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!


Enjoy Your St. Patty’s Day, Lads n Lassies!

Celebrate St. Pancake – er, St. Patty’s – Day with some green pancakes! Enjoy this fun recipe from!


Which Are Your Fave Halloween Pancakes?!

Enjoy Halloween 2012 with fun, scary, and creative pancakes!

For more Halloween fun, be sure to check out this SPOOKtacular Pumpkin Pancake Recipe!

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!

Elle Leary Headshot

Elle Leary at Work

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!

Bea Bea's Menu

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!”

Pumpkin Pancakes at Bea Bea's

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.”

Jumpin Jacks Pancakes at Bea Bea's

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!

Elle Leary Vertical

IN THE MIX: Pancake Review with Special Guest, Vice President of Business Development at Allied Integrated Marketing, Carrie Benton

Apr 13th, 2012

This weekend I was fortunate enough to have Carrie Benton, Vice President of Business Development at Allied Integrated Marketing, join me as a guest reviewer for Ma’amCakes.

I FINALLY got to visit the infamous LA hot spot, The Griddle Cafe – in case you’re unfamiliar, The Griddle has a reputation as being one of the best places to eat breakfast in Los Angeles. In fact, the two times I’d gone previously, I’ve never seen the wait under an hour and a half. Well, write a blog about pancakes, and you’ll be sure to get special treatment ; )

Just kidding! Carrie and I went around 10am on Saturday, and didn’t wait longer than twenty minutes. However, when looking at the menu, twenty minutes seemed like an eternity!!

I mean… need I say more?! As you know by now, I typically post a photo I take of the menu; however, because The Griddle’s pancake options are so intricate, I wanted to do the menu justice, and display how awesome these choices are by posting the menu directly from their website.

Where to begin?! Well, from the second we walked in, Carrie immediately said “it smells SO good in here,” so I knew I at least brought her to the right place. But having to choose one dish from a menu like The Griddle’s, is like asking Charlie to choose one piece of candy in The Chocolate Factory.

Upon seeing the dish “Hear Me Roar,” Carrie was instantly drawn to the Frosted Flakes on the pancakes. “Frosted Flake Pancakes,” she yelled, “oh wow, I think I have to get that, oh my God!” I bet Tony would approve of this dish, and say they’re “Grrreeeatt!” That being said, Carrie decided to go with the “Red Velvet PanCakes,” as she was actually looking forward to these pancakes once we decided upon The Griddle. As per the recommendation of the manager, I decided to go with the “Banana Nana;” in fact, this is The Griddle’s most popular pancake.

As many restaurants are adapting the trend of the 2+2+2 (see review at Jinky’s Cafe), Carrie and I asked if there was an option for such dish, so we could get our pancakes and eggs. While The Griddle does not have this option, our server suggested we have one pancake (as our pancake preferences come with three pancakes), and order a side dish of eggs and bacon. Perfect.

And for Perfection:

This single Banana Nana pancake, which could barely fit on my plate, caused my mouth to water the second it was placed in front of me. This pancake was incredibly delicious, and the perfect combination of everything – the brown sugar, bananas, powdered sugar, and butter was enough to make my mouth re-water as I’m writing this review. And the best part – I didn’t need a hint of syrup.

Once the Red Velvet Pancake was placed on the table, Carrie’s eyes lit up. “I’m so glad I only ordered one!” I was too. “This is amazing,” Carrie said, “even better than I expected.” While both pancakes were fantastic, the only downside is they are very filling. Carrie could only finish about a quarter of the plate, and after having a bite, I agreed with her when she said “I think it’s the cream cheese.” As I myself could only finish half of the Banana Nana, I can’t imagine how much food The Griddle has to toss on a regular basis!

Overall, the pancakes at The Griddle were beyond my expectations as far as taste & creativity, but just a bit too heavy for my liking. That being said, I would 100% recommend this hot spot to anyone visiting LA. When asking Carrie what her runner-up pancake dish is, she replied “definitely the Hear Me Roar!”

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

IN THE MIX: Pancake Review with Special Guest, Manager of Mike Posner and Capital Cities, Dan Weisman

Mar 14th, 2012

This weekend I was super fortunate to have Dan Weisman – Manager of Mike Posner and Capital Cities/Music Manager and Director of Music Marketing of SkullCandy – join me as a guest reviewer for In the Mix. Whew, that was as much of a mouthful as the pancakes!

