Pancakes at Lakeside diner in Stamford
I've been going to this place for quite a while. Great dingy greasy spoon family diner just off the Merritt Parkway on Long Ridge. I primarily go there because the kids can look out the full-wall windows at the lake and look for ducks (just the diversion I need to scarf down some food). Anyhow, I always get the lakeside special, which is a ton of decent food for $5 (home fries, 2 eggs, bacon/ham/sausage, french toast and toast). Even if the meal isn't wonderful, it is good and filling for $5.
But I finally ordered pancakes a few weeks ago. They are amazing. Great, thin 8-inch wide pancakes with a slight tang to them. A little crisp on the outside and nice and yellow from plenty of eggs. On their own, they are slightly more savory than sweet. They can be as easily eaten with or without syrup. I prefer without. They are the best pancakes I've had in Stamford (granted, I haven't tried every place, but still...)
Has anyone else tried their pancakes? Am I just crazy or are they really that good? I've been three times since and loved them each time. I think I'm in love.
The other diners in Stamford where I've had pancakes tasted like bisquick batter. At least this place is unique and has their own recipe. And I think it works great. Good stuff.
And, as has been discussed here long ago, their homemade donuts aren't shabby either.
Oh, the place is cash only, so come prepared.
1050 Long Ridge Rd, Stamford, CT
I went to this restaurant in May 2010 with my mom. Being on the lake was a nice touch and I love old diners. However there was something seriously wrong with the coffee - maybe the dishes had soap on them still or something with the water. When I tried to tell the waitress, she got all defensive, said if it was salty it must be because of their water. Then she announced to the woman that seemed to run the place that we said the coffee wasn't good. Instead of trying to find out what went wrong, she just exclaimed "That's a first!" and made us feel like we did something wrong. We got other drinks and they still charged us for the coffee. The breakfast food came and it was so greasy, it was almost unedible. For those vegetarians out there, I think they also cook their home fries in animal fat. Also I believe they are hand washing their dishes and in general the place had an unclean feeling. Anyway with a stomach ache from the greasy food, we left and paid 16.50 for an order of french toast with sausage and an order of two eggs, no meat which I also found to be quite expensive. Yuck I would NEVER go there again despite the quaint lakeside view.
It's a great location. Don't know about the food anymore as I stopped going there years ago. The place is filthy. The water is lousy well water and of course they use this to cook with and to make the coffee. The last time I was there the smells alternated between an oily smell of the furnace and a septic smell from the bathrooms.
oh, and has anyone noticed that you can't drink the water in this place sometimes? They use unfiltered well water... tastes like they ladeled it out of the pond. I don't remember having that experience the first few times, but last time it was terrible.
oh well, more reason to drink the OJ and down those pancakes. But next time I'll have to try the waffles. Sliced bananas and brown sugar sounds awesome.
Oh yes, their water is totally undrinkable (as is the coffee, no doubt made from that water--I've been known to brazenly bring in a cup from Dunkin Donuts across the street). Yes, it is well water in this section of town, and depending on where a particular well happens to be drilled, it can be pretty bad, despite any attempt to filter it, or often because of the chemicals that have to be added to it. I've depended on bottled water for drinking and cooking since we moved into well-water territory, and wish the diner would, too.
My husband is also a fan of their pancakes, but I prefer the waffle, especially the version covered in sliced bananas and brown sugar(sigh)--I imagine it's the same batter, but a very different experience somehow. I think lots of places use pancake mix of the just-add-water variety, and they can't compare with the taste of fresh eggs and milk. I can also recommend the farmers omelet, a cholesterol extravaganza, and when I really want to work on the arteriosclerosis, the egg salad sandwich on toast with bacon. The view is definitely a plus, except in the heat of midsummer, when greenish pond scum predominates. Some triva: Among the local high school kids with cars there is a tradition to go to the Lakeside for lunch on midterm and finals days, when school lets out early. The place has long maintained a collection of abandoned sippy cups on a shelf--I imagine some of the owners are now past puberty! All in all a real original and sentimental favorite.
I like this place but the service is a bit TOO uneven, especially when in a bit of a hurry before work. One time they mixed up my order with someone else at the counter...he was 5 bites into it before he realized it was mine. Plus...he ordered about 5 minutes after I did!
HOWEVER...I will agree that the pancakes, omelettes, and of course those old fahioned donuts keep me coming back, albeit, not quite as often in years past.
I will also add that there might not be a more lovely view than the picture window in the fall.
It's a great local spot, one of the dwindling few with real local character. I've eaten there dozens of times, also with the kids. The view of the lake is terrific.
The waffles are also good. If you ask the waitress (and she's in the right mood) they have real maple syrup behind the counter, not the stuff from the tables. I haven't had the pancakes in a while (although my kids always get them) but will try next time I'm there.