Location: 2000 4th Avenue, Seattle
Before coming up to Seattle, I had heard quite a bit about a supposedly pricey but yummy place called Lola from a few family members who had eaten there. Lola is one of the many Seattle eateries owned by local celebrity chef Tom Douglas. While its menu focuses on Greek and Mediterranean cuisine during lunch and dinner, Lola is known for serving some of the best breakfasts in the city. It happens to be the favorite brunch spot of one of my cousins, so we decide to slide in for a bite to celebrate her birthday.
All this hype means my expectations are high when I decide to order the Stack of Golden Brown Pancakes. Each order of pancakes includes maple syrup-infused pork sausages, and a cup of vanilla mascarpone spread in lieu of typical butter. Now let me just say pancakes are one of my favorite breakfast foods of all time. Not long ago, I shamelessly broke a high protein/low-carb diet just so I could indulge in a heaping pile of warm and fluffy banana and chocolate chip pancakes. Did I mention I had them for dinner…at 10pm? But despite my love of them, I feel a bit silly ordering a pancake dish that costs $14. I mean, how good can you really make a plain and simple pancake to charge over $10 for it?
Well, while Lola’s pancakes may not have been cooked with wild berries or fancy fillers in the batter, they are nevertheless some of the best pancakes I’ve ever eaten. Each piece I bite is perfectly moist and rich, not dry like some I’ve had in the past. The texture in your mouth is almost creamy (not in an undercooked batter sort of way). It gets even better when you slather on the vanilla mascarpone and syrup. The mascarpone is very creamy, but not overly sweet like the sugary buttercream frosting found on cheap supermarket cakes. It spreads easily and tastes perfectly. Accompanying my pancakes are two links of:
Maple-pork sausages. Sure, these are being served as a breakfast item, but they’re NOTHING like normal breakfast sausages. I find that most breakfast sausages tend to be too salty for my taste. Tom Douglas’ maple-pork ones have a very balanced flavor: not too salty, and with just a hint of sweetness from the maple. They taste like real sausages you would find in a butcher shop. I could eat these at any time of day with anything from potatoes to pasta. My only complaint is that they didn’t include more.
Luckily for me, I still had more food to try. My cousin generously gave me some of her goat cheese omelette (which was very good) and this smashed garlic potato. It has an almost-crispy exterior, and the typical soft interior of a potato. A very simple side, but delicious.
So, is this $14 pancake worth your hard-earned cash? If you happen to really love pancakes, then yes, give these a try if you ever stop by. But if you aren’t the biggest pancake fan to begin with, then you may feel a bit of regret about paying so much for these. Even though I love pancakes, eating them once at any restaurant is typically enough for me. I will be trying other dishes next time I’m at Lola, but if you’re willing to pay more than usual for some very simple but well done pancakes, by all means try them!