Uncle Ernie’s Pancake House
- 4005 Portage Street
- Kalamazoo, MI 49001
- (269) 349-4170
- No Known Website
- No Online Menu
It was an early night for everyone after spending the day at the Auto Show in Detroit. My parents got up early to get here and J and I were just exhausted. It was a long day in the car, so we were all in bed before 11. Since we went to bed early, we got up earlier than usual. Not by much, but still earlier.
My mom saw a commercial for IHOP and asked if we could go to breakfast. I said sure, but no IHOP. J was online, so she googled some breakfast places and came up with one close by that got great reviews.
Uncle Ernie’s Pancake House is on Portage Street in Kalamazoo in the Milwood Shopping Center near Paddington Road. It doesn’t look like much from the outside, but the parking lot was packed and it was the only business open. It’s always a good sign to see a line out the door on Sunday morning. Frankly, I wouldn’t trust a place that didn’t have one.
Right inside the door is a little waiting area. It’s not quite inside the restaurant, but it’s not quite outside either. They have a couple benches and a space heater to keep you warm. J went inside and put our name on the list. The hostess said it would be about ten minutes and she was pretty right on. It was maybe closer to fifteen, but not too much.
The dining room is pretty typical pancake house. There was a breakfast counter near the kitchen and the space was filled with tables and booths. The restaurant is deceivingly big and like I mentioned, every table was full. The decor of choice was snowmen. There were snowmen everywhere.
A waitress brought over some water while we looked over the menu. J and I got pops while my parents stuck with water. The menu is dominated by breakfast. I didn’t even notice any lunch items, but my dad said they were on the back of the menu. I didn’t go that far. It was Sunday so I was in a breakfast mood.
I ordered the steak and eggs again. The 6 oz. sizzler came with hash browns, two eggs, and Texas Toast. The steak was delicious. It was really tender and cooked to a perfect medium. My dad was surprised how tender the steak was. When I ordered, he figured I was getting a piece of rubber or something, but knowing what he knows now, he would have ordered the same thing. The eggs were eggs and the Texas Toast was really good. Nice and buttery. The hash browns were sort of shared by the table. I had a few bites, but they were a little raw for my liking. I don’t really like hash browns anyway, but if Ido eat them, they gotta be crunchy. J had a little and my dad dug in as well. Both of them agreed they could have been cooked a little more.
J got a plain Belgian waffle with a berry compote. She loved it. The compote was served on the side, so she could determine how much she put on. She put the compote on before the butter which created a little problem. She was really impressed with her breakfast.
My mom ordered the Western Omelet and it was a huge Omelet. It took up the whole plate and then some. She pointed out that the egg was pretty thin, so the bulk of the dish was filling which she really liked. She also got a side of cinnamon toast which was toast with cinnamon sugar on top.
My dad ordered the Cinnamon Swirl toast which was technically the “Senior Special,” but he’s not a senior yet. He got the same portion, but had to pay regular price. I thought they had forgotten a plate or something when they set his meal down because there wasn’t much there, but he had actually eaten donuts when he got up, so I’m guessing he wasn’t very hungry anyway. He said it was good, but I don’t think he was a fan of the syrup. They set down a bottle of Sugar-Free syrup which, for most people, is a great thing, but he just kind of looked at it and shrugged his shoulders. Him saying it was good means more than you would think on the surface. he doesn’t really say anything when we go out to eat.
Our bill was a little over $30 which I wouldn’t complain about. The most expensive meal was mine, but my dad probably offset the extra cost. Still, less than $10 a person for a big, hearty breakfast is what I like about places like Uncle Ernie’s.
We were all in agreement when we got back in the car. Uncle Ernie’s does it right. It’s a great breakfast in a comforting, familiar atmosphere.