1700 W Parmer Ln
Austin TX 78727
Breakfast chain with roots in Oregon. Famous for...pancakes!
A Little Disappointing
Original Review Date: 09/22/2005
Rating: +1/+3(Not bad)
We used to frequent the Original Pancake House in Dallas (the Northwest Highway location) and always enjoyed it--quality breakfast in a homey atmosphere. The coffee was always tasty, the OJ was fresh squeezed. I walked into this one hoping for the same thing, but was disappointed by the absolute lack of any ambiance. The place is very sterile feeling. For a breakfast spot, you really need a homey feel. This place lacks it completely. It didn't help that it was almost empty. I guess this location is pretty new, so maybe the word is not out yet, but it won't be around long if it's usually as barren as I saw it (granted, I went at 1pm on a Thursday). But even with patrons, something serious is lacking in the design of the interior. It just doesn't feel warm or welcoming.
As for the food, it is not bad. I got the Sausage and Eggs, substituting hash browns for the pankcakes. The eggs were cooked perfectly, the sausage was tasty. My only complaint is that the hash browns are the "home fries" variety. I prefer the shredded potato, cooked until some bits are crispy-browned. The OPH hash browns are chunks of potato cooked with onion (I like the flavor, though). One other complaint would be the price--$6.95 for eggs + potatos + sausage. The portions are large, but that seems a bit steep for a basic breakfast, especially compared to what you can get at Cafe Java for $2 less.
Oh wait, I thought of yet another complaint--the breakfast came with no bread. Some basic toast would be nice. I assume you have to pay for that a la carte. The less expensive breakfast at Cafe Java, with the perfect hash browns and coffee included, also includes toast!
All in all, the food is good, but the value is not so good, and the atmosphere sucks. Go to Cafe Java--they have everything OPH is lacking. I'm still giving OPH +1 stars, because I have a soft spot for them based in my experiences in Dallas. I will probably be back, maybe on a weekend morning, to see if it feels more inviting.
Grits Warning: They charge $2.65 for a side of grits (an essential part of any American breakfast). This is a crime, considering that the raw ingredients probably total 3¢.