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Pancake Tuesday in Barrie is all about variety

Classic or decadent, diners serve up all kinds of flapjacks
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2018-02-13 Midway Diner Pancakes
Midway Diner owner Matthew Jones took this photo of the classic stack of pancakes he cooked for himself

Midway Diner owner Matthew Jones couldn't wait to celebrate Pancake Tuesday. 

Jones started the day at his Bradford St. eatery by whipping up a big stack of pancakes for himself - smothered in syrup and butter - of course.  

"I've been dreaming about it all week long because I knew Pancake Tuesday was coming up," said Jones, who wants people to know he didn't eat all five pancakes in the stack.  

Eggs, flour and milk are the three key ingredients to this time-honoured, classic food.  But the sky's the limit on variations and customers just eat 'em up.

At the Dunlop Street Diner, pancakes are served plain or in several flavours: banana walnut streusel; fresh berries; chocolate; and blueberry topping.  And every flapjack comes with local syrup and whipped cream.

"What can I say?" said Dunlop Street Diner owner Steve Ricalis. "Who doesn't like pancakes smothered in maple syrup and butter? Our best selling pancake is our banana walnut streusel and we use Shaw's local maple syrup as well."

Pancake Tuesday, also known as Shrove Tuesday or Pancake day, is always the day before the first day of Lent, known as Ash Wednesday and is celebrated by eating pancakes.  Ash Wednesday is always 40 days before Easter.

Manish Mehra owns three Stacked Pancake House eateries and two Breakfast House restaurants in Barrie and area.

Mehra will be celebrating Pancake Tuesday with his favourite griddlecake - Oreo cheesecake.

"Crushed up Oreos, topped with a white icing and a homemade cheesecake filling that we make in-house and then fresh chocolate on top with whipped cream and icing sugar," Mehra said. 

His five restaurants carry 17 different specialty pancakes ranging from plain, to fruit and then the sweeter side with chocolate caramel, Oreo or Turtles. They all get dusted with icing sugar and topped with whipped cream.

He expects to sell as many as 400 griddle cakes today but that's small potatoes compared to weekends.

"On the weekend we go through between anywhere from 1,200 to 1,500 pancakes a day," said Mehra. 

Jones says Pancake Tuesday isn't as busy as it once was and Mehra agrees, although pancakes are top sellers for his take-out and delivery. 

The secret to a good pancake depends on who you ask.

Mehra says it's a homemade mix with a touch of vanilla to enhance the flavour of the batter. 

"When you're whisking it, you keep it a little bit lumpy. Keep the molecules in there so it can rise. Makes them nice and fluffy."

Jones say a good pancake takes 'a little bit of everything' but especially 'a nice hot griddle.' 

His Midway Diner sells 'a ton of pancakes' on the weekend and Jones is looking at spicing up Pancake Tuesday next year.

He's considering having an all-you-can-eat Pancake Tuesday or a pancake eating contest.

Something for pancake fans to look forward, he said, as a way to honour the classic dish.  

"It really is the ultimate comfort food," Jones said.




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