It’s a surefire way to capture my attention, although “ice cream” also has impressive properties over my sense of focus. Regular readers of my blog understand my adoration for pancakes. They are my reward for hard workouts, my celebration for great training and races and, occasionally, my guilty comfort food. Yes, pancakes bring me both joy and solace. Nothing can be all that bad when I’m eating pancakes.
So when Mark discovered a place in the middle of nowhere which served all you can eat pancakes as part of their regular menu, I had to make a pilgrimage.
Ideally, I would have arranged my arrival at Moore’s Maple Shack & Pancake House to coincide with a long or long bike ride. Hidden on a country road in Freedom, N.Y., the area is perfect for some long, hilly work. But alas, this Maple Shack & Pancake House is so special that it only serves pancakes for four months. While open year-round to sell maple products, the pancake house only serves from March 1 to the third Sunday in April and on Sundays only in January and February.
The existence of this place was revealed to me last weekend, which gave me exactly one week to find my way there for pancakes, or wait until a Sunday in January or February. And this, well, this seemed like an experience worth making happen now.
So to pre-carb for our trip to Boston, we took a ride, landing in my version of heaven. (Disclaimer: Mark is running Boston. I am a lowly spectator. My chances of ever qualifying for Boston are slim to none, though perhaps when I hit the 80-year-old age group I might have a shot of training for it. So really, there was no need for me to carb up.) As we drove up Galen Hill Road, the house was easy to spot — it was the one with all the cars. A small place with a definite “shack” feel, it was rather busy with two large groups in the middle of the small dinning. We took a table at the corner and marveled at the collection of antiques — life pieces of five generations of Moore family members who have worked the maple operation and restaurant.
The menu is all breakfast — featuring pancakes, french toast, eggs and sausage in various combinations. After a hard interval swim workout and weight training, I chose scrambled eggs and pancakes. They arrived hot and delicious, about four-to-six inches in diameter and a thin batter. The maple syrup was amazing. I nearly inhaled my first plate.
Yes, that’s right. I said my first plate. See not only are all pancakes on the menu “all you can eat” but the staff anticipates that you’re there to eat as many pancakes as you can. As the waitress came over to refill my coffee, noting my now empty plate, she announced”
“Your plate of pancakes will be right up. She’s making them for ya right now.”
Seriously? We didn’t even ask for more pancakes or inquire about the all you can eat policy. And a few minutes later, steam was still rising for the plate of freshly prepared pancakes. Mark ate one more. Me? I can put food away. And so I ate. And ate. An ate just one more. This is probably why Mark is much fitter and faster than me. But this pancake opportunity was one I just couldn’t let pass with being proper, graceful or elegant. (Moore’s should be very happy they are not open in the summer or all of my long rides and runs would finish up in front of their pancake house.)
Upon arriving home, I entered a slight carb coma. Maybe I’ll do an extra half hour on the bike trainer tomorrow before leaving for Boston. I’m properly fueled for it after all. And, just in case I needed proof that my breakfast/lunch meal had important nutritional value, a sign in the entrance of Moore’s told me all I needed to know: