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Apr 14, 2010 03:06 PM

Mae's Diner - Pleasant Ridge, Mi

I stopped in this morning at Mae's Diner on Woodward in Pleasant Ridge. The site has been a diner, but a young couple has taken it over and opened as Mae's recently.

I liked the buttermilk pancakes a lot - very light with nice, tangy buttermilk flavor. I suspect there is more egg than usual in the cakes which makes them very light and airy. They were smaller than the usual diner 'cakes, which was OK with me. The older I get, the less I can handle the giant pancake breakfast. I am less a fan of the bacon - it is thick cut, reasonably flavorful, but I lean more to the thin and crispy side of the bacon spectrum.

Coffee ws fine - and they offered skim milk, soy milk, 1/2 and 1/2 or whole cream. Imagine that - whole cream in your coffee.

The site is pleasant, sunny, clean, roomy, though only a half dozen or so tables with a counter. The staff is pleasant and cheerful. Cakes, bacon and coffee was about $9.00 with tip.

Located at 26040 Woodward, about a 1/2 mile north of Toast and Fly Trap, Mae's is fine addition to the Ferndale breakfast scene.

Fly Trap Restaurant
22950 Woodward Ave, Ferndale, MI 48220

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  1. Thanks for the review. I'm looking forward to checking it out myself.

    1. Wow...that seems rather high, price-wise, to me, but then I tend to be a pretty frugal guy when it comes to breakfast. I'll keep the place in mind.

      1. Was this previously named Anna's?


        1. I agree with boagman (one of the finest posters/bloggers on this site) that almost $10 is pretty pricey for breakfast. The Original Pancake House in B'ham is about the same cost & their quality is top-notch. Any specialties here?

          19 Replies
            1. re: JanPrimus

              Yes, he does...but for the same reason being specified here. Their prices are eyebrow-raisingly high for breakfast, and I don't see the quality difference that's being alluded to. Well, I wouldn't call it a "hate"...that's reserved for something like ISC, and we don't need to go in that direction, now do we? ;)

              Guess I'm just a part of the $5 and under breakfast crowd, *unless* you're honestly bringing something truly remarkable to the table, which I'd say that Frittata in Clawson does pretty well. I pay more for breakfast there, yes, but they earn it.

              1. re: boagman

                Went for the first time with berkleygary. We REALLY want to like this place...small, but airy, a little retro, very nice wait staff. My breakfast was really only a step up from egg McMuffin --fried egg on not toasted enough English muffin, a slice of cheddar -- BUT the bacon was excellent. berkleygary's pancakes were totally different from the first time. $13.25 for breakfast...too pricey for what we got. I hope this may be just a chance of them getting their feet under them. It's a very pleasant spot, but I'll go back for tea next time rather than a full breakfast. Anybody else been recently?

                1. re: berkleybabe

                  Wow...please tell me that your price was for two people (and did it include tax and tip?). I'm still not feeling the need to waste my money here anytime soon.

                  1. re: boagman

                    Wow , $ 5 for breakfast ? What do you eat . toast and ice cubes ? Seriously though , if the thought of paying $ 10 for breakfast bums you out , you're probably the kind of person that should make breakfast at home , where your $ 10 goes way farther for better ingredients cooked just the way you like . I like Mae's , they are still finding their way , it's nice that while Sysco is their main supplier , they are working hard to support local suppliers and farms . When you just opened a place , Sysco's prices can be hard to argue with . And the Butter Burgers rock , along with the hand cut fries . They have deep fried Oreos and Faygo Red Pop for crying out loud . It's a nice short walk from my house , so I might be a little biased , but we should all try and support local enterprise . " 2 cents "

                    1. re: GoalieJeff

                      GJ, in a lot of places (local enterprises), $5 will buy you eggs (usually two), bacon, hash browns, and toast. A drink would be extra, yes, but I'm usually drinking water at breakfast. When I think of $13.25 for breakfast, I'm thinking more in terms of Frittata in Clawson, which definitely *earns* the extra money. There are some places that charge more, and don't do a darned thing better than the $5 places (I'm talking to *you*, Original Pancake House!).

                      Besides, your $5 price point isn't even in line with the above poster...and they still didn't indicate whether the total included tax and tip. Add to that the fact that the only thing that they really liked about the meal was the bacon, and $13.25 seems *very* high to me.

                      Do I get to be smarmy by putting "2 cents" here, too?

                      1. re: boagman

                        OPH does have some damn good Bacon and according to my wife Pancakes (although that should not effect price that much).

                        I get the Santa Fe and I have never been let down by it.

                        I know this is something we have disagreed upon since day one...I find it funny! At least I think this was my first disagreement with you.

                        While it is not a great original breakfast place I think It does do standard breakfast pretty damn well. I have never felt ripped off.

                        1. re: JanPrimus

                          I can't say I understand really at all the HATE ON some people at this site feel for Original House of Pancakes. Any bacon you get in a $5.00 combo meal at a coney joint is gonna be that thin stuff that cooks up to nothing, you'll get some greasy sausage links, maybe a couple of decent eggs and some decent hash browns if you're lucky. Meanwhile at Original House of Pancakes they've got delicious coffee (yeah it is drip but it's still pretty tasty), real cream, real slices of thick chewy bacon cooked to perfection, the eggs michael which puts eggs benedict to shame with that delicious mushroom sauce and the potato pancakes plus the Big Apple, the Dutch Baby with lemon, the Santa Fe Omelette, the delicious crepes, and all the other great omelettes and pancake varieties. Everything is real and fresh and frankly makes for a delicious breakfast which, face it people, is the most important meal and therefore should be the best tasting meal of anyone's day.

