Slappy Cakes in Portland

“Ahhhh…Cheerios again?”

My five year old has just emerged from his bedroom, rubbing his sleeping eyes, when he spots the offending yellow box sitting next to his bowl.

Well…maybe it doesn’t have to be.

I tell my son to wake up his sister and get dressed, making sure not to wake up mom. Giving my wife a quiet house to herself this morning will certainly win me some points. I load the kids into our Subaru and head to Slappy Cakes.

Slappy Cakes is one of my favorite breakfast spots in Portland. It’s located in the Mt. Tabor district, on SE Belmont Street. While it’s a full service breakfast restaurant, what really sets Slappy Cakes apart is the pancakes; the tables have built in griddles which allow patrons to create and cook their own pancakes as they relax with their orange juice, coffee, Mimosas or Bloody Marys.

We walk up to the restaurant and I put my name in for a seat. My social butterfly daughter has struck up a conversation with a girl her age. Grabbing a piece of sidewalk chalk—expertly provided by Slappy Cakes to keep waiting kids happy—the girls quickly draw a hopscotch and fun ensues.

The restaurant looks out for the grown-ups too by providing a coffee bar outside. A hot cup-a-joe makes the line go quickly and before we know it, we’re being seated.

The choices of pancake batters, fixings, and toppings seem endless. Will I choose the buttermilk, whole grain (vegan), sweet potato, gluten-free or peanut butter batter? I decide on the sweet potato but now I am faced with a plethora of toppings to choose from: chocolate chips (white, milk, and butterscotch), apples, blueberries, goat cheese, etc I opt for the blueberries. From the four options of toppings (lavender honey, peanut butter, lemon curd, maple syrup), I choose good ole’ fashioned maple syrup (organic, of course).

The kids don’t take as much time to decide; they were discussing menu options the entire drive here. Expectedly, my five year old chooses the peanut butter batter with chocolate chip fixings and peanut butter topping. Unexpectedly, my seven year old opts for the whole wheat batter (vegan), vegan sausage for her fixings and tops it with lavender honey.

We cook and eat with gusto and laughter. It’s not just breakfast, it’s an experience. We pay our affordable tab and weave our way home past the art galleries, and coffee shops that dominate Mt. Tabor.

I just hope someday soon my kids will learn to use our pancake griddle at home and serve a nice hearty breakfast in bed to me and the missus. For now, there’s Slappy Cakes, and I couldn’t be happier.

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