The Original Pancake House has four locations in Minnesota. (Allie Miller)
The Original Pancake House has four locations in Minnesota.

Allie Miller

Putting pancake reputations to the test

Judging iconic franchises' signature breakfast dishes.

March 15, 2018

We visited three iconic breakfast hotspots and put their reputations to the test. Our mission was simple: discern the quality of these popular franchises based on their pancakes’ appearance, taste, and price.

We started at the Plymouth Original Pancake House; a classic for pancake lovers. We visited on a Thursday morning so we were able to be seated right away; however, the Original Pancake House frequently has a long wait and is an overall more time-consuming experience. We ordered the “2 x 4,” which is a dish that includes four buttermilk pancakes in addition to two eggs any style, which costs $8.25. The Original Pancake House pancakes were good, but there really isn’t much more to say about them. They were light and pretty flavorful, but we wouldn’t say they were anything special and definitely didn’t live up to the Original Pancake House name. These pancakes were pretty simple in texture and flavor on their own and only stood out because of the heaping pile of whipped cream on the stack of cakes. What makes the Original Pancake House really stand out as a pancake destination is their extensive variety of unique and interesting flavors.


Allie Miller
Three Perkins restaurants are open 24 hours a day, while the rest of them close at midnight.

Next, we moved to Perkins where we split a side of buttermilk pancakes costing $6.49. On a Thursday afternoon, we were seated immediately, but the restaurant was a lot busier than we had anticipated and we were by far the youngest ones dining. Perkins has a much smaller pancake variety in comparison to The Original Pancake House, but they do have a specialty pancake they are known for: their rainbow pancakes, which are topped with whip cream and sprinkles. Perkins also has a variety of syrup options: maple, blueberry, and apricot. However, the blueberry and apricot were overwhelmingly strong and sweet. The pancakes, on the other hand, greatly exceeded our expectations. They were light, airy, and fluffy on the inside, but had a nice, light crisp on the outside giving them the perfect consistency. They also smelled scrumptious. Bonus! Perkins serves bottomless pancakes after 9 p.m.



Finally, we visited the Uptown McDonald’s to taste their classic “Hotcakes.” These pancakes were the cheapest out of everything we tried, costing $2.49. Three hotcakes come in a styrofoam container alongside a pack of hotcake syrup and two packs of whipped butter. Unfortunately, McDonalds’ Hotcakes do not come in any flavors other than the classic. We were slightly disappointed when we opened the container to find that, in staying true to their name, the heat from the Hotcakes had caused water droplets to form on the lid of the container and made them soggy. However, they were still delicious! McDonalds’ Hotcakes were definitely the densest and most cakey pancakes of the three we tried, but the butter soaked into them nicely, giving them a really pleasant flavor. The side of Hotcake Syrup was also a really delectable addition to the pancakes.  

Allie Miller
McDonald’s serves breakfast 24/7.

All in all, we were thoroughly impressed with every restaurant’s pancakes. Nevertheless, McDonald’s was our least favorite. Although they are great for fulfilling a quick and spur of the moment pancake craving, the quality of these cakes is simply not up to the standards with the other sit down restaurant competitors. We give second place to The Original Pancake House. With the title of The Original Pancake House, we had pretty high expectations for our pancakes; however, we simply felt that these cakes did not live up to such a reputation. Additionally, they were the most expensive pancakes we tried and took the longest to be made. Finally, in first place is Perkins! There’s nothing like a good Perkins pancake to satisfy our 24/7 pancake cravings; they simply can’t be topped!

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