halloween

Spooktacular Halloween Food and Traditions

halloweenWith Halloween just around the corner, we wanted to share some spooktacular Halloween food traditions and customs associated with the frightful holiday.

Bobbing for Apples -

The tradition of bobbing for apples has been associated with Halloween for a long time. The Celts believed in the goddess Pomona and the apple was representative of her entity because when sliced open, the seeds formed a pentagram shape. Thus, the apple became an integral tool to determine marriages that occurred in the fall. Young, unmarried couples would bob for apples and the first to bite into one and retrieve it from the floating water or hanging from a string would be deemed the next to marry. Today, bobbing for apples carries a much different meaning and is often played at Halloween parties and other social gatherings. If you’re not up for a game of bobbing for apples, simply stop by one of our two Denver restaurants and experience our delicious Apple Pancake made with oven baked granny smith apples and cinnamon glaze. All the deliciousness without the work!

Pumpkin Carving

We use pumpkin in our popular Sara’s Pumpkin Pancakes but the yummy, round, orange squash wasn’t always used in cooking and certainly not for carving and Halloween decor. Historically, the Jack-O’-Lantern has an interesting past…and it all starts with a man named Jack. Legend has it, Jack tricked the Devil to win money to live a rich and pleasurable life. However, the Devil sought revenge on Jack for tricking him and after Jack’s death, the Devil sentenced him to walk the Earth forever armed with only a lantern made from a carved turnip. The practice of carving root vegetables eventually found its way to carving pumpkins and the snaggle-toothed Halloween Jack-O’-Lantern was born.

Trick-Or-Treat

A Halloween highlight for the young and young-at-heart is trick-or-treating - what could be better than dressing up and going door-to-door to receive sweet treats?! However, the practice of trick-or-treating didn’t always have a happy ending. The custom is actually two-fold. The act of dressing up originates from the Celtic tradition that celebrates the end of the year, where it was thought the dead and living would overlap on Halloween. Dressing up like evil entities was thought to defend individuals against the ghosts that would roam the earth on Halloween night.  According to the Smithsonian magazine, the act of requesting food door-to-door is recorded as far back as the November 4, 1927 issue of the Backie, Alberta Canda Herald. The practice stemmed from children who were poor who would go door-to-door begging for food, money, or other items and if the residents refused to give them anything, they would find themselves victim to a prank from the begging children—hence the phrase “trick-or-treat.” If you’re looking for a treat without the tricks, we would love to invite you in for a great Denver breakfast. Treat yourself to a delicious Dutch Baby Pancake or Bacon Belgian Waffle in honor of National Pork Month!

What Halloween trick-or-treats does your family participate in? Let us know your family fun Halloween activities and food offerings on Twitter @OPHDenver. Happy Halloween!


eggs

Top Breakfast Foods in America

eggsBreakfast is many things to many people. It’s a time to fuel your body for the active day ahead and a time to gather with friends or family. While there are many ingredients and dishes that are staples for breakfast in Denver, there are a few favorites that make their way into our homes every year. What are they you may ask? Below, check out our list of the top breakfast foods in America in honor of National Breakfast Month.

Cereal

A classic staple in any family pantry, cereal is a quick and easy way to pack in the needed fiber and whole grains needed for the day. Whether you lean on the healthier side or splurge for the Captain Crunch now and then, cereal has become a popular treat for kids and adults alike. In fact, 2.7 boxes of cereal are sold in the U.S. each year with 92% of American households purchasing it at least once a year (source: NPD Group). Celebrate our love for cereal this month by enjoying a bowl at home or come by and visit us for a bowl of our homemade granola, cream of wheat or dry cereal.

Eggs

This delectable delight has been a main stay in American homes since the domestication of chickens. Eggs possess an impressive macronutrient composition unmatched by its fellow breakfast ingredients that contributes to its powerhouse of nutrition including the ingredient we all need in the morning: Vitamin D. From scrambled to sunny-side up, eggs can take on practically any form and shape we desire. With such versatility and demand for eggs, at our two Denver restaurants alone we serve more than 25,900 little white bundles a week!

Bacon

You can’t talk about eggs without mentioning their trusty partner-in-tastiness: bacon. This savory, salty snack is as American as apple pie. From the irresistible smell, to the sizzle on the skillet, to the smoky flavor, bacon is one of the few breakfast foods that ignites and awakens all of our senses in the morning. According to AllTech, “Americans on average eat around 18 lbs. of bacon each year. That’s about 5,608,654,506 lbs. for the entire U.S., which is equal to 7.68 Empire State buildings.”  Today, we’re finding many creative uses for the classic strip – no longer just a side, try our bacon pancakes or bacon Belgian waffles – breakfast staples made even better with real bits of bacon baked right in!

