Danish Pancakes (Paula's Pancake House)
The lowly pancake, elevated to breakfast of the gods
I know, never heard of Danish pancakes, right? Well up until recently you were in good company, as neither did I. On Mission Drive in Solvang, California, Paula's Pancake House (no, not House of Pancakes) is a restaurant that appears to be devoted to the shy and seldom seen Danish pancake. A look at the their menu tells you that they've jumped on the American fare bandwagon - I'd be embarrassed to be caught publicly ordering a Spanish omelet is Solvang, but if that's your cup of tea, you can do so at Paula's. Those of you who know me (and that number is probably a high 6 or 7) know that I can't go into an eatery and order something normal humans eat - I have a predisposition to find the most unusual thing on the menu. We had a party of 8, and most of our party ordered burgers, sandwiches and soup, but I had to find out what the hoopla was about Danish pancakes. These can be ordered in a variety ways, mostly layered with a variety of fruit. My eyes lit up when I saw that the special was the pancakes "stuffed" with Danish sausage, and I knew that I must have them.
Although I had no preconceived idea of what form this delight would take, I have to admit it was not at all what I expected. The plate arrived with two pancakes, both the size of the large plate. They were thinner than the warm, cozy monsters you get at a traditional pancake house, but not as thin as crepes.
Paulas Pancake House, from Denmark with love
Lifting it's skirt with a fork, I found diced Danish sausage liberally spread across the area between the two, and the same tossed about the landscape on top. What surprised me the most was that there was a light dusting of powdered sugar on top. The pancakes were light and every bit as tasty as they looked, and each bite was perfectly complemented by the mild taste of the pork sausage. I have to admit, the powdered sugar threw my taste buds off kilter - it added a devious sweet undertone to the dish that I think could would have been delicious without.
Towards the end of the meal, I started to sense a greasy sensation on my tongue, and I wasn't sure if it was from the fat content of the sausage or the powdered sugar. It didn't diminish the taste, but I wasn't digging the sensation. The special, along with a cup of coffee made a fine breakfast, but having conquered that, I wondered what magical breakfast treats awaited me next. What I wouldn't give for a Full (Irish) Breakfast...
Paula's Pancake House
1531 Mission Drive
Solvang, CA 93463
GPS coordinates: 34°35'46.18"N 120° 8'38.76"W