Friday, March 2, 2012

DON'T EVEN GET US STARTED ON SCATTERED, SMOTHERED, OR COVERED: Jumping off a lengthy (and rather inexplicable) exchange that involved a number of you on Twitter last night--waffles, pancakes, or french toast? Justify your answer and show all work. And don't anger Wafflebot (questionably SFW).


  1. Well, I am the one who wanders into Waffle House and orders only hash browns.  At IHOP, I'd say pancakes.  Otherwise, french toast.

  2. Eggs Benedict is my breakfast dish of choice. But if choosing one of the above only, whichever comes with lots of fruit on top or baked in. Bonus points for flavored syrups as I (gasp) don't like maple syrup.

  3. Not enough information given. Am I at an IHOP? A Waffle House? A cozy bistro?  Is it morning? Or the middle of the night?

    Or am I, heaven forfend, doing the hard work of making these things for myself?

    Really, Marcotte, this question has far more nuance than you've allowed.

    (But in general, a modification of what I said last night: Thin waffles > Belgian waffles > pancakes > French toast.)

  4. tortoiseshelly11:56 AM

    Being a person who prefers the savory to the sweet almost always, it's pancakes (specifically, ricotta cheese pancakes and buttermilk pancakes), then french toast, then waffles for me. I like the texture of a pancake better. Waffles are more like dessert. They just don't have enough mmmph for a breakfast and generally have more calories.

    French toast falls in the middle, because it's a mashup of the pancake and waffle. It has the more moist texture, but is generally sweeter than I like my pancakes. I really only have french toast at home, though - where I steer clear of powdered sugar and syrup. I grew up with my mom just dusting french toast with cinnamon and sugar, and that's the way I still prefer it.

  5. littleredyarn12:05 PM

    Has to be French toast, especially if it's stuffed with cream cheese or marscapone and fruit. The only pancakes I like are the really thin ones with crunchy edges, not those giant quasi-maple syrup sponges. I'll eat the occasional waffle but I definitely like them better as dessert, topped with really good vanilla ice cream and strawberry syrup.

    I love it when we talk food.

  6. Benner12:20 PM

    Frnch toast with pancake mix poured on top. Failing that, waffles. I enjoy the grid situation.

  7. Anonymous12:48 PM

    REAL waffles.  Not the Belgian kind with the big holes, but the small hole kind (for more surface area to crisp up and for more places to hold the butter and syrup), made on a cast iron waffle iron which has been well oiled.  Don't forget you have to throw the first one out as all the excess oil gets soaked up in it!

    Pancakes are okay as are French Toast...but french toast is very bread dependant so it completely matters what ingredients you are using.

  8. Guest was me.

  9. Pancakes, especially with real fruit on top or chocolate chips baked in.  French toast is a close second, but only if it's made with challah.

  10. French toast but only if it isn't made with super-thick bread. Yes to vanilla in the egg wash. No to powdered sugar on top. Must have just the right amount of butter and syrup. Ah, perfection.

    Runner up is pancakes, but again, the butter and syrup to pancake ratio is crucial.

    There are too many chances for waffles to go wrong -- too soggy or too crispy. And really, if there isn't a block of Neapolitan ice cream between those waffles then it just isn't worth it.

  11. Preston2:20 PM

    I think one should be careful when using the words "waffle" and "soggy" in the same general area.

  12. Becca2:53 PM

    I have to agree that it depends what restaurant you're at. I enjoy all of the above, so pancakes at IHOP, since they've pretty much stopped serving their cinnamon french toast (it's all that stuffed crap now, which is too much), waffles at an unknown place (I find bistros/cafes often rely too heavily on bisquick for pancakes, which I don't like), and french toast when I'm in the mood. 

    I'm also intrigued by those who demand REAL maple syrup, which I find to be very runny, but maybe I've only had bad versions. I'm fine with the fake stuff. I will, however, not drink orange juice north of North Carolina. It's gone poorly for me in the past. 

    I like all my bready breakfast foods served with some eggs, hash browns and bacon. I could eat this stuff for every meal! Love it!

    I also enjoy chocolate chip waffles served with fruit and chocolate ganache, but that's pretty hoity toity, and not for every weekend brunch. 

  13. If I must choose, french toast, then pancakes, then waffles. 

    But you don't always have to choose. A while back we actually tried making the "french-waffle-cake" that was referenced on Modern Family. (That's a waffle sandwiched between two pieces of french toast and then wrapped in a pancake.) The mechanics of it are a little tricky, but it was total carbohydrate breakfast heaven. 

  14. If I'm cooking:  Waffles, specifically this recipe**ASCA00 (although I add a touch more vanilla and seltzer, and substitute plain yogurt for the sour cream).  They're kind of a pain, but they're perfect.

    If someone else is cooking (be it another home cook or a restaurant chef): French toast.

  15. The Pathetic Earthling4:27 PM

    Is there anyone opposed to vanilla in the batter?  Go with a relatively thick egg-to-milk ratio, lots of nutmeg and cinnamon, and -- instead of vanilla, when I have it -- Grand Marnier.

  16. gtv20006:12 PM

    Don't like syrup, so waffles are out because they are to hard to top evenly with buter and jam.  French toast for me.  Was the first thing I learned to make for myself so my parents could sleep in on the weekend.

  17. <span>I had AMAZING strawberry pancakes with coconut syrup in Honolulu this week, so I say pancakes here:  
    Waffles when I'm eating with my nephews.
    French toast when I make it with my 2.5 year old nephew and he puts in too much vanilla.  </span>

  18. bill.7:52 PM

    Pancakes. Pancakes in all forms: buttermilk, buckwheat, crepes, dutch babies. Put anything on them, put anything in them, cook them on anything, eat them like a sandwich, roll like a tortilla -- they just work.

