Thursday, September 11, 2008
Dutch Memories at the Pannenkoeken Cafe
I might have told you this before, but I love living in a big city like Chicago. It's amazing what this city has to offer. Theater, music, festivals... and of course, so much good food! The Dutch brunch we had last weekend was a perfect example of the foreign food offerings available around Chicago.
I've been so lucky to travel to Europe 7 or 8 times in the last few years, because my parents and younger siblings have been living in the Netherlands since March 2004. At this point it's starting to feel like home around their lovely little city of Maastricht, and I can't help but enjoy a good Dutch, Belgian, or German treat when I start to miss my family. Imagine my delight when we decided to move to Lincoln Square a few months back, and I saw the Pannenkoeken Cafe only a few blocks from our future condo.
I couldn't try the pannenkoeken right away, though, because on my past trips to Maastricht I had never managed to try this national treat. I decided I couldn't dine at the Pannenkoeken Cafe until I had tried true Dutch pancakes in their native country. Lucky for me, we went to the Netherlands a few short weeks later, right after we put the offer on the condo.
I wish I could have told you about the pannenkoeken I had on that trip, but without pictures it was hard to justify a post. I did write about that trip to Europe here, here, and here. But we went to the pannenkoeken place in Gulpen on our way home from the airport, and I didn't even think to pull out my camera until our plates had been cleared away. Check out their website, though... it's really cute! I did adore them, though, and couldn't wait to compare the Dutch originals to the Lincoln Square variety.
Now, about 6 months later, we finally made it to the Pannenkoeken Cafe. What can I say; it was a busy summer! I was so pleased with result. They were exactly as I remembered... eggy, thicker than a crepe, but still pretty thin. I had bacon (spek over there) with mushrooms and cheese (kaas), which was very similar to what I ate in Gulpen. The cafe is a tiny place, but it's cute and full of charm. And they are HUGE! I brought some home for breakfast the next day, and was happy with the leftover version as well.
Joe had apple and cheese with raisins, another authentic Dutch flavor combination. I hate raisins, so I only had a taste of his, but the sweet and salty flavors went well together. And notice he's wearing a Tour de France t-shirt I bought him in Paris a few summers ago... can you tell we both enjoy our travels?
If you're ever in the area, check this place out. It's tiny, though, so be ready to wait if you come at a peak time. It's on Western, just south of Lawrence. And if you stumble across pannenkoeken anywhere else, make it a point to try one out!