Guilty Pleasures

Classic German Pancake: An Unexpectedly Good Surprise

The classic German pancake:  crepe meets pancake meets French toast.
The classic German pancake: crepe meets pancake meets French toast. Rudri Bhatt Patel

click to enlarge The classic German pancake:  crepe meets pancake meets French toast. - RUDRI BHATT PATEL
The classic German pancake: crepe meets pancake meets French toast.
Rudri Bhatt Patel
The Guilty Pleasure: Classic German Pancake        
Where to Get It: Egg N'Joe, 23271 North Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale, and 3131 South Market Street, Gilbert
Price: $10
What it Really Costs: You think you can't finish the entire pancake, but that is a dangerous assumption.

Sometimes, low expectations pay off. Walking into Egg N'Joe, I embraced the possibility of regular breakfast fare — scrambled eggs, waffles, omelets, and a cup of lukewarm coffee. The ambiance is nothing special — bright yellow plates accessorizing the walls, plain brown tables in the middle of the restaurant, and a sparse crowd who didn't seem as if they were lingering over their entrees. My eyes didn't land on anything exceptional, but I thought it was enough to work for a quick and hearty breakfast. Sliding into my orange booth, I opened the laminated menu and an unexpected surprise greeted my appetite.

What? Classic German pancakes? When I saw the ingredients — lemon wedges, whipped butter, and powdered sugar — I did a double-take. Pancakes without store-bought syrup that aren't round and dense? A key question: How do the lemon wedges fit into this breakfast scenario?

The good news, as it turns out, is that lemon on a classic German pancake is something that is meant to be experienced.

I gingerly sprinkled the lemon on a small part of the pancake.

Let me break it to you. This isn't a pancake — not in the traditional sense. It's a cross between a crepe, French toast, and a hint of an American pancake at the edges. There is a reason why syrup isn't required. The confectioner's sugar doesn't overpower the taste, but blends in well with the lemon. Other things you should know: You will taste the butter in this pancake, and it is more satisfying to eat this breakfast or brunch guilty pleasure with your hands. I hesitated for a moment, because it looked almost too pretty to eat. But this thought didn't last long, especially after the first, second, and third bite.

I wanted to stop. I couldn't. I love French toast, crepes, and pancakes individually and a crossover of these favorite items — who could blame me for finishing the entire dish? The best part? You won't miss your opportunity to try this guilty pleasure if you can't make it to breakfast. They serve the classic German pancake all day. Or at least until 2:30 p.m (closing time for Egg N'Joe). 

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Rudri Patel is a lawyer turned writer and editor. She is the co-editor of the online literary journal The Sunlight Press and on staff at Literary Mama.
Contact: Rudri Patel