Our family loves a good pancake or waffle. So upon my husband’s and my return from vacation late late on Saturday night, we had to get up early, drive across town, pick up our kids and then get one of them to a soccer scrimmage. The disadvantage: having to get up at 6:00 a.m. and drive in snow (after getting home around 1:00 a.m.). The advantage: Original Pancake House was on the way home after the game.
This was our first time going and had heard they had gluten free pancakes. But what we found was that they have so much more than that.
The gluten free menu at our restaurant in Roseville, MN (across the street from Rosedale Center) showed french toast, pancakes, waffles and crepes (and tons of toppings for them)! Plus they have eggs, bacon and hash browns that are gluten free. We could get a full breakfast here.
The Skinny on Gluten Free Food at Original Pancake House
It appears every Original Pancake House restaurant is different. The one in Roseville is new and was built with gluten free in mind. They put in a separate griddle for the gluten free pancakes, waffles, french toast and crepes.
When I contacted the company headquarters about the gluten free menu, they didn’t give me much information. General Counsel and Corporate Chef of OPH Franchising, Inc., Jon Liss, replied to my email but only addressed my question about whether the gluten free menu was in all locations. He said no it is not and he said he was giving me the stock answer which he sends to every gluten free inquiry, “We have asked each franchisee to consider offering gluten “friendly” pancakes, made with gluten free flour.” Then he attached the list of locations. Click here to see the list as of December 2013. Locations with a gluten free menu are in blue. He did not respond to my additional questions of other possible cross contamination with eggs, omelettes and more.
All of the Minnesota locations have the gluten free menu according to the aforementioned list. When I talked with Jane Smalkoski who runs the franchises in Edina, Eden Prairie and Roseville, MN, she said Roseville was their only location with the separate gluten free griddle. She and another manager helped me get to the bottom of other questions I had related to cross contamination.
- Eggs and omelettes are all cooked in their own separate pans
- Bacon is cooked on a cleaned off area of the griddle. But it is a shared griddle with the sausage that is dredged in flour. Smalkoski says they haven’t had an issue with this process.
- Hash browns are gluten free and all cooked separately from the gluten
- They have a separate toaster for gluten free toast
- There is a separate waffle iron for gluten free waffles
- They use separate utensils for cooking gluten free
- They use colored plates for gluten free items (that could be questioned as gluten-containing like pancakes. The eggs still come on a standard white plate. In the photos you can see ours were gold in color)
Again, this is only for one restaurant. But I encourage you to contact your local Original Pancake House and ask your own questions about handling of the gluten free food.
We had a great experience and will most certainly go there again. Emma had her first-ever gluten free Belgian-style waffle and she liked it better than the pancakes.