I went to SXSW last weekend and got back to Dallas Tuesday evening. Then, the following day (Wednesday), there was the DFWBlogs March Cocktail Event at New Amsterdam Coffee Haus (which actually is a bar, contrary to what you might think). I actually wasn't sure if I’d go, but decided to give it a try as I had heard that there might be some new bloggers there.
I ended up getting a bit lost on my way there and wound up about ten minutes late. Now, even though ten minutes late is still “on-time” in the DFW-blogiverse, I still expected that there’d be a few people there ahead of me. However, as I walked in the door, I took a quick look around and soon realized that I was the only one there. So, I just ordered a drink and sat down at a table which looked big enough to hold several more people. And, fortunately, New Amsterdam has an excellent beer selection; I certainly didn’t mind a few quiet moments as I sipped my Chimay White.
As I waited, I peered around the place and took in their decor. Soon enough, a few other bloggers arrived — Leia, Matt, Julie and Andrew walked in about the same time. Each of them ordered a drink and, as we began talking, we soon realized that neither Leia nor I had dinner beforehand. Leia mentioned off-handedly that the last time the DFWBlogs happy hour was at New Amsterdam, the group went off to Cafe Brazil afterwards. That sounded pretty good, actually, and I suggested that we could go get some dinner there.
After finishing our drinks — and meeting new-blogger Heidi — we closed our tabs and headed off to Cafe Brazil. And, as an illustration of the goofy road patterns in the area, I recall that Matt’s directions to get to Cafe Brazil went something like this: “ Go left on Exposition Ave and then turn left onto Elm Street. Well, actually, you don’t need to turn left onto Elm — Exposition just curves around and then becomes Elm.”
We drove to Cafe Brazil and there were plenty of free tables; we were seated just about as soon as we got there. And, while I often order a make-your-own omelette when I go to Cafe Brazil (with chorizo, feta and sun-dried tomatoes), I felt like something a bit sweeter this time. I turned to the breakfast section of the menu and the pancakes caught my eye. Of course, the menu only said “pancakes” and didn’t make it clear whether fruit-filled pancakes were available (such as blueberry pancakes which would have hit the spot right about then).
When our server came around to take our order, I just asked him what kinds of pancakes they had. I recall that there were plain, chocolate chip and some third variety of pancakes. Well, that made my choice easy — I could hardly resist a dish featuring both pancakes and chocolate. And, just to ensure some protein intake within the meal, I also ordered a side of chorizo.
Our food arrived a little while later and I dug right in. And, I’m not sure if this is typical of all breakfast-is-our-specialty restaurants, but these were some enormous pancakes — each of the three pancakes was about 6-8 inches across and about a third of an inch thick. Sure enough, there were chocolate chips in there. But, the thickness of the pancakes worked to their disadvantage. I mean, let’s not kid around — this was a chocolate-chip delivery vehicle which happened to be in a circle and I just wanted as many chocolate chips in each bite as possible.
To the cook’s credit, it was evident that the chocolate chips were added as the pancakes were cooking (as opposed to adding right into the batter) as chips might have all sunk to the bottom of the mixing bowl otherwise. With this manual chip-sprinkling midway through the cooking process, the chips were evenly distributed. But, the pancakes were so thick that even a 2" x 1" slice — a throughput of perhaps two to three chocolate chips — still left me with a mouthful of pancake.
Perhaps some thinner pancakes would resolve this. Nothing crazy or crepe-like (not that I would be opposed to that) but perhaps something closer to a quarter-inch thick. That should be thick enough to remain structurally sound when transferring them off the cooking surface while ensuring the most favorable chip-to-batter radio. Not that these were bad pancakes — they were soft and delectable — but they did have that area for improvement.
Come to think of it, most restaurant-pancakes are pretty thick, if memory serves. Maybe it’s just that their customers like the spectacle of a pile of plate-filling pancakes. So, I suppose I’ll just have to make my own chocolate-chip pancakes to get them properly unthickified. (And, that reminds me of the DFWBlogs-breakfast which we had about two years ago. Everyone joined in and we cooked up a huge breakfast; I wouldn’t be opposed to trying that again sometime.)