Breakfast Beat

Breakfast Beat: This Spot Sizzles a Delicious German Pancake

A German pancake
Allison Trebacz
A German pancake
The Spot: Egg N' Joe
3131 South Market Street, #101, Gilbert

The Scene: Egg N’ Joe is in a strip mall next to Club Pilates and a juice bar. There will be a wait if you get there after 9 and you’ll have to hang out in a parking lot until your table is ready – which could take 40 minutes – so get in early. But outside there’s complimentary coffee and water, as well as umbrellas to make the heat a little more tolerable.

Inside, it’s busy. Pancakes whizz by on plates. The screams of children and smells of bacon are everywhere. You can hear the kitchen from the front of the restaurant. The intermittent sizzling is oddly exciting, and the servers seem like they’re in a hurry.

The vibe is retro. Round white ceiling lights. Chairs with red leather cushions pushed to the tables. Almost everything in the restaurant is a varying shade of gold, from the walls to the booths to teak tables with gold-flecked laminate. The far wall has an egg painting next to a gold plate display and a long shelf of evenly spaced, red mugs. Despite the gold, the restaurant has a dimness – not a bad thing if you’re still waking up.

click to enlarge A German pancake - ALLISON TREBACZ
A German pancake
Allison Trebacz
The Goods: The menu stands out – it’s one of the not gold things. Thumbing through the menu brings back the nostalgia of an IHOP menu or a Denny’s visit. But forget about that. If you have a soft spot for German pancakes and are in the mood for a reliable diner breakfast, this is your place.

It’s a perfectly comfortable breakfast menu. They serve eggs Benedict, shredded hash browns, and Belgian waffles. They also have plenty of options for loading an omelet or pushing pancakes to the edge of dessert. It’s everything you would expect from a fast-paced breakfast spot, with just enough indulgent options to recover from a hangover.

Most importantly: The German pancake awaits you.

The pancake is baked in a cast iron pan until the edges are a golden brown, crunchy and start to curl in toward the yellow, center. When it’s done, the butter is melted over. It bubbles up on crust and pools in the center of the pancake. Then it’s showered with powdered sugar and a handful of lemon wedges are tossed into the center.

The result is a mildly sweet, butter-soaked pancake with just enough lemon and sugar. The pancake straddles the line between crepe and traditional American pancake. It’s a simple pleasure, but one that’s worth the trip.

The Bottom Line: Egg N’ Joe offers pretty standard breakfast fare across the board, with the exception of one butter-soaked menu item. Come here for quick service, satisfying food, and hash browns on par with your hometown diner.
Special Something: The restaurant keeps Swedish lingonberries and serves them in crepes and as an option for your German pancake.
Hours: Daily from 6:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Price: $$
Coffee Options: Nothing special, nothing local. Just coffee, cappuccino, and some tea.
Juice: Standard options.
Wi-Fi?: Yes
Drinking Before Noon: Nope.