Location: Seattle, WA.
Photography by: Luis Valdizon
Words by: M.L. Morris & Luis Valdizon
When in search of true local culture and people in an American city, diners are always a safe bet. They're also very convenient because they tend to stay open 24 hours or lift their locks extremely early in the morning, which typically equals extremely late at night for us. While on tour, we frequent them often, usually opting for the breakfast fare no matter what time of day it is--it just feels right.
Aside from only being open from 8 a.m. - 9 p.m. most days, The Pancake Chef is a quintessential American diner: the menu sprawls all three meal groups at all times, the food is as greasy and sweet as you want it to be, the coffee is decent, and the hospitality and service are incredible. But as you probably presumed from its name, the specialty of this local Seattle fixture is their pancakes. The wide variety they offer includes Applejack Pancakes, Golden Pumpkin Pancakes, Michigan Black Cherry Pancakes, Gluten-Free Pancakes and even Potato Pancakes. Basically, any type of pancakes you can imagine, they have. For those looking for something a bit less fluffy, the omelettes and breakfast platters are solid choices as well. Just make sure to try a glass of their fresh-squeezed orange juice to go along with whatever you choose--many thanks to our generous waiter for that recommendation.
Personally, I love the American diner experience because of the people, and The Pancake Chef was no exception. Destinations like this are akin to time capsules. When you step foot inside, it's almost as if you're transported back to simpler times. The pace is slow, the food is comforting and people-watching the regulars and locals is always a fun past time. It's amazing what you can learn by observing and listening to people authentically live out their lives while chowing down on a triple-stack of flapjacks.