Perfect pancakes

. March 12, 2013.
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Nick’s Original House of Pancakes
3030 Lohr Circle
Ann Arbor, MI 48108
Phone: 734-622-NICK (6425)
Fax: 734-622-8021
Hours: Mon-Sun 7am – 3pm

It turns out that the south side of Ann Arbor was itching for a pancake place. I learned this one Saturday morning as my family of four waited for a table at Nick’s Original House of
Pancakes.

Formerly occupied by Big Boy, Nick’s OHOP opened in December. Since then a steady stream of customers have made it a hot spot on the
weekends.

The interior looks like a standard diner. Tables and booths fill a large, open eating space surrounded by windows, a couple of TVs, and the kitchen area. After a 20-minute wait, we were led to our booth. Our table appeared to be held together with masking tape. Honestly, this did not bother me. We were here for pancakes after all, not caviar and champagne.

The menu touted dozens of breakfast and lunch choices: pancakes, waffles, French toast, omelettes, eggs, crepes, skillets, steaks, sandwiches, burgers, soups, and salads. The children’s menu was a tad more Spartan with choices of Mickey Mouse pancakes, French toast and eggs for breakfast or grilled cheese, burgers, and chicken fingers for lunch.

My kids, ages 3 and 6, selected the Mickey Mouse pancakes with chocolate chips. Kids can doctor up their pancakes with any of the toppings offered on the adult menu. I chose the Pecan Banana Pancakes, 3 buttermilk pancakes filled with pecan pieces and sliced bananas. My husband opted for the Down on the Bayou skillet: hash browns layered with andouille sausage, onions, green peppers, cheddar, topped with 2 scrambled eggs. He also could not resist ordering a short stack of pumpkin pancakes.

As expected on a busy morning, our food took a while to arrive. My 3-year-old was just about to start eating the faux apple decorating a window ledge when the Mickey Mouse pancakes were served. After dousing
the pancakes with maple syrup, the kids dug in

“Mom,” spoke my 6-year-old son, “write this: I like it!”

“Oh, I have another one you can write: It is yummy!”

My 3-year-old daughter ate several bites of pancake before deciding to focus on the chocolate chips. With a precise pincer grasp she picked the chocolate chips out of her pancake one by one. Soon she was dotted with chocolate smudges. “Messy!” she cried, showing me her hands.

Sticky, too! The napkin I tried to wipe off the chocolate got stuck in shreds on her syrupy hands and cheeks. The effect? She looked like a miniature mummy with a bad case of chocolate chicken pox.

I found my pancakes flavorful. The crunch of the pecans contrasted nicely with the mushiness of the banana slices. The thin maple syrup added sweetness. Even though I had 3 large pancakes, I had no trouble finishing them.

The pumpkin pancakes my husband was forced to share with us all were sweet and light. They tasted and looked like pumpkin pie in a pancake.

My husband plowed through his skillet breakfast. His andouille sausage was good, but could have been spicier. He enjoyed bites of potatoes, onions, peppers, and fluffy scrambled eggs,

“I seriously need to stop eating now. Help me,” he joked.

After we made a serious dent in our breakfast, we all sat back relaxed and full. I can still picture the look of sugared out bliss on my kids’ faces. They smiled the whole time they ate their pancakes at Nick’s. It made for a sweet morning memory.

Kid-friendly Yes
To avoid wait Go weekdays, or else just prepare to wait on the weekends
Noise level Moderate, even when busy
Bathroom amenities Only one stall in women’s; changing tables in women’s and men’s
High chairs Yes
Got milk Yes
Kids’ menu Yes
Anything healthy for kids Yes. During the week they can wipe down the food preparation equipment before preparing nut-free items, but they can’t guarantee this during busy weekends.

Katy M. Clark is a freelance writer who lives in Saline. Contact her c/o editor@annarborfamily.com