    1. Long time ago, there was this Dutch pancake in Minneapolis called Pannekoeken Huis. Eggy and fluffy, they'd run it to your table before it collapsed. I've found a few recipes that get close to that.

    2. Al's Breakfast, Dinkytown Minneapolis. My last meal request would probably be a tall stack of whole-wally-blues (I think that's how you order the whole wheat walnut blueberry stack). Nothing fancy, just perfection.

    I've never had a great waffle in a restaurant. My favorite is the feather light raised waffle from Shirley Corriher's Cookwise. (recipe) It's an overnight yeast recipe, but it takes about 10 minutes the night before, then finish it off in the morning while the pan heats up. This is the perfect waffle for fancy jams if you don't lke butter and syrup.

    French toast -- eh, great way to use up old bread. Though I'll never turn a Monte Cristo.

  19. Daniel Fienberg8:09 PM

    It depends. I think that I'd take a good, eggy french toast made from good bread over a "good" pancake or a "good" waffle. But if you offered me the pecan waffles from the Camelia Grill in New Orleans, I'm taking those waffles over the best french toast and the best pancakes I've ever had. I feel nearly the same way about Roscoes, but I've never attempted to have Roscoes waffles without fried chicken, so I can't say how will they stand on their own.

    I think the proliferation of Belgian waffles as the sine qua non for waffles in much of the country has diluted the nation's overall waffle power. To me, Belgian waffles are only interesting as a whipped cream and fruit delivery system, whereas a good, legitimate waffle should keep it simple with some butter and some syrup. 

    Now, I would like some waffles, please.


  20. Maddy9:01 PM

    I completely agree with all of this answer.

  21. Marsha10:17 PM

    Agreed that it depends on the locale. But in general, I'm a french toast girl if I am somewhere that I think can make it properly. Must be challah (though I once hoad a sourdough french toast that was out of this world), and if you really want to make me happy, you'll encrust the slices in a mix of cornflakes and almonds. (Basically, the french toast at EJ's in NYC.) I do not want my french toast stuffed with anything.

    That said, I like breakfast and am very happy with pancakes, waffles, popovers, scones, muffins, hashbrowns...any carbohydrate-and-sugar based breakfast food. Really, what I love about breakfast is that I can order carbs with a side of carbs and no one will think twice. Breakfast rocks.

  22. Marsha10:20 PM

    Nearly forgot - recently introduced my sons to the joy that is toasting some leftover pancakes or waffles and making a peanut butter sandwich with them. Awesome.

  23. My wife bought me a hotel-style belgian waffl maker for Christmas, and I love it. Best present I've received in years. We are now well-stocked with flavored syrups and whipped topping at all times.

    French toast is okay, and can be tasty when made well. I view pancakes in the same way I view spaghetti: great carbs on the side, but bizarre as a main focus for a meal.

  24. Anonymous11:01 PM

    French toast.  Why is this even a question?  Has to be French toast.

  25. Heather k11:14 PM

    I do not like pancakes.  They are last no matter what the question.

    I am a waffle girl.  Quite frankly I like them so much I should own a waffle iron even though we have a teensy tinesy kitchen.  I perfer small holes much much more than large holes but I will eat those too.  I like flavored syrups, I like compound butters, I like ice cream, I like fruit (but not blueberries, the exploding part freaks me out when you bite into them), and I like whip cream if made with real cream not so much when it starts to taste like fluffy plastic.  I like them homemade, and I like them at restaurants.  I LOVE waffles.

    I like french toast too.  I actually will make it at home, and I use Alton Brown's recipie.  If there is mascarpone involved I might order it over waffles.  But that is because I like mascarpone more than I love waffles.

    Also, growing up, my favorite pancake, waffle, and french toast topping was a syrup my dad and I made that was peanut butter mixed with karo syrup (uhhh corn syrup, whatever) and that was a gluey deliciously wonderful concoction.  I haven't made it in a decade, and now I want some.  Perhaps I would use agave syrup now.

  26. Paul Tabachneck11:51 PM

    My sister bought me a professional-grade Belgian waffle maker for Christmas about 6 years ago, and ever since, homemade waffles have been my preference of the three.  

    In Pittsburgh, my hometown, there is a fantastic place called Pamela's that makes the most amazing hotcakes ever (President Obama once had them cater a White House breakfast), and that will always be my favorite breakfast food.

    My second-favorite, you can't really get anymore -- the baguette-based French toast at the Mountain View Inn in Frederick, MD.  The last time I went, they failed to properly egg the bread and I essentially got grilled buttered toast (the waitress said, "I'll bring it back, but I tell ya, he'll just make it the same way again"), and I mourn that piece of awesome every time I visit my sister in neighboring Walkerville.

  27. Roger2:07 AM

    Waffles, duh. Pancakes are a reasonable second-best. French toast is an abomination.

    (Wait, do I get royalties for starting the twitter exchange?)

  28. Joseph J, Finn10:07 AM

    So this is assuming that eggs, bacon and sausage are not available?  I guess I'm just not a gluten guy when it comes to breakfast (heck, I'm not big on toast either).

  29. Mark Twain, returning from a trip to Europe, lists all the American food he missed and looked forward to eating. High on the list is buckwheat pancakes, with no mention of waffles* or french toast.

    *Unsure if waffles existed in the 1870s, a quick search turned up this Time magazine article placing waffles in the middle ages.

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