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Rise and Shine Road in Tacoma

The Original Pancake House adds to Sixth Avenue's Boulevard of Breakfast

The Original Pancake House offers a truly diverse selection of pancakes. Photo credit: Jackie Fender

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In these modern times where everyone is on the go, it seems as though the most important meal of the day is neglected and often replaced with power bars and copious amounts of roasted bean. Long gone are the days of a full buffet-style breakfast placed upon the dining room table for all in the family to feast upon. The bliss of enjoying breakfast seems primarily reserved for the weekends and maybe even prolonged into the afternoon hours. That, OR, it includes someone else, in a kitchen other than your own, whipping up the goods to help you all rise and shine and avoid the cluttered stovetop and dirtied dishes together.

Some districts in the South Sound area are kings of the morning meal - particularly Tacoma's Sixth Avenue. There are so many breakfast options I think we ought to rename the strip. Maybe "Sausage Street" is more appropriate, or "Rise and Shine Road." Seriously, think about it: chilaquilles from Masa, Shakabrah's magic potatoes, elk hash from Dirty Oscar's Annex, Old Milwaukee Café's huckleberry hotcakes or Engine House 9's California Benedict. The culinary options available on the Ave first thing in the AM (particularly on the weekends) are mighty and diverse. And now, The Boulevard of Breakfast has welcomed a new morning dining staple in The Original Pancake House.

As of Dec. 23, OPH, which serves up breakfast only morning, noon and night in the space that Primo Grill used to call home, has joined the ranks of Sixth Ave. breakfast establishments. OPH's star player is, naturally, the pancake, and there are loads of options available such as bacon pancakes, coconut cakes, buckwheat pancakes and potato pancakes, plus traditional sorts like blueberry and banana. All run in the $8-$11 mark. I tried the Hawaiian pancakes made with crushed pineapples throughout and paired with OPH's hot tropical syrup, which lent a pleasant, citrusy sweet flavor. The Georgian Pecan pancakes are fluffy buttermilk hotcakes served with pecans in and on the order while the Old Fashioned Dutch Baby - paired with the tropical syrup as well as lemons - was delightful. All of these lovely little cakes are blanketed with a light sprinkling of powdered sugar and presented in generous serving sizes. Mine were partnered with crisp, thick bacon strips, and I experienced déjà vu and was transported to visits with my grandmamma on weekends.

Other available breakfast staples include Eggs Benedict, loads of waffle and crepe options and omelets. OPH also boasts a menu with items all made from scratch, which means freshly squeezed orange juice, newly whipped topping and even a coffee bean blend concocted for OPH to create the perfect morning time matrimony. Unlike most other Sixth Ave. breakfast joints, The Original Pancake House serves up breakfast only and is open for every meal of the day, which means the most important meal can be indulged in any time you'd like, which is great news for those night owls.

Does all of this mean competition for the other joints on the Ave? I think not. There's a little something for everyone, and a new establishment may help to alleviate the long wait for the masses that convene to dine in the AM. All that said, The Boulevard of Breakfast shall remain "the Ave's" new moniker for this gal.

THE ORIGINAL PANCAKE HOUSE, 6 a.m. to 8 p.m., 601 S. Pine St., Tacoma, 253.212.0580

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