Friday, August 21, 2009

Meal in the City: "Golden Brown Waffle" at Pancake House, Quezon Avenue

There's a quote by the nutritionist Adelle Davis that sums up my usual approach to three meals a day:

Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a pauper.

The Philippines has an amazing variety of breakfast delights, which makes the first part of the quote very easy to attain, but sometimes it's nice to take a break from the rice and go for something more Western.

Something like a waffle. And for me, waffles should be crunchy; they should have a golden-brown color that contrasts delightfully against the tawny pancake syrup and the creamy white butter (preferably unsalted).

A waffle is great with just those two add-ons, but I also applaud the idea of coupling its crunch with either fruits or meat.

There's a local restaurant group that advocates the idea of "breakfast like a king" and actually offers pancakes and waffles all day. This is Pancake House - they've been around since 1970, serving breakfast food and other dishes. When I was a kid I looked forward to the times when we could eat their pancakes and their house specialty tacos, as they were always nicely made.

Pancake House has branches all over the country; I pass the one on Quezon Avenue every day on the way to work. Well, one particular day last week I was way too early to head for my desk - I was in the area by 8am, and the office opened at 9 - so I got off the bus at this branch.

My breakfast at Pancake House: their Golden Brown Waffle plus four Country Sausages.

Now I guess I've just grown older, because when I was a child I remember that the pancakes and waffles at the Pancake House were big - the type of big that even some kids might balk at finishing. This waffle was smaller than I remembered.

But man, was it wonderfully crunchy. The unsalted butter was whipped to airy perfection and made a great topping for the waffle, and with the tiny hint of tooth-achy sweet provided by pancake syrup, made for a powerfully uplifting and nostalgia-tinged breakfast.

Added drama was provided by the wonderfully juicy country sausages, each small link bursting with spicy juices. Each bite made a great contrast to the waffle.

As good as this waffle was, I still can't help missing the days when the waffles were big....

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