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Discover LA, Discovering Ma’amCakes

Discover LA, the official tour guide for the city of Los Angeles, asked Ma’amCakes to write a feature on the best pancakes in LA – check out the feature here!

Come Join Ma’amCakes and E!’s “Famously Single” Dating Coach, Laurel House at The Ivy Connect Brunch!

Calling all Ivy members!

Come join Ma’amCakes and E!’s Famously Single Dating Coach, Laurel House as we connect fellow Ivy members while gossiping about dating – and getting some professional advice – all over delicious pancakes at Doughboys. Visit IVY.com to RSVP.

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Pancake Review: Snooze Eatery

In spite of a 4 hour delay at the airport, flying directly into a thunderstorm, then experiencing a snowstorm by the following evening – all in mid-May – I finally made it to Denver to visit my BFF. Upon tweeting various Denver news outlets for pancake recommendations, I received quite an enticing tweet from Visit Denver, enough so to lure me out of the house and into the freezing cold May Saturday:

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I figured since the weather was terrible that we’d get seated right away; much to my surprise, the wait was an hour and a half! (What’s the wait like on a good day?! Was everyone in Denver just severely hungover this weekend?)

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While waiting for our table and ingesting the ambiance of Snooze Eatery, I noticed a little treat to the left of the hostess stand:

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Free self-serve coffee while in line? That’s certainly one way to entice customers to wait the hour and a half! Fortunately for me, having a pancake blog did help lessen my wait time – or maybe I should say, traveling from LA to Denver in a thunderstorm and purposely eating my first meal at Snooze Eatery is what got me a seat! That is what you call dedication, after all.

Looking at the menu, I noticed the most important word (besides pancake) was left for the end…

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A FLIGHT of pancakes? Like a flight of wine?! What could be better! (Perhaps a pancake/alcohol flight combo… thoughts, Snooze?) Well as you can imagine, I chose this option and selected my 3 pancakes more carefully than selecting my last boyfriend.

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I ended up choosing the Strawberry Fields – which is only seasonal by the way – Peanut Butter Cup, and Chocolate Chip. Out of all 3 I’d have to say my favorite was the Peanut Butter Cup, but I did particularly enjoy the strawberry-lavender cream on the Strawberry Fields. To their credit, all 3 pancakes tasted exactly as they sound: decadent, sweet, and delicious, but most importantly: memorable. Just when I thought breakfast couldn’t get any better, I was suddenly surprised with an extra pancake placed on my table.

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The wonderfully generous employees of Snooze rolled out their flapjack carpet and surprised me with a pancake that’s not even on the menu! It’s apparently called the Sinful Pancake, but for all intensive purposes I’m just going to call it the Ma’amCakes Surprise. This beyond delicious treat included a buttermilk pancake with white chocolate chips, bacon and candied pecans, while topped with vanilla anglaise , cinnamon butter, caramel and powdered sugar. Believe it or not, out of all (4) pancakes, this was by far the best. I certainly recommend that Snooze put these bad boys back on the menu but if not, for all you FanCakes, just ask for the Ma’amCakes Surprise upon placing your order.

Overall, I had a wonderful experience reviewing my first pancakes in Denver. While I do wish I sampled some from a mom-and-pop restaurant in addition to Snooze, it is nice to know I can grab these pancakes in San Diego for any future cravings (there are also restaurant locations in AZ as well). I do wonder why the restaurant is called Snooze… maybe it’s because you need a hefty nap after this meal!

Well FanCakes, be sure to check out Snooze Eatery during your next visit to Downtown Denver – just maybe put your name on the list and go shopping in the meantime, cause you could hit the snooze button a few times before you’re actually seated!

So Grateful for All the Yelp Compliments!

HUGE thank you to my FanCakes on Yelp for all of the wonderful compliments; I am so appreciative!

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Huge Thanks to FabFitFun for the Shout Out!

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Big thank you to FabFitFun for wishing Ma’amCakes a Happy National Pancake Day! Honored to be your fave pancake blogger!

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…!

Pancake Review at: SONOMA WINE GARDEN

Jun 26th, 2012

Yes, I know what you’re thinking. “They have pancakes?!” Well, Sonoma Wine Garden located on top of Santa Monica Place in Santa Monica, CA actually has quite the weekend brunch menu!

Having visited Sonoma Wine Garden for a friend’s birthday, I was already looking forward to the bottomless Bellinis; seeing Ma’amCakes on the menu, however, was just the syrup on the pancake!

So, this menu is pretty much the “Where’s Waldo” of pancakes, but check out the first dish “Kaiserschmarrn,” and voila! Ma’amCakes. Having never tried this “Austrian specialty” before I was a little hesitant, but also delighted, to try something new.

Um. Where are my pancakes, and why is there a spoon on my plate – er, bowl? A Ma’amCakes first! Never in my life have I seen pancakes served this way. First bite, here we go!

