100 Favorite Dishes 2012: No. 32, Pancakes at Fountain View Cafe

Photo by Katharine Shilcutt
This year leading up to our annual Best of Houston® issue, we're counting down our 100 favorite dishes in Houston. This list comprises our favorite dishes from the last year, dishes that are essential to Houston's cultural landscape and/or dishes that any visitor (or resident) should try at least once.

Not only is this one of the hold-over dishes from last year's 100 Favorite Dishes list, it's moved up considerably from No. 75 to No. 32 on the list. Why? Because last year I admitted that "if Favorite Dishes were decided solely based upon how often I eat them, Fountain View Cafe's pancakes would be much higher on the list. I make a twice-monthly trek out to Fountainview and San Felipe just for the pancakes. In fact, whenever anyone asks me which restaurant has the best pancakes in town, there is absolutely no hesitation when I answer, "Fountain View Cafe. Hands down."

Fast-forward a year, and I'm still making those clockwork-like trips to Fountain View Cafe, my breakfast paradise. The pancakes here are impossibly thin, straddling the line between pancake and crepe, with lacy, delicate edges and a rich, buttery taste. And the key here is that the pancakes are always this good; the kitchen must have their recipe and technique down to a science. Amazing food plus consistency? There's a reason Fountain View Cafe has been around for as long as it has.

A short stack of two pancakes is usually more than enough for me, thanks to the richness of the things, infused with vanilla and drizzled with sugary syrup (which I dearly wish was actual maple syrup, but that's a battle for another day). A short stack comes with a pat of butter on top, but you won't need it. The pancakes are buttery enough as is, and the perfect end to a long, leisurely breakfast at Fountain View Cafe.

The list so far:

No. 100: Chili cheese mac at Jus' Mac
No. 99: Texas turkey sandwich at Spec's
No. 98: Custard at Petite Sweets
No. 97: Caprichos mixtos at Taqueria Monterrey Chiquito
No. 96: Pineapple-wasabi burger at Lankford Grocery
No. 95: Farmer's MKT Pizza at Phoenicia's MKT Bar
No. 94: Potatoes at Money Cat Brunch
No. 93: Breakfast tacos at Sunrise Taquito
No. 92: Hot dog at Tacos D.F.
No. 91: Avocado gelato at Frozen Cafe
No. 90: Chicken sandwich at JerryBuilt Homegrown Burgers
No. 89: Beer-battered asparagus at Hearsay
No. 88: Honey Badger omelet at Kraftsmen Cafe
No. 87: Pastelitos de carne at El Jalapeño
No. 86: Pancakes at Union Kitchen
No. 85: Wild boar and crab pizza at Boheme
No. 84: Breakfast croissant at BB Donuts
No. 83: Pretzel at Anvil Bar & Refuge
No. 82: Short rib sandwich at Shepherd Park Draught House
No. 81: Grilled shrimp po-boy at Pappadeaux
No. 80: Dahi puri at Shiv Sagar
No. 79: Aporreado at Los Corrales
No. 78: Oxtail francobolli at Aldo's Cucina Italiana
No. 77: Tonkotsu at Cafe Kubo's
No. 76: Spinach danish from Angela's Oven
No. 75: Pupusas at El Petate
No. 74: Pheasant dog at Sammy's Wild Game Grill
No. 73: X-Tudo burger at Friends Pizzeria
No. 72: Esparragos gratinados at Tintos
No. 71: Gua bao at Yummy Kitchen
No. 70: Geisha dog at Happy Endings
No. 69: Oyster po-boy and gumbo at Goode Co. Seafood
No. 68: Ceviche at Sirena Seafood
No. 67: Caldo de mariscos at Taqueria Arandas
No. 66: Banana pudding at Pizzitola's
No. 65: Fried catfish and gumbo at Cafe-A-La
No. 64: Soft-shell crabs at Banana Leaf
No. 63: Macaroni and cheese at Vic & Anthony's Steakhouse
No. 62: Torta burger at El Gran Malo
No. 61: Black bean burger at Ziggy's
No. 60: Parillada at Pampa Grill
No. 59: Peanut butter and jalapeño jelly burger at Wicked Whisk
No. 58: Eggplant involtini at Giacomo's Cibo e Vino
No. 57: Lone Star dog at James Coney Island
No. 56: Sushi at Sushi Miyagi
No. 55: Palestinian chicken at Al Aseel
No. 54: Roast beef sandwich at Local Foods
No. 53: Mexico City plate at Molina's Cantina
No. 52: Tacos at Brothers Taco House
No. 51: Branzino at Lucio's BYOB
No. 50: Beef sweetbreads at Feast
No. 49: Golden Doomba Special at the Rice Box Truck
No. 48: Malted waffle at City Cafe
No. 47: Banh mi bo kho at Cafe TH
No. 46: Chicken fried steak at Triple A
No. 45: Larissa plate at Harry's
No. 44: Spaghetti carbonara at Coppa Ristorante Italiano
No. 43: Wings and grits at The Breakfast Klub
No. 42: Frito pie at C&D Burger Shoppe
No. 41: Pollo con mole at El Gallo de Jalisco
No. 40: Fried avocado taco at H-Town StrEATs
No. 39: Rigatoni in bolognese sauce at Paulie's
No. 38: Chorizo kolaches at Peña's Donut Heaven
No. 37: Sashimi at Dadami
No. 36: Half-pound burger at benjy's
No. 35: Fried chicken at Haven
No. 34: Whole-fried speckled trout at Liberty Kitchen
No. 33: Moules congolaise at Jeannine's Bistro

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Location Info

Fountain View Cafe

1842 Fountainview, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

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My Voice Nation Help

I haven't shared your affection for many of this year's favorites, but this one's a winner.  Long live the pancake sandwich! 

johnnybench topcommenter

Toss your own maple syrup in your car a half hour before you leave and it will be nicely warmed by the time your pancakes arrive.

kshilcutt moderator editor

 @FRL713 Definitely not trying to pick a fight, but I'm curious about which dishes haven't resonated with you. Purely for the sake of friendly discussion.


 @FattyFatBastard not sure why they call it a sandwich, it's just a short stack with fried egg and bacon on top.  Perhaps some people fold it over taco style, but i use a fork.  This place has great milkshakes as well if you're doing the lunch thing.


 @kshilcutt Well, by definition, such a list is totally subjective and personal, but I really didn't care for #52, 56, 57, 61, 73, or 81.  In certain cases I just prefer versions from other places.  And for some of your other faves, I would've chosen different dishes from those menus.  Fun list though, and makes for great debate fodder.  Thanks for putting in the research hours ;)

kshilcutt moderator editor

 @FRL713 Ah, some of my more controversial inclusions. I'll admit to having a soft spot for certain dishes/places that others don't always share.  Thanks for the feedback!  :)

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