How do you make pancakes for dinner? If you’re chef Michael Scelfo of Alden & Harlow, you add pieces of pickled corn and serve them with tangy buttermilk yogurt, grilled shishito peppers, and crunchy popcorn. All reasons why the Pickled Verrill Farm Corn Pancakes at this subterranean Harvard Square spot have been a menu fixture since day one.
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We New Englanders take our maple syrup seriously—and our exacting standards extend to our pancakes. But Boston chefs do more than just douse plain pancakes in sweet stuff; here are our favorite renditions from across the city.
If you’ve ever wondered why fried chicken is accompanied by waffles but never pancakes, South End gastropub The Gallows has the brunch dish for you. Its Chicken & Pancakes places crunchy buttermilk-fried chicken thighs and a thick ball of black pepper-maple butter atop a fluffy short stack. Top it off with Vermont maple syrup to seal the sweet-and-savory deal.
Weekend brunch at seasonally focused Seaport restaurant Chickadee is your opportunity to try Chef Muzzy’s Pancakes. The dish, named in honor of the spot’s former sous chef, tops two griddled buttermilk pancakes with a scoop of whipped, cultured butter, and a generous frosting of powdered sugar. A cup of maple syrup served on the side provides the finishing touch.
The Neptune Johnnycake served at Neptune Oyster features an old-timey New England staple—the cornmeal-based johnnycake—and spruces it up with honey butter, Boston smoked bluefish, and sturgeon caviar. Each bite is a delight, from the buttery, crispy-browned edges to the decadent caviar crowning the center.
The Breakfast Club
The Breakfast Club, an Allston diner steeped in ’80s kitsch, offers 10 distinct pancake options, ranging from the more conventional Apple-Cinnamon to the over-the-top Banana-Fosters with brown sugar and rum. The choices can be dizzying, but we find ourselves returning to the classic blueberry pancakes again and again. Pancakes may not be anyone’s idea of healthy eating, but you can have yours made with whole wheat at The Breakfast Club.
The Bristol Lounge
Perhaps unsurprisingly, this Boston Brahmin hangout delivers an ultra-classic take on pancakes. The Bristol Lounge at the Four Seasons serves their Buttermilk Pancakes with mixed berries and Vermont maple syrup during weekday breakfast service and weekend brunch. While only the “classic” preparation appears on the menu, you’re never too old to request blueberries or chocolate chips.