Oatmeal

What many consider a healthier option to cereal, oatmeal is another quick and easy way to fuel up and keep you full throughout the day. What makes oatmeal fun to eat is the many ways to spice it up. From adding slices of banana and a dash of cinnamon to incorporating it into pancakes for oatmeal pancakes, oatmeal is no longer the “barbarian” food it was once called. We serve our old fashioned oatmeal with warm skim milk, brown sugars and raisin – yum!

So whether you prefer one of the above or all five, these top breakfast foods have made their way into our hearts and stomachs for years. Their future culinary possibilities look bright and their extinction nowhere in sight. At Original Pancake House in Denver, let us fuel you up for the day ahead and offer you one of the best Denver breakfasts in town. We’re open every day from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. so swing by and celebrate National Breakfast Month with us!


Family

End of Summer Family Bucket List

Happy Family Vacation

With the start of a new school year fast approaching, consider heading out for a family fun day before the end of vacation.  To make the day special, start with a hearty breakfast in Denver at Original Pancake House. With menu favorites such as Chocolate Chip Pancakes or OPH Smiley Cakes for the kids, and a plethora of egg dishes and more for the parents, everyone will leave full, happy, and ready to enjoy a day of adventure.  Read on to learn about a few of our favorite local spots to spend the day with the family.

 

Dinosaur Ridge

A part of the Morrison Fossil Area National Park, Dinosaur Ridge is a great place for families to see actual dinosaur footprints sealed by time. Dinosaur Ridge is famous for its Exhibit Hall and summer camps where young people can learn more about paleontology.

 

Cherry Creek State Park

A perfect spot for nature lovers, Cherry Creek State Park offers families a relaxing spot to spend the day. Enjoy hiking, biking, or horseback riding on the many trails throughout the park.  If it is a hot day, rent a canoe or kayak from the marina and picnic on the sandy beaches surrounding the reservoir.  Cherry Creek Park even offers an “airstrip” for flying model airplanes and a family shooting range.

 

Elitch Gardens

Summer vacation isn’t complete until you spend a day at Elitch Gardens.  Ride the slides to cool off in the water park and then test your adventurous spirit on the roller coasters and thrill rides.  There are attractions, rides, concerts and entertainment for kids ages 4 -100 which means the whole family will enjoy the day.

 

Tiny Town

Open to the public since 1920, Tiny Town, is a miniature collection of houses, buildings, and railroads to entertain kids of all ages. With more than 90 buildings on display, visitors enjoy stepping back in time with a ride on the railroad and marveling at all of the creations. Located close to Morrison, you get the added bonus of enjoying mountain surroundings on this trip!

 

The Children’s Museum

If you have younger children, Denver’s Children’s Museum is the place to go to “learn through play.”  With interactive exhibits, educational programs, and play areas, the kids will enjoy explorative play with everything from rockets, to bubbles, nature, and painting.

 

We hope you enjoy these last few weeks of summer, Denver!


2014 Anniversary Tent

Original Pancake House Mile High Anniversary Scavenger Hunt

2014 Anniversary Tent FrontC

It’s time to celebrate! We are excited to celebrate our 18th anniversary in Denver this June.  That’s a full 18 years of delicious Denver breakfast tradition!

In honor of our anniversary, we’re hosting the week-long Mile High Anniversary Online Scavenger Hunt.  Kicking off on our anniversary on Wednesday, June 18, visit our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/ophdenver daily through Tuesday, June 24 to join in the fun and enter for your chance to win one of four great prizes!

Each day during the Scavenger Hunt, we’ll post an Original Pancake House trivia question on our Facebook page.  Participants simply need to find the answer and reply in the comments section of the respective Facebook post.  HINT: our website www.ophdenver.com has a lot of titillating information on your favorite Denver pancake house! On Friday, June 27, we will pick one Grand Prize winner and three additional First Prize winners from the correct entries to the daily trivia questions!

OPH Mile High Anniversary Scavenger Hunt prizes include:

One (1) Grand Prize: Original Pancake House Gift Package

·        $50 OPH Denver Gift Card

·        Adult-size OPH Denver apron

·        Child-size OPH Denver apron

·        OPH Denver wooden spoon

·        OPH Denver mug

Three (3) First Prizes: Original Pancake House Gift Cards

·        $50 OPH Denver Gift Card

In order to win, participants must “Like” OPH Denver’s Facebook page.  Remember, we’ll only accept one answer per daily challenge, but participants are encouraged to submit an answer to each of the four daily trivia questions.  As an added bonus, participants can receive an additional entry in the prize give-away by sharing the scavenger hunt daily challenge posts on their own Facebook pages.

