Restaurant: Walker Bros. Original Pancake House, Glenview, Illinois
What happens when you leave the hotel bright and early, heading home from a fantastic vacation, and you have breakfast on the brain? You make a stop in the Chicago area for breakfast…that’s what happens. And when in the Chicago area, some of the best breakfast around is served up at Walker Bros. The Original Pancake House.
Walker Bros. is apparently a Chicago-area landmark. It’s first location was opened in 1960 in Wilmette. Since then, other locations have opened, but standards have been kept high. In fact, Walker Bros. was named as one of USA Today’s “Top Ten Pancake Restaurants in the Nation.” Additionally, Zagat sang their praises and named them Chicago’s “best breakfast – bar none.” Apparently, Walker Bros. is the place to hit up when the breakfast craving hits.
And…that’s what we did
You know a place is good when you turn into a full parking lot. And then…the line. It was a long line…and a rather decent wait to get seated. But the staff turned tables as fast as they could and we never really stood for too long somewhere. One of the hostesses came through to find out how many people were in each party to assist with getting the line moving. Oh, I was already excited about breakfast here.
We were finally seated, approximately 30-40 minutes after our arrival. The restaurant has this nice, homey appeal to it. Waiters wear white, button-up shirts and diner hats. Yes…those little folded hats that were a standard in every diner in the 50s. Talk about a throwback! The Glenview location is designed with solid oak, brass lamps, and stained glass. It’s beautiful. And bustling.
We were given water and given some time to peruse the menu. And there…a shining beacon on the pancake page…was gluten-free pancakes. I was sold. FINALLY…no omelets or eggs. I could get something that I normally can’t enjoy while out at a breakfast place.
We placed our orders. Cathy treated herself to one of the standards that Walker Bros. is known for – Three Little Pigs In A Blanket ($7.25), which is their own house-made sausage wrapped in fluffy pancakes, dusted with powdered sugar, and served with whipped butter and syrup. As for me…I had to order the Gluten-Free Pancakes ($7.25), which comes with whipped butter and syrup.
I was practically giddy with anticipation over these pancakes…for real! I don’t think I shut up about them as we waited on our order to arrive at our table. I got really excited when the little dishes of maple syrup arrived. Our food wasn’t far behind.
And holy flap-jacks, Batman…you get your money’s worth from the menu. My very large plate was filled with six fluffy gluten-free pancakes. Yes…six. Holy Moses. They were perfectly cooked up too, with that beautiful golden crust on the outside. I sparingly spread a bit of the butter over a couple of the pancakes, poured a touch of syrup over them, took a breath, and sliced through one with the edge of my fork. A moment later, I was enjoying the taste of pancakes…not prepared by me for a change.
The Gluten-Free Pancakes from Walker Bros. are light and fluffy for sure. They have the crunch of the outer, golden crust that I love when pancakes are done right. And the best part is…they are gluten-free, wheat free and peanut free. So…safe to eat if you have any of those allergens. Nothing is off with the taste. They are fantastic, reminding me of what classic buttermilk pancakes were like. Man, I’ve missed being able to have pancakes out at these places known for breakfast food.
Could I eat all six pancakes? No. But I managed more than I expected. I was caught up in the taste, texture, and sheer brilliance of the Gluten-Free Pancakes. Walker Bros. managed to turn out a plate of pancakes that tasted like classic buttermilk pancakes…none of this cornmeal business…this was a classic pancake…minus the gluten. And yes…it made me so happy to be eating there.
When food can put a smile on your face, leave you satisfied, and just be fantastic…then something is being done right. Walker Bros. definitely sets a high standard for brunch places and pancake houses. They beat out any franchise or chain…hands down. It’s obvious they respect the products they put out and want to serve the best to every customer. The service was fantastic…the food…even better.
If you find yourself traveling through the Chicago area and a hankering for breakfast (no matter what time of day…they are open until 9:30 p.m.) hits…find a Walker Bros. I mean it. I will forever visit here because I know I can get amazing food that works with my food allergies. And…hello…I can eat pancakes!!
Best. Breakfast. Ever.