One of our favorite breakfast haunts is the Original Pancake House, not to be confused with the International House of Pancakes or IHOP. The Original Pancake House is also a chain, but one of greater distinction. Founded in 1953 in Portland, Oregon it is still a family run business with franchises coast to coast.
We’ve been patrons of the Original Pancake House since the early 1990s. We can’t remember who introduced us to this culinary delight, which is a shame since a sincere “thank you” is owed.
Our favorite meal at the Original Pancake House is the 49er pancakes. They are large, crepe-like pancakes that are both tender and chewy. Over the years, I’ve tried various recipes seeking to duplicate or at least approximate this family favorite. Recipes online often call for a sourdough starter, but I’ve never tasted sourdough in the 49ers.
A friend recently shared a recipe for Palacsinta, a Hungarian Crepe that her grandmother used to make for her. I made her recipe and it was oh so close to 49ers. The next try, I adjusted the recipe slightly by cutting back on the sugar, adding a bit of salt and a bit more flour. We now have something that comes close enough to satisfy our 49er cravings, at home and on the cheap.
I now use my blender to mix the batter the night before as a tip from Alton Brown when making crepes. It’s easy and quick. The batter can be used right away, but the overnight stay in the refrigerator helps the bubbles escape and improves the flavor.
Vegan Version Update (May 2014)
I’ve missed these pancakes since becoming vegan. After a few failed attempts, I’ve finally created a vegan version that is as good as the original. So, if you also follow a vegan diet, try this version.