Our Favorite Flapjacks from Across the State
Ozark Country Restaurant – If there’s one reason to sit down to breakfast at Ozark Country Restaurant, it’s the sweet-potato pancakes. The chunks of sweet orange tuber get slightly caramelized on the flat top and rest gracefully within the fluffy, buttered pancake. (201 Keightly Drive, Little Rock; (501) 663-7319)
The Hive – Chef Matt McClure has racked up a number of awards for himself, but as good as his dinner menu might be, diners should definitely take some time for brunch—particularly when said brunch involves buttermilk pancakes served with sorghum butter and candied apples. (200 NE A St., Bentonville; thehivebentonville.com)
The Pancake Shop – In the nearly 75 years since the first flapjacks were flipped, this Hot Springs staple has earned accolades ranging from Southern Living to The New York Times—and no small number of satisfied customers. (216 Central Ave., Hot Springs; pancakeshop.com)
Tusk & Trotter – You’ll only find them at Sunday brunch, but these “lemon soufflé pancakes” are something worth shouting about. They’re whipped up light and fluffy, and flavored with lemon and vanilla butter. (110 SE A St., Bentonville; tuskandtrotter.com)
Stoby’s – This place might have been made famous for their cheese dip, but with a lineup of American breakfast classics—including a “fruit short stack”—there’s plenty more to keep you satisfied. (405 W. Parkway Drive, Russellville; stobys.com)
Mugs Cafe – On Saturdays, you can hunker down at this lovely little Argenta coffee shop and chow down on all-you-can-eat pancakes. Pro tip: Be sure to watch their social-media feeds Saturday morning when they announce special flavors, (their Cinnamon Roll pancakes are to die for). (515 Main St., North Little Rock; mugscafe.org)
One Eleven at the Capital – Like to feel fancy as you’re putting down pancakes? The hotcakes at this highbrow eatery come topped with fresh strawberries and Chantilly whipped cream—and pair awfully well with the high-quality Nueske’s bacon. (111 W. Markham St., Little Rock; oneelevenatthecapital.com)
Mud Street Cafe – The secret to success at this Eureka Springs staple? Sour cream. Sounds kinda odd, right? But all it takes is one bite of these distinctly tangy, perfectly pillow pancakes, and you’re sure to be a believer—and guaranteed a repeat customer. Get them plain or with blueberries. (22 S.Main St., Eureka Springs; mudstreetcafe.com)
Neighborhood fresh eggs, soft-scrambled with tomato, spinach, jalapeno, cream cheese (or goat cheese) and cilantro. I slow, slow scramble them over very low heat so they melt in your mouth. I doctor them up with a little Sriracha and enjoy them with an English muffin, toasted, with butter and agave.
– Capi Peck, Trio’s
The Basics: Pancakes
Chef Matt McClure has received a lot of attention for the fine food he’s producing at his highly acclaimed Bentonville restaurant, The Hive. But it’s not only the dinnertime delights that are attracting diners from across the state. With items like sorghum butter- and candied apple-topped buttermilk pancakes, breakfast has proven to a popular draw, as well. For the home cook looking to plate the perfect pancakes, chef McClure offers two must-follow tips:
Any pancake recipe worth making should call for whole eggs. When making the batter, separate the egg white from the yolks. Add the yolks to the wet mix (milk, butter or oil), which will later be stirred into the dry mix (flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, etc). Whip the egg whites to soft peaks separately from the batter. Once the wet and dry ingredients are combined, gently fold in the whipped egg whites (1/3 at a time). This will give you incredibly light pancakes.
When mixing the wet mix into the dry mix, be very gentle, and only mix until it is incorporated together (it’s fine if it’s a little lumpy). Be careful not to overmix, which will give you a tougher pancake.
Sure, a pat of butter and a drizzle of syrup on a stack of warm pancakes is perfectly fine. But if you’re looking to take the dessert of the breakfast world to the next culinary level, look to whipped cream. With a tool like the Dessert Whip, fresh cream is infused with just about any flavor possible and stays ready to go in your fridge for a week or more. Think cinnamon whipped cream for those pumpkin pancakes or citrus-infused for blueberry pancakes. Just remember this ratio: 1 cup whipping cream, 1/4 cup sugar and 1 or 2 teaspoons spices or liquor flavorings.
Pancakes Five Ways
“Sweet potato pancakes”
What: Locally sourced with candied pecans, maple syrup and cinnamon-honey butter
Where: The Farmer’s Table, 1079 S. School Ave., Fayetteville; thefarmerstablecafe.com
What: Peppery sausage links wrapped in buttery, soft pancakes—a “bigger, better” version of pigs in a blanket
Where: Calico County Restaurant, 2401 S. 56th St., Fort Smith; calicocounty.net
“Panquecas de Maca”
What: Thin and delicate apple-filled crepes
Where: Cafe Bossa Nova, 2701 Kavanaugh Blvd., No. 105, Little Rock; cafebossanova.com
What: Sweet crepe filled with banana, sweet and salty caramel, and cinnamon
Where: Crepes Paulette, 213 NE A St., Bentonville; facebook.com/crepespaulette
“Loaded potato latkes”
What: Crispy potato pancakes with melted cheddar, bacon, tomatoes, sour cream and scallions
Where: River City Deli, 7320 Rogers Ave., Fort Smith; myrivercitydeli.net