How do I rate pancakes?

So what factors do I use to rate these pancakes? I’ve narrowed it down to a few very specific characteristics…

Typically I will give a brief description of the pancake that I ordered, and how it tastes. Other than taste though, there are some specific tests I try out on the pancake that help me judge it’s texture and tastiness:

  • Fork test: I believe you shouldn’t even have to touch your butter knife when eating a pancake… unless you are applying the butter! When I refer to the “fork test”, it is how easily I can cut through the pancake with the edge of my fork. If I have to break out my knife to cut through a pancake, it is way too rubbery and tough. I think a pancake should be soft enough to use your fork to cut. That being said, texture is basically what I am judging here. After the initial “fork test”, the next thing I look at is how the piece of pancake holds up to being stabbed and dragged through syrup. The pancake should hold together, and not break into pieces when you try and eat it!
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This pancake stands up beautifully to the fork test!

  • Butter: Butter plays a big role in the pancake experience. There are several different ways that restaurants like to give out butter. I think the worst is the refrigerated bricks of wrapped up butter. They just tear up your pancake when you try to spread it! The easiest to spread is usually whipped butter. Sometimes they give you slightly melted butter in a little dish, and other times it may be a little dollop of regular butter on top of the stack. I think overall, the butter should be easy to spread, and they should give you enough to cover your whole order.
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Little butter packs vs. whipped butter vs. melted… what is your favorite butter option?

  • Syrup Delivery Method: The way the restaurant gives you syrup is what I like to call the Syrup Delivery Method. Like butter, there are so many different ways a restaurant may choose to give you syrup for your pancake! They may give you a little tiny cup with a tiny amount of syrup in it. This is never good, because there is never enough! (What is this… a serving for ants!?) I usually end up asking for about 5 more cups. There is also the classic pour (seen below), the more technical pouring bottle with the little slider on it (not sure what it’s called- we will call it the technical pour), and then there are other, more creative ways, like the reusable screw-top bottle or the ketchup style squirt bottle. I will give you the down-low on how the restaurant gives you syrup, and if you can anticipate having to ask for more if you are a syrup soaker!
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“The Classic Pour” syrup delivery method… seen here from Richard Walkers Pancake House

  • Syrup Taste: This one is simple- Does the syrup taste good or not? Sometimes I find syrups can get a funk if they sit in their containers for too long.. at least that’s what I assume that taste is coming from.

Each post, I’ll try and give a couple other details about the restaurant. I also like to order bacon, so I’ll usually rate that too.

I don’t always order the plain buttermilk pancake on the menu, either. I like to try various types of pancakes. If there is an option to order more than one type, such as a pancake flight, I often do that. I may also return to a restaurant that has a lot of options to try and rate something different.

This is where I put a disclaimer about opinions. All of my ratings and thoughts on these restaurants and pancakes are my opinions, simple as that… I encourage everyone who reads these reviews to get out there and try some pancakes for yourselves!


  • Gabe

    This is amazing!