REVIEW w/ pics: Flappy Jack's Pancake House
A Side of Route 66 with My Omelet
Unassuming on the outside, I wasn't really expecting much from Flappy Jack's Pancake House in Glendora. All I was hoping for was a good breakfast from a place I have never set foot in before. Imagine my surprise when I got a little or actually a lot of Route 66 along with my omelet and pancakes that morning. Granted, the shape of the restaurant sign should have given me a hint of what was to come, especially since Flappy Jack's is on historic Route 66, but I remained completely clueless until I stepped through the doors of the restaurant.
Once inside, my eyes were immediately drawn right in front of me to the now recognizable shape of a traffic sign a la the Route 66 sign mimicking the signage outside, but in a glowing orange neon. That neon didn't hold my attention for long because once I looked up, I almost forgot why I came in there in the first place. Before my peepers was a colorful mural using famous personalities to depict the Route 66 starting in what I think was New York and ending in Hollywood. Along the way, there were images of Louis Armstrong, John Wayne and James Dean with Marilyn Monroe hugging him from behind as they were riding a motorcycle.
Then I walked into the dining room to my left and painted on the side wall was another mural with a stylized painting of the restaurant surrounded with bright racing red and yellow roadsters. Even the chair and booth upholstery got into the act with the familiar Route 66 traffic sign being heavily featured as well as images of old gas pumps, motel signs and the "Mother Road" laid out on the fabric. I think the wait staff is probably used to first time customers gawking because she was quite patient as I slowly made my way to my booth and finally sat down. After placing my order, I wandered around a bit, camera in hand, took snaps of the front entry way and did a bit more exploring.
In the dining room on the other side of the restaurant, there was another mural that piqued my interest. The focus on that painting was more on the cities of Glendora and Azusa, both Foothill cities that Route 66 also crosses. This mural also had some well-known faces, specifically, Elvis, Marlon, Lucy and Ricky. I didn't even have to mention last names and I bet you knew who I was talking about. Also, on the walls were vintage advertisements and old 45s with popular hits of the day. A smaller dining room featured a large painting with a city scene and public trains. I wasn't quite sure how that fit with the Route 66 theme, but the Route 66 traffic shapes with either a male or female silhouette painted above the bathroom doors certainly did.
Finally, my hunger pangs kicked in and I tore myself away from my famous friends and sat down to breakfast, just in time for my food to arrive and my, oh my, what a meal. I ordered the Mediterranean Omelet with tomatoes, feta cheese, mushrooms and spinach. I kid you not when I say that it looked like a torpedo. It was huge and more than enough for 2 or 3 people and it also came with a side of pancakes that could have been breakfast all on its own minus the omelet. As for how everything tasted, it hit the spot. I found the omelet a little dry and under seasoned, but a little salt, pepper and even Tabasco sauce added the zing I was looking for. The pancakes; however, were yummy and thick, but still with a fairly light and fluffy texture.
Overall, not being a big breakfast eater or a good morning person, a breakfast would have to be really fabulous for me to want to get out from under my warm covers. I'd say the food was decent. If I were in the neighborhood, I'd stop by, but I wouldn't go out of my way to eat there. A few weeks later, I was actually in that part of town, stopped by and this time ordered bacon pancakes. Savory and sweet? How could that not work? Although real bacon pieces were mixed into the batter, they were a little burnt and even worse, tasted burnt. Again, the pancake part of that dish was pretty good. Before I had placed my order, customers seated next to me mentioned that the sweet pancakes were to die for. I should have listened, but there's always next time.
From just briefly talking to one of the wait staff, I was told that Flappy Jack's wasn't actually around during the heyday of Route 66 and that another restaurant stood in its place. Unfortunately, that's all the info I was able to get and online research didn't turn up anything else. Still, I really appreciate how Flappy Jack's Pancake House is keeping the spirit of Route 66 alive. How can you not appreciate a little nostalgia with fluffy pancakes and besides, eating across Elvis Presley isn't necessarily a bad thing either.
Flappy Jack's Pancake House Restaurant
640 West Route 66
Glendora, CA 91740
I ate there once a few years ago, shortly after it opened I believe. Completely forgettable, mealy pancakes indistinguishable from those served at any other generic coffee shop. But if you go on the weekend, you'll have plenty of time to admire the murals because the wait for a table is interminable.
If you find yourself there during the week - you MUST order the savory breakfast crepes. They are amazing!
My personal favorite is the eggs benedict...I trek there from Pasadena on the weekend just for that. I've yet to find a local b'fast spot with an eggs benedict dish that rivals theirs. The ham is a nice, thick slice and their hollandaise sauce is my favorite around - the poached eggs are hit or miss - sometimes cooked too much.
p.s. - I've had those bacon pancakes - they sounded SO good but were SO yuck! Same thing with the stuffed french toast... bleck.