Pannenkoeken Café (CLOSED)

Restaurants, American Wicker Park
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I’d done some research prior to eating breakfast at the new Pannenkoeken Café, and by research I mean I’d skimmed the collection of photos on the café’s website. I thought this would prepare me for the aesthetically challenging approach to its signature, eponymous dish, a large, flat pancake with flavorings kind of casually laid on top (as opposed to mixed in). And yet when a salami and cheese pannenkoeken arrived at my table, and I saw that it truly was just a big round of thin, blonde cake, with three rounds of salami on top of it and a square of cheese on top of each of those, the literalness of it all made my head spin.

But I took a bite anyway, and it turned out to be the best food on the table—better than the undercooked potatoes and the pedestrian eggs, certainly, and better than the pale waffle. This was all the salami’s doing, because it had a big, greasy, meaty punch to it, and punch is exactly what these pannenkoeken need. Without it, the pancake just adds an extra layer of blandness to already unexceptional flavors (like the mild combination of sausage and mushroom). How they became popular enough to warrant a second location of this café can, I think, be chalked up to their novelty. But that can take you only so far. At the end of the day, you can call this food Dutch. But whatever the country of origin, it’s simple, unremarkable diner food just the same.

By: David Tamarkin

Posted:

Venue name: Pannenkoeken Café (CLOSED)
Contact:
Address: 2257 W North Ave
Chicago

Cross street: at Oakley Blvd
Opening hours: Breakfast, lunch
Transport: Subway stop: Damen Subway lines: Blue to Damen Bus info: 49, 56, 72
Price: Average main course: $8
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