The Pancake Cafe has been a staple in Fitchburg for awhile now and until about a year ago had the most amazing, plate-sized cinnamon rolls. The cinnamon rolls were massive and had the most dense and equally flaky batter (I don’t know how they did it!). The cream cheese frosting was absolutely perfect and I have fond memories of taking one of those behemoths down with friends at work. I went in a couple months ago to get one and the manager told me the baker retired and took her recipe with her so they no longer had them. In my opinion they lost the best thing on their menu with that retirement but I decided to give their new west side location a try because they had cinnamon rolls back on the menu.
First of all, the decor in this location is very odd with half-yellow walls, food signs in what I think was french, and big leather couches right when you walk in. It feels like someone’s grandma decorated it and then they put used furniture all over the place. Our waitress, the only one in the place on a Monday morning, was attentive, fast and friendly!
Let’s start with the cinnamon roll (I wish I had a picture of it but we ate it before I remembered to take a picture!). They are clearly trying to remake the cinnamon rolls they used to have but it was a little off. First off, it was about a fourth the size, which was disappointing but who needs a cinnamon roll the size of a serving platter anyways! The frosting was almost identical with this one’s frosting being just a bit greasier. The batter was where it really diverted from the original. The batter was lacking in density, flakiness and flavor. It was good, don’t get me wrong, but definitely not the same as the original. I really hope that baker opens a bakery somewhere or lets someone use her recipe!
The breakfast menu is exactly identical to the Fitchburg menu with traditional egg, pancake and omelets being offered. I generally don’t waste breakfast orders on just eggs and bacon but they boasted “thick-cut bacon cut especially for us.” The eggs were good, the toast with thick and perfect toasted, and the bacon was an exceptional stand-out! It was perfectly cooked, a good quarter-inch thick and had a great smoky flavor. My mom got a mushroom omelet that had a massive amount of mushrooms and cheese in it. It was huge for the price and the second half made a good left-over breakfast the next morning! Her omelet and my eggs/bacon both came with hash browns. I’ve had some really good hash browns at a place Paoli so these were nothing special but I did really like that they weren’t greasy. They were a good partner to the eggs.
FOODNOTES: The decor definitely leaves something to be desired. The menu is exactly the same as the Fitchburg location so which one you go to depends on your location preference. If you go I suggest getting a cinnamon roll for the table to share because even though they aren’t as good as the original ones, they are at the top of my Madison cinnamon roll list. Ordering their special-cut bacon with anything you get is a must because it was especially tasty! Also, the prices were reasonable for the amount of food you get.