People who know me probably wouldn't put “shy” or “antisocial” in their list of descriptor words for me, but I really can’t stand crowds, specifically at restaurants (crowds; one of the few reasons I left my family behind in Texas). That’s why I avoid peak dining hours at all times!
I decided Hot Suppa on Congress was the perfect spot and arrived around 8:30am (after leaving my apartment at approximately 8:29 = one of the perks of living downtown) .
It was close to perfect timing as I only had to wait about 20 minutes for a spot. Any later and I would have turned around
and made my own damn pancakes at home (see recipe below).
I got a great seat at the bar and ordered my “usual”: a huge single waffle (with butter on top of course), three pieces of bacon and two scrambled eggs. After running my first race of the season the day before, I felt vindicated in my choice. But no fancy coffee drink for me this time as I gave them up for “Lent.” (See "about me section for more juicy details about that). Next year, maybe I’ll tackle sugar altogether…or not………
But back to the breakfast: simple and marvelous. It always gets the job done, whatever that job may be!
Hangover, pure hunger or comfort, this breakfast does it all. I also like sitting at the counter at Hot Suppa. Just because you go there alone and there are tons of people around you, it still doesn't feel like it’s crowded. Just don’t try to go to the bathroom as you will have to wade through a massive crowd waiting for their turn to chow down. Yes, this place is that good. Try the chicken and waffles when you go too. Fried chicken and a waffle. How can you go wrong, really???
Sadly, I don’t own a waffle maker. That pipe dream will have to wait until I get a bigger place. As it is, I have
to stow my toaster oven in a cabinet under the counter when it’s not in use so I actually have some counter
space with which to cook, or allow my cat to jump up to his favorite spot: the kitchen sink. So this ramble leads me to my next recipe; mom’s pancakes! Every time I make the journey home to Texas, I have to have these for breakfast at least once. Unlike other flapjacks, these are thin, a little spongy instead of fluffy and have neat patterns on them. Or maybe I just find beauty in the mundane. When I was a kid, mom poured them into shapes: a “K” for me, an “E” for my sister as well as other shapes. Those were the most fun ones to eat. What shapes will you make with yours? The recipe makes a lot and they are easy to freeze if you don't have anyone to share them with...
(makes about 16 four-inch pancakes)
1 ½ cups flour (sub 3/4 cup wheat flour plus 3/4 cup regular to make them healthier )
2 tablespoons sugar
1 ¾ tablespoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 ½ cups milk
3 tablespoons melted butter (Mmmmmm butter)
½ teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)
½ cup chopped strawberries, bananas, blueberries, or other fruit (optional)
¼ cup mini chocolate chips (optional)
Place your skillet on the burner on medium heat.
Whisk dry ingredients together in one bowl and the liquid ingredients together in another bowl. Pour the dry ingredients into the liquid mix and whisk together quickly, but don’t over-stir. Add more milk for a thinner pancake.
When the skillet is warm enough (repels small drops of water), coat the pan with a thin layer of butter to ensure non-sticky-ness and pour out your favorite pancake shape. Flip once when you see bubbles appear, pop and leave tiny holes. Mom loves them burnt (don’t ask me why) so if that’s your thing, cook them longer. If not, cook a shorter amount of time. (Insider tip, the first one is never pretty…don’t plan on impressing your new boyfriend with the first one. It's not going to happen).
While the others are cooking, set finished pancakes on an oven-safe plate and in the oven at 200 degrees F to keep warm. Serve with Maine maple syrup (I believe I am single-handedly responsible for converting my Texas-based family from Aunt Jemima to real maple syrup!), scrambled eggs (with cheese?!) bacon (turkey or pig!), orange juice and a vanilla latte (drink one for me please!?)