The Original Pancake House
Yup, you're right, The Original Pancake House is a chain restaurant, but as is evident when you drive by either of their Salem locations during the morning hours--they're a local favorite. At least their corporate offices (and their roots) are located in Portland, but I had no idea they had over 100 locations in over half the U.S. states.
As their name proclaims, pancakes are their specialty. N and I have never been regulars, but when we do eat breakfast there N is sure to order the potato pancakes. A dish he's often made at home with varying degrees of success.
Friend Shirley had stories to share and I was eager to listen. She had an obligation later in the morning in the south end of town, so we made plans to meet at The Original Pancake House, at 4656 Commercial Street S.E., for breakfast.
Unlike N, neither one of us was in the mood for pancakes. We both ordered their, "Ever Popular Joe", but asked for hashbrowns instead of the 3 buttermilk pancakes it usually comes with.
Both the eggs and spinach were cooked just the way I like them. The eggs were tender, fluffy and not over cooked and the young, tender, spinach was just barely wilted. Many times I've come close to ordering "A Famous Joe" scramble at other places, but this was the first time (but not the last) I've followed through. The sausage and onions make this a great combination. The hashbrowns were cooked through with some tasty, brown, crispness on at least one side of each potato cube.
The coffee was fresh and not too weak. Plus, the service was excellent from beginning to end.
It's obvious why this sparkling clean, well maintained restaurant is so popular.