Yes, I know what you’re thinking: I’ve already reviewed at Bea Bea’s! BUT, when Dan requested we go for pancakes with some gluten-free options, I knew a spot that had a lot of gluten-free options – and good ones, too.

As a reminder, below is a list of pancake-options from Bea Bea’s, ALL of which can become gluten-free for just $1 extra!

When viewing the menu, Dan’s initial reaction was “Wow, this is probably the most amount of gluten-free pancake-options I’ve seen in LA – and I’ve been to a lot of spots!” Dan then recommended Square OneBread and Porridge – both of which I’ve never heard of, but am adding to my list! – and John O’ Groats, which I’ve actually already reviewed.  “While I am more of a Waffle guy,” Dan admitted, “I wanted to try a new pancake place.” Well fortunately Dan, with Bea Bea’s, you’re in great hands.

Dan ordered a sausage and egg breakfast, and for our final decision on the pancakes: as Ma’amCakes was feeling a bit full from all the recent reviewing, Dan and I decided to split the Super Star – Gluten Free.

This red, white, and blue all-American breakfast was the perfect way to begin a beautiful March morning in Los Angeles – well in this case, Burbank.

The texture, savor, and fluffiness of this meal was simply: refreshing. As Lesley-Anne stated in my Hugo’s In the Mix review, gluten-free pancakes “don’t make you feel so bloated.” In the case of the Super Star Pancakes at Bea Bea’s, this was definitely the truth. For me, the best part about this pancake-option, besides the freshness of the fruit, was that it barely needed any syrup.

During breakfast as I was mid-story, Dan blurted out “Wow, these are really good!” Music to my ears from a guest reviewer. “You can almost taste a hint of a fruit-essence in the batter. And truthfully, the consistency is better than most gluten-free pancakes I’ve had.” Dan continued to say, “These are very moist, and not greasy at all.” When asking Dan if next time he’d prefer the fruit inside the batter, he immediately stated, “no, definitely prefer the fruit on top.”

This review was a bit challenging for Ma’amCakes, as it was the first time I’d received a gluten-free breakfast request. It’s important to note that Bea Bea’s caters to this necessity – as well as vegan – for all those who desire to enjoy pancakes like the rest of us, but don’t necessarily have the luxury.

You know it was a good breakfast when, as the server removed the egg & sausage plate, Dan and I both yelled “leave the pancakes!”

Thank you so much, Dan, for being a part of Saturday brunch with Ma’amCakes! And be sure to check out Justin Bieber’s new single “Boyfriend,” which Mike wrote and produced!

IN THE MIX: Pancake Review with Special Guest, Wheel of Fortune Publicity Coordinator, Leslie Jacobe

Mar 8th, 2012

This weekend I was fortunate enough to have my friend Leslie Jacobe, Publicity Coordinator for Wheel of Fortune and also Events Coordinator for Leslie Jacobe Events, join me as a guest reviewer for In the Mix.

As Leslie is a resident of Downtown Los Angeles, and a USC alumn, at her recommendation we visited USC hot-spot Jacks n Joe on South Figueroa St and West Adams Blvd in Los Angeles, CA. As this restaurant was also recommended to me by a former intern (a current student at USC) I had pretty high expectations when pulling into the parking lot. Typically when my expectations are this high, I’m usually disappointed; in this case however – I was blown away with the first bite!

So with my blog, as you know by now, I typically post a photo I take of the menu; however, because Jacks n Joe’s pancake options are so intricate, I wanted to do the menu justice, and display how awesome these choices are by posting the menu directly from their website.

While dining at Jacks n Joe I found myself wanting to check out the creative names on the menu first, and then read the pancake descriptions! In fact, Leslie’s response to the menu was  “You know, I never go out of my way to eat pancakes, but I would definitely come back just for the selection!”

When stalling (as I seriously couldn’t decide which pancakes to order), I asked our server, Sonny (below), which are JnJs most popular pancakes, to which he replied “the Jack’s Banana Pancakes and the WTF?!”

Leslie jumped right in and ordered the Jack’s Banana Pancakes with no walnuts, and while I was eyeing the Hula Girl, I ordered the Pudgie Elvis. For a little added trivia, Sonny informed us that the Pudgie Elvis is actually named after the owners’ bulldog you see in the logo. Guess the dog ate too many pancakes!

Now, if I haven’t already mentioned this: I love peanut butter. I love peanut butter probably as much as I love pancakes. And the fact that I’ve never combined the two is unheard of, I know. But from the smell alone, I knew this breakfast was going to be one for the charts. Well, the quality of the Pudgie Elvis soared off the charts.

