Saturday, September 25, 2010

Walker Brothers

Last weekend for the high holidays everyone was back in the suburbs. Normally, after I break the fast, I'm not hungry again until dinner the next day. However, Sunday morning, the whole crew wanted to go grab some breakfast. In the Buffalo Grove area there are a few standard good places that people go for brunch. I worked for Egg Harbor for a while, and I think my family's a little tired of their menu from visiting me while I was working. The choice then became clear... Walker Brothers.

Logistics
They've got lots of locations, and I've been to almost all of them. They're all logistically the same. No reservations are taken. Instead you wait in line to reach the host stand and then get seated. Depending on your timing, this line can be nothing or an hour long. Most of them do have a lot of seating, and usually even if the line is long it moves at an alright speed. This time around we were through it in 5 minutes. Our server was on par and kept the coffee full.

The better items (omelettes, specialty pancakes, etc.) are all around $10, but you get a pretty huge portion of food. I've never thought it wasn't worth the money. One thing to note is that a few of the specialty dishes take a little longer to cook. I'd say that if the restaurant seems packed not to order one of these because it might take even longer.

The Food
My dad got the Banana Pancakes, Noam got the Banana Crepes, I got the Danish Garden, and my mom got the Toasted Pecan Belgian Waffle. The Pancakes and the Crepes were loaded with bananas. The crepes had a nice texture, but were a little too sweet and saucy for me. The pancakes were fluffy as could be. The Belgian Waffle was crispy on the outside and soft on the inside as it should be. There were tons of toppings too. The Danish Garden is one of those specialty dishes that takes time. It's kind of like a vegetable quiche with havarti cheese, and it's unbelievable. My mom likes getting it with some of the mushroom dipping sauce on the side too. We also had an order of the hash browns well done. This is the way hash browns were meant to be. They're thinly grated with onions, and they're crispy as can be. Definitely the gold standard of hash browns.

 The Banana Pancakes

The Toasted Pecan Belgian Waffle

The Banana Crepes

The Danish Garden

The Hash Browns

We didn't order some of their more popular dishes, but I think they deserve mention. I am of course speaking of the Apple Pancake and the German Pancake. The Apple Pancake is almost like an apple monkey bread covered in the sweetest syrup around. The German Pancake is a humongous, fluffy, pancake that comes out in the shape of a bowl. It's served with powdered sugar and lemons for topping. This was my go to childhood breakfast.

Overall
I grew up on Walker Brothers (as I'm sure most of you reading this have too), so it's a little tough for me to rate it. If you've already formed your own opinions that's fine, but what mine ultimately boils down to is that they've got dishes that you can't get anywhere else that are fantastic. Sometimes it can take a while if it's busy, but it's always worth it. The Apple Pancake, German Pancake, and Danish Garden are unbeatable (as are the hash browns). I'm not giving it a Pearl rating just because I don't think I can. The thing is that there's always a kind of "wow" factor that comes into play when I try a good restaurant for the first few times. Walker Brothers is better than good, and the dishes I just mentioned are great, but for me that factor is gone. If you're a regular then I hope you get what I'm saying. If that doesn't apply then I suggest you become a regular.

Addendum
I recently went to the Walker Brothers on Green Bay Road with my dad and some of his buddies before hitting up a NU football game. It was cold and rainy out, but the food kept our bellies nice and full throughout the game. I got the Dutch Baby and Hash Browns this time. I think the Danish Garden and Apple Pancake are still the way to go. Either way, the point is that this location is consistently good as is the one mentioned in the post above.

Walker Bros. Original Pancake House-Lincolnshire on Urbanspoon
Walker Bros Original Pancake House on Urbanspoon

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