                        2. re: boagman

                          Where ? Where does $5 get you the aforementioned fare ? My point was , if you get uncomfortable spending $ 10 for breakfast , maybe you should take that $ 5 and buy a dozen eggs ( $1.29 ) a loaf of bread ( $ 1.59 ) and some bacon and potatos and eat breakfast for a week . Thats usually what I do . It will taste better and you can have it whenever you want . But sometimes I like to go out and enjoy the privilege of letting someone cook for me . It costs what it costs . If you don't like it , don't pay it . But quit complaining about it . Restaurants exist to make money , not supply you with ultra cheap food . Gaah you make me nuts ! But keep it up , my man !

                          1. re: GoalieJeff

                            GJ...dude: what I'm saying is just the way things are. There are *myriad* places with breakfast specials for $5 or under that include eggs, bacon, hash browns, and toast. Just gobs of 'em. Most do a pretty good job of it, too!

                            And rather than miss the forest for the trees, how about you address my basic concern with places like this (or TOPH) that charge a bundle (comparatively speaking) for the same food, usually prepared no better, and give the customer nothing more in return? Should I pay extra to support a local joint that has, AND I QUOTE: " My breakfast was really only a step up from egg McMuffin". Man, to me, in terms of food, that's pretty much a condemnation, right there.

                            I'm not the biggest breakfast guy in the world...I've never claimed to be, and have often said so in the past. But this vitriol you seem to be projecting toward me regarding $5 breakfast is really kind of "Honestly? You can't read menus?" territory for me. The place I prefer to go to for breakfast actually has the food listed above (nicely and freshly prepared, mind you) for $2.99, I think. It might be $2.75. Either way, I'm out the door for $5.

                            Lest you think I'm wrong:

                            1. Lori's Cafe in Eastpointe/Roseville area (13 Mile and Hayes intersection). That's one of my favorite breakfast destinations for eggs, bacon, hash browns, and toast. It'll set you back no more than $3 plus tax and tip. Be a decent human being and leave the full $5. They deserve it, there.

                            2. Green Apple in Waterford at the Walton/Dixie Hwy. intersection. $3.99 for the same above breakfast, only with three eggs instead of two. They also do a great job with the food, and I'll often spend an extra $.50 for their iced cinnamon raisin toast, which seems to not be as good as it used to be.

                            There are just tons more. For basic fare, $5 for breakfast is dead-on, man. For less-than-satisfactory fare, and I'd put "a step up from egg McMuffin" *squarely* in that category, I don't see how charging more for it makes it redemptive. I guess I'm just loopy that way.

                            Green Apple Restaurant
                            4780 Dixie Hwy, Waterford, MI 48329

                            1. re: boagman

                              TOPH is much more than standard breakfast fair. I usually get the Santa Fe and a side of Bacon. To me...they are worth every dollar.

                              I also appreciate a good 4 buck breakfast at a few different places but they are not on par with TOPH. They are more or less just something to toss in the stomach. Eat and run....

                              I say this as someone that can cook pretty damn well. I know what a good bacon cost, I know how much effort the Santa Fe would take to make and I know when I don't want to cook it myself.

                              I know it is not a great breakfast joint, but I spend even more in the great places. Hell the best breakfast I have ever had cost about $45 when I was done. NO regrets!

                              Santa Fe Restaurant
                              132 E Church St, Sandwich, IL 60548

                              1. re: JanPrimus

                                Goalie Jeff..on your page as always.

                                Want to give local cooks the benefit of their effort. We'll try it again.Maybe not right away. We'll check other hounds. Not always about the price. But this time it kinda was. And we just REALLY wanted to like it.

                              2. re: boagman

                                Boagman, this wasn't all about the price, right? I was disappointed, yes. But it's a very clean, sparkly, fun place to be. And we want to support them. This was an honest review; not a condemnation that we were ripped off. We're happy to try out our local folks, and maybe not be too happy, and try again. Which is what we'll do.

                                1. re: berkleybabe

                                  BB, I'll say it again: I'm not a breakfast guy, for the most part. Really, though: the biggest klaxon in the "first impression" of the place (let's not call it a review based on the one experience, I suppose) is the "step above egg McMuffin" comment. Really, now: it's not like I'm the one who came up with that!

                                  As for the price issue, *YES*, it matters to me, quite a bit in fact, especially since I'm not the biggest breakfast guy in the world. This needs to be taken into consideration when you read my posts, especially since I'm pretty happy on any given morning with cereal and milk. The most expensive breakfast I've ever had was about $22 (Pancake Pantry in Nashville, and worth EVERY STINKING PENNY), but if you'd told me beforehand that I'd be paying $22 for breakfast, and would be happy to do so, I would have responded by telling you that you were out of your stinking mind. Truly.

                                  Be that as it may, this adage still holds true: if the price rises, the quality of the food and preparation *must* justify that, or I'm going to object, be it breakfast, lunch, dinner, or whatever. TOPH doesn't justify it, in my opinion. Frittata does. Mae's, based on what I'm hearing about it, doesn't. I guess I'm just not willing to shell out an extra $5 for some extra thick bacon.

                                  I'm nothing if not transparent.

                                    1. re: JanPrimus

                                      JP, I checked the TOPH website, and nowhere on the menu is listed a Santa Fe. You're going to have to elaborate, please.

                                      1. re: boagman

                                        It is a four egg South Western soufflé omelet. I think they are delicious.

                                        1. re: JanPrimus

                                          Hmm. Sounds pretty good, and *huge*. Four eggs? Wow.

                                          The problem with me and omelets is that I'm not a cheese guy, though I still order a cheese-less omelet now and again and I'm usually happy with what I get. I do like SW omelet ingredients.

                                          How was your little shindig?

                                          1. re: boagman

                                            Which Shindig? I have been to about 5 parties in the last two days and am leaving for one in a few minutes. Those or my birthday....that will be on the 12th?