Friday, September 9, 2011

It's A Circus Out There

As soon as I stepped foot into Pancake Circus last month, it felt strange that I'd never been there before. One reason is that I've lived in this town my entire life, (obviously) love the hell out of breakfast, and here's a restaurant that includes two of my favorite things, pancakes and circuses, in one breath. The other is that it's a strange sort of diner feel that refuses to acknowledge the passage of time. I felt like I was in a Twilight Zone episode, suddenly roadtripping across the country in the 1950s.
Pancake Circus is endearing exactly because of its strangeness. It's decorated with several circus animal heads, including Winnie the Pooh. No joke, Winnie the Pooh's clearly-a-stuffed-animal face is all over the place. Also Magilla the Gorilla, and a poorly traced Tigger. And scary clowns! The entire register area is a shrine to some terrible Clown deity. I feel like lighting a candle to Nyarlathotep in grease paint when I pay my bill. All of this is executed without the least bit of irony, which makes it simultaneously more horrifying and more awesome. The entirety of the serving staff seems like a bunch of truck-driving grandmas that would be the toughest gang in a Warriors sequel. I never knew tough love was a style of customer service. They may not be the most attentive, but you know they'd have your back in a fight.
"But Morning Constitution," you ask yourself, "what about the food?" They have a pretty big menu, owing partially to the fact that they serve steaks, seafood, and salad, as the sign can attest. My first venture out I ordered the apple waffle, with whip cream. I got some eggs and bacon to round it all off.
I couldn't include a human skull for scale, but this waffle was larger than my face. The whip cream obviously came out of a spray can, and the apples themselves also had an out-of-the-can flavor. Upon a later visit, I ordered the eponymous pancakes, which were pretty darn good, and likewise huge. As an added touch, the back of the check has a bizarre series of clowns with balloons that allow you to rate your service. Here's where I just say it all outright; Pancake Circus is not a place where you go to get the most delicious breakfast in town, but who goes to the circus for the food? It is a place to get a decent, late breakfast, and enjoy a totally demented atmosphere.
Oh, an a cautionary post script; not only is the staff transplanted from a truck stop, so are the bathrooms. Avoid them if you can!

Atmosphere: 6/13
Clean: 1/3
Structural: 0/3
Decor: 3/3
Signage 1/2
Service: 1/2

Menu: 7/8
Variety: 2/2
Size: 2/2
Beverages: 1/2
Prices: 2/2

Food: 5/9 pts
Presentation: 1/3
Portion: 3/3
Taste: 1/3

Bathroom: 0/5 pts.
Clean: 0/2
Structural: 0/1
Decor: 0/2

Overall: 18/35 pts.


  1. Editors note, they serve sea food, not seafood. Believe me, those two are not the same thing.