The Original Pancake House

American, Diner
$$$$ ($14 and under)

Editorial Review

Located in an office plaza near Metro, this Bethesda favorite is older and more established than suggested by its smart modern interior, all reds and blacks and whites, minimally decorated with posters of crepes and waffles
and other masterpieces of fried dough. Patio seating, weather cooperating, permits enjoyment of a syrup-smothered stack of cakes al fresco.

That stack is served at least 17 ways, with all the usual berries, nuts and sweets, ranging in price from $2.75 to $7.50. For color, bouquet and fluffiness, these pancakes received high marks from our panel of connoisseurs of the griddle. Even the Midwestern judge, with lumberjack
appetite and Betty Crocker standards, reluctantly agreed, "Fluffy. Very fluffy."

For lunch or brunch, Pancake House also offers omelets, soups, sandwiches, and salads. You get what you pay for with the soup and salad combo. For more of a meal, try the steak Caesar. The western wrap is breakfast repackaged -- scrambled eggs, ham, and red and green peppers in a spinach tortilla. Ditto the egg salad wrap. For $9.99, you can buy a Pancake House T-shirt to wear in your punk band. Irony not included.

-- Rob Kunkle