I’ve never had a pancake breakfast like this before. See, it’s actually somewhat easy to mess up a pancake-option like this, mainly with the peanut butter. You can easily pack on too much peanut butter, melt it too much, or not enough. Re-looking at this delicious drizzle of peanut butter over powdered sugar, fresh bananas, and fluffy pancakes, the Pudgie Elvis automatically receives 5 stars – er, stacks, as Leslie’s husband suggested. This dish was the perfect combination of peanut butter, powdered sugar, and banana. Somehow among all these luxurious ingredients, the pancakes were not a drop greasy, and can I tell you a secret? For the first time in my entire life I ate pancakes without putting on a hint of syrup.

Leslie’s Jack’s Banana Pancakes (minus the walnuts) tasted just as amazing as they looked. “Wow, the texture is perfect, and not heavy at all.” In fact, by the end of the meal, Leslie’s reaction was “I can’t believe I ate half of these without syrup – and the syrup is really good!” Well Leslie, it all goes back to Ma’amCakes’ motto that a truly delicious pancake doesn’t need syrup.

As Leslie boxed a tiny bit to go, she exclaimed “I didn’t mean to eat this much!” For our next visit to Jack’s n Joe, Leslie said she’s going to try the Ruby Belle, while I am going for the Hula Girl. In fact, while pondering “next time,” maybe the owners Jacks n Joe will let me interview them, and do a special feature on this wonderful USC-Family owned restaurant… thoughts? 0 : )

Hey, Leslie: I’d like to buy a vowel please, so I can give this restaurant an A+!

All in all, if I were to slightly alter the slogan for Jacks n Joe, it would read “A breakfast all day is Ma’amCakes’ kinda place!”

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

Check out Bea Bea’s Reply to My Review!

Pancake Review at: BEA BEA’S

Jan 8th, 2012

On Saturday I visited Bea Bea’s on Pass Ave between Oak St. and Alameda in Burbank, CA. The slogan on both their storefront and menu, “Breakfast is Everything,” is a perfect description of the class, creativity, and savor Bea Bea’s puts into their food. While I wasn’t quite in the mood to trek all the way to Burbank for breakfast, the drive was beyond worth it.

The menu above pretty much speaks for itself. For a pancake-lover to attempt to choose only one dish off Bea Bea’s menu, is like asking a child to select their favorite toy in FAO Schwarz. Our server mentioned their most popular pancake was in fact the Just For You Pumpkin; but while I was debating between the Super Star, S’mores, Pacific Island, and Banana PB Crunch, I ended up choosing the Summer’s Dream.

Although I was very much anticipating my pancakes, I also had a craving for eggs as well. Luckily Bea Bea’s, with its intensely diverse menu, gives you such option:

It was at this point I combined the Summer’s Dream with Pooh’s Surprise, a dish I’d like to coin the phrase for: Dream Pooh. Props to Bea Bea’s for this opportunity- not all restaurants allow you to combine a specialty pancake with an egg breakfast. If at all, you’ll typically find this option with plain-pancakes only.

Now for the review:

Summer’s Dream was pure decadence. Although I am a fan of Nutella (a topping typically more popular on the east coast) I’ve never had this with pancakes. The breakfast was a wonderful combination of flavor and texture.

The best part about this dish was that each item was just as amazing by itself, as it was together. The pancakes themselves may be the best pancakes I have ever had- and considering this is my second review, the bar has now been set pretty high. The pancakes are doughy, but not too filling, and cooked just right. As if they were just picked from a field and placed on my breakfast, the strawberries tasted incredibly fresh.  And the Nutella was the perfect topping to this specialty breakfast.

My only additional comment is that while I’d never before had mascarpone cream- this tastes like whipped cream combined with cream cheese- I’d say the dish needs way less than the scoop provided. When putting a small dabble on my bites of Summer’s Dream, I realized it was all I needed- if that, at all. The dish in itself is wonderful- and filling- enough, and I felt the addition of the mascarpone was in fact, too much.

All in all, Bea Bea’s may officially be my favorite pancake stop in Los Angeles. The staff is incredibly nice, and while there is usually a slight wait for a table, the food comes quickly enough. Also, the option for gluten-free and/or vegan, makes Bea Bea’s even more special; this is certainly an option that not many restaurants have.

The drive to Burbank is well worth it, and Bea Bea’s got it right: Breakfast IS everything.