Breakfast Beat

Breakfast Beat Special: Ever Had a Flight of Pancakes?

A flight of ... pancakes (two of three pictured).
A flight of ... pancakes (two of three pictured). Chris Malloy
Ordering pancakes is a safe bet in the morning, but one that rarely surprises. You know what pancakes taste like. You can probably make them. They don't cost much to make and don't take long, and are even fun, you realize, as you pour batter, sizzle shapes, and drizzle maple syrup over a fresh stack.

But what if you could order three kinds of pancake on one plate? Suddenly, rounding out the blueberry with two other kinds of pancakes might even become more appealing, in theory, than huevos rancheros, a breakfast burrito, or chilaquiles.

Snooze offers pancake flights. Like wine, like craft beer or mead or single-origin chocolates, these flights give you several versions of one food. In this case: pancakes.

click to enlarge The interior of Snooze - CHRIS MALLOY
The interior of Snooze
Chris Malloy
My reluctance to spotlight a chain with a corporate office melted before my childlike curiosity at the idea of a pancake flight. Since the Denver-based chain's first location opened in 2006, the breakfast joint with a robust, wide-ranging menu and formidable morning booze program has claimed to be known for pancakes.

You pick three kinds of pancakes. For each kind you order, you get one pancake. They come in a line on an oval plate pooled with syrup and caramel and melted cinnamon butter.

Snooze plates pineapple upside-down pancakes, and has since the beginning. These lean heavily to the sweet side and feature caramelized pineapple and vanilla cream sauce. The kitchen turns out a sweet potato pancake. With pecans, caramel, pecans, and ginger butter, you almost cross over into pie territory.

Other equally creative pancakes can be had. If you want, you can sub in French toast for one of your pancakes, though this option isn't listed on the menu.

click to enlarge Beer cheese pancake on the far right - CHRIS MALLOY
Beer cheese pancake on the far right
Chris Malloy
These pancakes are generally sweet. If you aren't a dessert eater, you might struggle. Try getting a juice or a real drink like an Irish coffee to prime yourself for the sugar rush.

Snooze typically keeps about six pancakes on the menu. One is usually seasonal. On a recent visit, the seasonal pancake was a savory beer cheese pancake. The pancake featured the unlikely union of bacon bits, crumbled pretzels, jalapeno cheese sauce, and green onions. And even more unlikely, it was actually solid.

Would I have ordered this pancake outside of a sampler? Snowball's chance in a Phoenix summer. But this, of course, is what makes the pancake flight worth considering.

Snooze an A.M. Eatery. 15054 North Scottsdale Road, 110 D18, Scottsdale; 480-664-3133.
Daily from 6:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
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Chris Malloy, former food editor and current food critic at Phoenix New Times, has written for various local and national outlets. He has scrubbed pots in a restaurant kitchen, earned graduate credit for a class about cheese, harvested garlic in Le Marche, and rolled pastas like cappellacci stuffed with chicken liver. He writes reviews but also narrative stories on the food world's margins.
Contact: Chris Malloy