Let’s start of with one of the most non-controversial statements of all time: pancakes are awesome. I’m not a member of the internet cult of breakfast food (with patron saints Ron Swanson and Leslie Knope), but I do love me a towering mass of crisp-on-the-outside, fluffy-on-the-inside pancakes, preferably with as much butter and syrup that I can humanly keep on the plate. Truth be told, I’m a little obsessed with them despite the fact that I really don’t eat them all that often.
And honestly, the pancake scene in Little Rock just isn’t all that great for. Oh, we have a place or two that might do them all right, but my experience here has been either IHOP or terrible. So when I got up Sunday morning with a taste for pancakes, I figured I’d head down to IHOP at University and Markham — it’s so close I could probably walk there if I wasn’t a fat boy who loves pancakes. Apparently everyone else in my neighborhood had the same idea: the parking lot was FULL. Like so full that people were parking creatively (read: just any damn where they wanted). We moved on.
Growing hungrier, we rolled down to the IHOP on Chenal only to find another crowd. That’s when my lovely wife said, “Well, there’s Mimi’s Cafe right up the hill there. They have pancakes.” I was on my way double speed (which is about 8 m.p.h. uphill in my Nissan Versa). Mimi’s is a chain, but I’ve never eaten at one. My general first impression was that the place tries way too hard to be a “French-style” bistro, but whatever, I was hungry.
Soon enough I found myself with a four pancake breakfast that came with a couple of perfect eggs and four slices of the saltiest bacon I’ve ever tasted. But the pancakes were perfect. Fluffy, airy, and slightly crisp. I dug into them with gusto, and although four pancakes is really too many pancakes, I ate them down to the crumbs. The wife and I were less impressed with an omelet that was more green bell pepper than actual egg, and a rather dry muffin, but oh — those pancakes. They’re enough to bring me back to Mimi’s cafe — especially since we didn’t have to wait for a table.