Interesting… very interesting. As per the menu above, Kaiserschmarrn consisted of a caramelized Austrian pancake soufflé with raisins and roasted apples. I could definitely taste all of the ingredients. However, to my disappointment, the dish tasted much more like caramelized apples and raisins, with a hit of pancake dressing. In other words, this dish tasted more like the toppings, than the actual main course. Having never tried Kaiserschmarrn it is somewhat difficult to review, as I have nothing to compare it to; that being said, when comparing this dish to the rest of the amazing  Ma’amCakes in this city… you can’t even really call these pancakes. With the apple and raisin flavoring, this is the kind of dish you eat in the fall season, before going on a hay-ride.

On a positive note, the whipped cream in the jar was a perfect addition for this dish. The thickness of the cream perfectly balanced the pancakes, and I probably ate more of the whipped cream than that of the Kaiserschmarrn. That ain’t good news for a pancake review, people.

Overall, I highly recommend the Sonoma Wine Garden for brunch, particularly for a special occasion on a beautiful summer weekend. That being said, the Ma’amCakes, not so much. I must say I do actually have some Austrian in me, but have never had Kaiserschmarrn in me before last weekend. I appreciate Sonoma’s attempt to host pancakes with a bit of a twist; but this is Los Angeles, people, and we want a fork on our plate, and at least want an option for more traditional pancakes – especially to soak up the bottomless Bellinis.

Blue Plate in Santa Monica Tweeted Ma’amCakes this AM about their Mac & Cheese Pancakes. CRAZY! What do You Think of this Original Concoction??

Pancake Review at: JINKY’S CAFE

Feb 21st, 2012

-Hidden treasure people, hidden treasure.

After a 40-minute ride in traffic, followed by a drive through two full parking lots, I (finally) made it to Jinky’s Cafe on 2nd street and Broadway in Santa Monica, California. Fortunately for the sake of the restaurant (and the review) we didn’t have to wait in line upon entering. Based on the ambiance of the restaurant and the diversity in the menu, I had a feeling breakfast would be worth the trek. Well, not only was I right, I was very pleasantly surprised with the deliciousness of this entire meal.

The photo itself (see above) pretty much speaks for the decor of the restaurant, as well as the creativity in the menu. According to the blurb at the beginning of the menu (see below), the food is a “fusion of American, Southwestern, and international flavors.” It is this fusion which generates a delicious breakfast at Jinky’s Cafe.

When checking out the menu and attempting to choose from one of the 15 PANCAKE-OPTIONS (Jinky’s automatically gets major brownie – er, pancake – points for this alone), there were a couple of major pros I wanted to first point-out.

First of all, Jinky’s has pancake-options I have never seen before (i.e. Tropical Pancakes, Oaty Oaty Cakes, and Caramel Creme Pancakes). Between the creativity of the menu and the hippie coloring along the border, this read more like a menu of pancakes from Ben & Jerry. Uh, yes please!

Secondly, and major props to Jinky’s for this: per the menu above, the option to choose the location of your toppings (“Fruits inside the batter only on request”) is a major pro, and almost makes your breakfast customizable. This is a fantastic option, particularly if you’re a blogger, but also equally wonderful if you’re simply a pancake-lover. Now for the best part. Choosing my meal and enjoying every bite!

Besides pancakes, I was craving eggs as well – it was a long drive! – and luckily, Jinky’s caters to such cravings. I went with the 2+2+2 option of eggs, bacon, and buttermilk pancakes BUT for $2 more, you may also substitute for a specialty pancake. So, I substituted for the Banana Chocolate Chip Cakes. You should know that unless asked, ALL toppings remain on top of the pancakes. I, however, decided to put the chocolate chips inside the batter, and keep the bananas on top.

I must say, looking at this photo my mouth is watering again. From the second the plate was placed in front of me, the smell was overbearingly amazing. I was instantly tempted by this pungent scent of fresh bananas, warm chocolate chips, and homemade pancakes practically made by Aunt Jemima herself. Sure, the eggs and bacon were wonderful too; but these pancakes were just incredible.

The Banana Chocolate Chip Cakes were fluffy on top, yet soothingly crispy on the bottom. The chocolate chips appear as little dots in the pancakes, but instantly melt in your mouth within the first bite. When looking at this photo, you can see the morning glisten on the bananas atop of the cakes; as per my review from Blue Plate I explain how important this glisten is in determining the freshness of the fruit. Well, these bananas must have been collected directly from the banana tree – aka the local Saturday Farmer’s Market on 3rd Street – before being placed on my pancakes. And finally, the end of the meal was not capped with the button of my jeans flying across the room; these pancakes were not greasy at all, and they don’t cause you to faint upon completion. As I was smiling from ear to ear after the first bite, the Banana Chocolate Chip Cakes from Jinky’s are a wonderful way to say “Good Morning, Sunshine.” Jinky’s Cafe is now officially my second restaurant with a 5 star rating. It should also be noted that Jinky’s serves breakfast ALL DAY!

All in all, for a Cafe called Jinky’s, it’s anything but.