksgiving!”I have reviewed pumpkin pancakes once before at Doughboys; but by a fraction of a turkey-feather, the Just For You Pumpkin Pancakes at Bea Bea’s may have taken the cake – er, pancake.

Upon ordering her meal, because Elle has several food allergies, she stuck with the gluten-free plain pancakes/Jumpin Jacks. Although, because of Elle’s impeccable taste for makeup, style, and high fashion, we’ll just call these “Vintage Couture Pancakes.”

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I must say, although I’ve never had gluten-free plain pancakes at Bea Bea’s, these looked anything but plain! Elle agreed, when she shouted “um, these are insane!” When taking a Guest Reviewer for breakfast, it’s (obvi) really important that my guest is 100% satisfied. In deciding where to take Elle, I was a bit nervous because of her food allergies; however, once we agreed on Bea Bea’s, I realized I had nothing to worry about! “Seriously, the consistency is almost the same as regular pancakes. It’s SO hard to find gluten-free food that tastes similar to regular food, but these really do!” Phew. During our meal, I noticed Elle poured the entire cup of syrup on her Jumpin Jacks, and then asked our server for another cup. “Oh yea,” she said, “I’m a syrup junkie. When my dad used to make me pancakes as a kid, I’d always pour syrup on, roll ’em up, and eat ’em – but in the comfort of my own home, of course!” Don’t worry Elle, we won’t tell anyone! Besides. Who doesn’t have their own quirky food habits?!

Overall, the Just for You Pumpkin Pancakes at Bea Bea’s may have been a record breaker. As the fall season is upon us, and your tongue is just starting to crave that autumn food, be sure to grab a bite of these bad boys. If you’re in need of gluten-free pancakes, Bea Bea’s is for sure your number one spot. As Elle came all the way from the outskirts of Culver City for the review, I think she can vouch for that statement, as she said “These are definitely worth the drive.”

Thanks so much, Elle, for being a part of Saturday morning brunch with Ma’amCakes! Keep up with Elle’s awesome beauty blog, The Lash Effect, and her YouTube channel, Elle Leary Artistry, where you can check out her super helpful beauty video tutorials!

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So Glad KTLA Meteorologist, Jim Castillo, Loved My Review with Reporter Doug Kolk!

Ma’amCakes’ Review with KTLA Reporter, Doug Kolk, Made Today’s Front Page – AND Top Stories List – on Happy Hour LA!

Happy Hour LA Ma'amCakes Front Page

 

Thanks for the Tweet, Grub Restaurant! So Glad You Like the New Site!