IN THE MIX: Pancake Review with Special Guest, Writer & Director, James Gunn

Jul 26th, 2012

Last weekend I was incredibly fortunate to have Writer/Director James Gunn join me as a guest reviewer for Ma’amCakes!

Originally from St. Louis, Missouri, followed by a brief stop in New York City to earn his MFA in creative writing from Columbia University, James moved to Los Angeles fourteen years ago to pursue writing and directing. Since his long trek across country, James has both written and directed major screenplays including Slither, and Rainn Wilson/Ellen Page comedy Super, and has written horror/sci-fi flick Dawn of the Dead, comedy Scooby Doo, and many others.

For his Ma’amCakes debut, James picked Studio City hot spot Hugo’s, located on Riverside Drive. Yes, I know what you’re thinking: I’ve already done a review at Hugo’s! Well True Ma’amCakes Followers, to switch it up a bit, I decided to get the wackiest pancakes on the menu! Can you guess which ones?

Uh, maybe a better question is… where the hell are the pancakes? “Do you know where the pancakes are on this menu,” said James, “I seriously can’t find them!” Well James, the only reason I knew where the pancakes were located is because I had the same issue five months ago. I’m so flattered Hugo’s took my suggestion of separating the pancake options from the eggs, instead of burying them on the bottom of page three.


If you haven’t already guessed, in honor of my obsession with summer and all-things tropical, I went with the Roasted Pineapple-Coconut Pancakes, while James went with the All-American breakfast of Buttermilk Pancakes and a glass of milk:

I figured since I was dining with such an artistic Director, I’d get the most artistic Ma’amCakes on the menu. After a few bites, I realized that the reason these pancakes were so good is because they contained the proper amount of ALL their ingredients. After using the Dewey Decimal System to find the ingredients on the menu, I re-read “topped with sliced bananas, toasted slivered almonds, and coconut.” I found it interesting that the roasted pineapple was cooked inside the pancakes, while the remaining ingredients were on top. I myself am shocked to say this, but guess what Hugo’s? I wouldn’t change a thing about the placement of these ingredients! The only suggestion I have about these Ma’amCakes is they should be fluffier – I personally would rather be more overwhelmed with pancake, than with fruit.

While James’ Buttermilk Pancakes (with a glass of milk) was very traditional, the side of raisins? Not so much. In fact, looking back now, it actually looks like there are bugs on his plate. “These pancakes are really good,” said James, “but yeah, I could do without the raisins.” Well apparently the pancakes were really good, because when I looked down fifteen minutes later, they were gone! “I can’t believe I ate the entire plate. That’s probably the most I’ve ever eaten in one sitting!” While the raisins were the only thing left behind, I do give Hugo’s props for trying to make a somewhat boring dish, interesting.

Overall, it was another successful Ma’amCakes review at Hugo’s. As far as the Roasted Pineapple-Coconut Pancakes: the fruit was fresh, the coconut did its job of bringing me back to a day on the beach, and the pancakes took me home. When asking which pancakes he’d try next time, James replied with “the pumpkin pancakes!” Good choice! In fact, I might have the same.

Thank you so much James, for being a part of Saturday morning brunch with Ma’amCakes! Be sure to check out James’ newest project, video game Lollipop Chainsaw now in stores.

Check out a Yelp Comment from the Blu Jam Cafe CHEF, Kamil, in Response to My Review with Jodie Sweetin!

IN THE MIX: Pancake Review with Special Guest, Actress Jodie Sweetin

Jun 19th, 2012

This weekend I was incredibly fortunate to have actress Jodie Sweetin as my guest reviewer for Ma’amCakes!

Jodie, best known for playing the adorable and witty Stephanie Tanner on Full House, was a television icon for my generation; so you can imagine my elation when she graciously agreed to review Saturday morning Ma’amCakes!

For our review, Jodie and I decided to check out Melrose hot-spot Blu Jam Café as, somehow, neither one of us had ever been there for pancakes!

“I’ve been here for lunch before,” said Jodie, “and we ordered the single-Blueberry Pancake dish for my daughter, Beatrix. She loved it. I can’t wait to try the pancakes, I’ve heard good things!” As had I.

As I decided to go with the Blueberry Pancakes, Jodie went for the Breakfast Trio, which included eggs, French Toast, and sausage; but by the end, we split everything!

Viewing these pancakes again makes my mouth water; if you look at the glisten on the blueberries, you can see just how fresh the fruit is. Upon her first bite, Jodie agreed as she stated, “These pancakes are very fluffy, and the blueberries are really fresh, not tart.” Jodie was definitely right about the fluffiness of the pancakes. Sometimes as you make your way towards the middle, pancakes can be under-cooked, or oppositely, crispy; however, these delicious pancakes stayed fluffy all-throughout.

My only critique was the pancakes were a bit dry, and I actually had to apply a hint of butter and syrup. Sorry Blu Jam, I know you’re thinking “How-Rude!” but as we all know Ma’amCakes’ motto by now: a truly delicious pancake does not need butter or syrup, and should taste amazing on its own.

Overall, the Blueberry Pancakes at Blu Jam Café tasted like Mom’s homemade pancakes: fluffy, fresh, and refreshing. And I’m sure the “milkman and the paperboy would plug them on evening TV.”

Thank you so much Jodie, for being a part of Saturday brunch with Ma’amCakes! Be sure to follow Jodie on Twitter, and check out her memoir UnSweetined.

Guess Who Will Be My Next Guest Reviewer??