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Fearless Critic restaurant review
Austin
Food
Feel
Price
7.4
6.0
$15
American
Casual restaurant

Hours
Mon–Fri 6:30am–2:00pm
Sat–Sun 7:30am–3:00pm

Bar None
Credit cards Visa, MC, AmEx
Reservations Not accepted

Website

Far North Austin
1700 W. Parmer Ln.
Austin, TX
(512) 873-7200
The Original Pancake House
Two words: bacon waffle

Start with “IHOP.” Remove “I” and the hokiness. Add in “independently owned and operated.” Finally, anagramize. Now you’ve got the Original Pancake House. OPH is renowned for its gargantuan selection of breakfasts, especially in the griddle-cake area. In fact, some say that OPH wrote the recipe book for IHOP, who is usually the sole purveyor of potato pancakes and blintzes in small towns.

Let’s get to the point: bacon waffle! Why is this not a breakfast staple everywhere? It does the work for you. Pigs in blankets are also sumptuous here, but how are you ever going to decide when faced with two pages of sheer temptation? Consider crêpes filled with fruit and cream; pancakes made with berries, nuts, chocolate chips, or bananas; or corned beef hash (which could be better). But the claim to OPH’s national fame is the “Dutch Baby,” a monstrosity of dough, butter, and powdered sugar for which you wait almost half an hour. It’s worth it, though. With a little squeeze of lemon and a puff-popping forkful, you’ve descended into a trance-like state of ecstasy. Don’t let the Americana wholesomeness fool you. These people are sinister geniuses.

Less, um, blue and triangular than its famous contemporary, OPH is minimalist country kitsch in a newish strip mall on Parmer—the soulless and immaculate corner of Austin’s normally Weird universe. It looks a bit like a third-grade classroom as any holiday approaches, garish and over-decorated; that seems to be the preferred look wherever pork and syrup are involved.

Expect to wait on weekends, but not too long. And it’s only open for breakfast, so if you want dinner, maybe that’s when you could go to IHOP. You know, if you miss it.

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