Saturday, June 23, 2007

JP Pancake - Scottsdale

UPDATE 6/29/2008: The original owners of JP have sold the restaurant and opened a place called Flapjacks in Fountain Hills. This review predates them selling the restaurant.

I can't really review JP Pancake objectively. We've been going here for a long time and basically love it. A few weeks ago we tried to and saw a sign in the window saying they were closed for remodeling. It didn't look much different at that point, but there was some plastic sheeting blocking the kitchen area. The sign said they would be open on June 12. We went on June 16, and the sign now said on or around June 20. I called on Wednesday, and they said they hoped to be open on Sat, June 23. I called their number last evening and a person actually answered the phone. She confirmed they'd be open today. We were very happy at that news.

We headed over this morning at about 11am. We got there at 11:20. At first blush, the interior looked the same. The same semi-circle booths lining the walls were still there, as were the mixture of round and square tables in the center. The walls were very bare and had obviously been repainted. The counter in the back was missing the upper section of shelves and the coffee maker was against the kitchen wall. To someone who'd only been there a few times, it wouldn't look any different.

The place was nearly full and we snagged the last free table by the door. A few minutes later, Donna, who we believe is the owner, brought us our napkins and flatware, but no menus. This would seem odd, until you realize that shortly thereafter, Rachel, one of the waitresses, brought us our drink order of a chocolate milk for me and a Coke for Tara. Without us actually ordering. We go there enough that our order is almost a forgone conclusion. She also tried to guess our order, which us normally French Toast for me and chocolate chip pancakes for Tara. Tara couldn't decide which she wanted, so she split the difference. She got a single slice of French Toast and a side stack of chocolate chip pancakes. Both of our French Toast orders had cinnamon added. Our order was capped off by bacon for Tara and sausage links for me.

JP isn't a rush the food out place. The waitstaff's' shirts usually have their slogan on the back: "Perfection takes time". For some reason they weren't wearing the matching shirts today. Amidst the bustle, we asked Rachel about the remodel. Apparently, it wasn't so much a remodel as a repair. A pipe in the wall burst and they had to rip the east and south walls to repair it. From what we gathered, it wasn't a fun process and took longer than they had expected. All the basic stuff has been fixed, but they still need to finish off some of the trim work and put the decorations back up.

Thankfully, the food still rocked. My plate of cinnamon French Toast came on an oval plate, with a generous sprinkling of powdered sugar and cinnamon. Two small ramekins of butter were on the plate as well. A container of syrup was put on the table, but I was in the mood for some real maple syrup. I'm from Maine, so what do you expect? My sausage came on a small plate on the side. The French Toast is made with challah bread. I buttered it up and took a bite. Even without the maple, it was great. The maple just made it better. In short order, I polished it all off and was in my Happy Place.

Tara's meal came on several plates. Thankfully, they had the pancakes and French Toast each on separate plates. Rachel missed the bacon order, but remedied that with no problem. Tara's dual hankerings were filled easily. She loved both of them and had the bacon for dessert.

A word about the service. As mentioned above, we all but have a standing order and they remember us. Rachel is an extreme smartass and gives the customers playful grief. A booth along the wall had a couple in it. At one point, they spilled a glass of orange juice. After cleaning the table, Rachel brought them new drinks, and put the guy's OJ in a sippy cup. Most of the customers seem to know her and roll with it. Most of the waitresses have been for several years and know the regulars. It's a very relaxed atmosphere and they all help each other out.

JP is one of our usual breakfast spots as you may have guessed. We love the food and it has never let us down. The waitstaff is always friendly and always helpful. They are almost always packed early in the morning, but by noon the crowds die down a bit. They have some unusual selections, like their oven-baked pancakes. They are located in a strip mall at Hayden and Mountain View Roads in Scottsdale. Mountain View is just south of Shea.


Anonymous said...

Nice blog. Nice to see your reviews showing up here as well as on Chowhound. I love pancakes and insist on real maple syrup. It's nice to know it's available at JP, even if there's a surcharge for it.

Yankee1969 said...

Thanks for the patronage, SB. I check up on your blog as well. In fact, that's where I first saw the SiteMeter and threw it onto my page. :)
While I try to use Maine maple syrup, it's hard to find in these parts, so I settle for Vermont or even Canadian. That's one thing I like about Harlow's is they serve maple by default. Their French Toast just isn't as good as JP's.

JK Grence (the Cosmic Jester) said...

Hey, it's good to find your blog! I've been trying out breakfast places all over town, maybe I'll bump into you at JP Pancake some time. I think I'll head over there for breakfast this morning, actually... if you see me, say hi :-)

Incidentally, my favorite in town so far for breakfast is Cafe Zuzu over at my workplace, the Hotel Valley Ho. I thought Harlow's, Butterfield's, and Matt's Big Breakfast were great, but Zuzu blew every single one clean out of the water.

And if you think Site Meter is nice, you should check out Google Analytics. It's more information about your site visitors than I could believe. And like so much other Google stuff, it's free.

JK Grence (the Cosmic Jester) said...

Blast, they're out of town until the 16th. Ah well, Butterfield's was decent at least.

Yankee1969 said...

JP's was out of town? Good thing we didn't go. We had a rough enough time when they were fixing the water damage. They do usually head East (possibly New York) to visit relatives during the summer before ramping up for tourist season.
I just need to find a way to get notified of new comments on my site, so I don't have to search back through them manually. :)