DEFCON Dining: Whole-Wheat Pancakes are for the Birds at Buffalo Grille

Photo by Nicholas L. Hall
Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a whole-wheat pancake to be a good decision.
Dining out with children is an exercise in situational awareness. Each experience is unique, with different variables leading to different possible outcomes, DEFCON-like in their escalating threat levels. Keen observation, forward planning and prior experience are critical in determining the proper strategy. Here at DEFCON Dining, we do the grunt work for you. It ain't always pretty.

Somehow, we became The Pancake Aunt and Uncle. I blame my wife, mostly.

It started innocently enough. We'd been pressed into emergency service to watch our soon-to-be four-year-old nephew one morning after dropping ours off at school. We hadn't eaten. He had. He's a picky eater at the best of times, and my wife really just wanted to get some breakfast. She baited him with pancakes. He took the bait. Since then, it seems that pancakes somehow find their way onto the itinerary every time we watch him. He doesn't seem to mind.

On our last outing, we wound up at Buffalo Grille. I don't tend to be big on pancakes, with a few notable exceptions, but decided I'd join him this time. I generally find that Buffalo Grille delivers a pretty consistent pancake, even if their hash browns are sorry examples of the genre.

I'm not really sure what came over me, but at the last second I decided to order mine as whole wheat, a practice I generally avoid. The thought of the added nuttiness and texture seemed like a good idea that day, as did filling my mug with toasted cinnamon coffee. Regrets, all around.

I knew I'd made a mistake on the coffee as I raised my mug to my lips. Instead of the scent of cinnamon, I was met with the scent of "cinnamon flavor." I'd been hoping for something like café de olla, but it was "café de Yankee Candle." My wife couldn't take the grimaces for long, suggesting that I dump my mug in the potted plants next to us on the patio ("they could use the nitrogen, anyway") and get some regular coffee. I did. Our nephew found this hilarious. I assume he will begin dumping milk and apple juice into every potted plant in the city. The patio itself was probably the best decision we made that morning.

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