We are excited to celebrate our Mile High Anniversary with you, Denver!  Thank you for 18 wonderful years of breakfast tradition.  Now for the Scavenger Hunt…on your mark, get set, go!


Eggstravaganza

Spring Eggstravaganza Recap

2014 Eggstravaganza FB cover_Final

As April comes to an end, we also close the curtains on our month-long Spring Eggstravaganza.  We’ve had so much fun celebrating eggs with you this past month.  One feature of our Eggstravaganza was a weekly Egg-off contest between several of the Original Pancake House favorites.  Our customers voted on their favorite egg breakfast dishes via Facebook and the results are in:

Week 1:  Fried Eggs claimed victory over Scrambled in our first weekly Egg-off.

Week 2: Denver Omelet took top prize in a heated contest with the ever-popular Joe.

Week 3: After a tight race, Green Chile Eggs Benedict inched ahead of Classic Eggs Benedict to take the win by a nose.

Week 4: In a close contest, Ham & Cheese Omelet earned the win over the Florentine Omelet.

All were close-fought “battles” and for good reason; we have a hard time choosing our favorite egg dishes as well!  As a closeout to the Eggstravaganza, we’d also like to share a few additional Eggstra Fun Facts about Eggs.

Did you know…

  • Each of the roughly 280 million laying birds in the U.S. produces from 250 to 300 eggs a year. In total, the U.S. produces about 75 billion eggs a year, about 10% of the world supply.
  • Normally, hens with white ear lobes lay white eggs, and hens with red ear lobes lay brown eggs. There is no nutritional difference between white and brown eggs.
  • A mother hen turns her eggs about 50 times per day.
  • The most expensive egg ever sold was the Faberge “Winter Egg” sold in 1994 for $5.6 million.
  • Egg size and grade are not related to one another. Size is determined by weight per dozen. Younger hens tend to lay smaller eggs. The size increases as the hen grows older and bigger. Grade refers to the quality of the shell, white and yolk and the size of the air cell.
  • There are 7 to 17 thousand tiny pores on the shell surface, a greater number at the large end. As the egg ages, these tiny holes permit moisture and carbon dioxide to move out and air to move in to form the air cell. The egg can also absorb refrigerator odors through the pores, so always refrigerate eggs in their cartons.

Thank you to all our customers and fans who helped us celebrate our Spring Eggstravanza this past month.  Whether you joined us for breakfast in Denver and tried one of the 24 fantastic egg dishes on our menu, or you voted in our weekly Facebook Egg-offs, we hope you enjoyed celebrating the incredible egg as much as we did!

Have an eggscellent spring, Denver!


OPH Corned Beef Hash

Irish Breakfast Traditions

In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, we thought we’d explore Irish breakfast traditions.  The morning after all the St. Patrick’s Day revelry, we figured the good folks in Ireland must sit down for a hearty meal. As it turns out, a full Irish breakfast is nothing short of a small feast!  Here are a few breakfast staples from the Emerald Isle:

Our Corned Beef Hash
Our Corned Beef Hash

Rashers – Rashers are the Irish version of bacon.  This pork treat more resembles Canadian bacon, although it is a fattier cut and is served as a round patty.  Where American bacon is traditionally cooked until crispy, rashers are typically fried in Irish butter until cooked through and lightly browned.

Bangers – Bangers are a traditional Irish breakfast sausage.  Either made with pork or a combination of pork and beef, bangers are typically short in length and fat in diameter.  The word “banger” refers to the sausage’s tendency to split and explode out of its casing when cooked.

Boxty – Considered a traditional Irish potato pancake, the boxty actually more resembles American hash browns.  Riced potatoes are compacted into a pancake shape within a hot skillet and fried to make this breakfast staple.

Black & White Pudding – Black pudding is essentially blood sausage, or cooked and congealed blood from pigs or cows mixed with pork, beef, or sometimes oatmeal, bread or potato.  White pudding is a similar soft sausage made without the blood.  Both varieties are usually sliced and then grilled or fried.

And more still! – All Irish breakfasts are served with fried eggs.  In addition, a full Irish breakfast will include Irish brown bread, baked beans, fried tomatoes, and sautéed mushrooms.  Whew!  With a meal this large, you are sure to have energy for a full day’s work or fun!  If you don’t want to fly all the way to Ireland for your next morning meal, we’d be happy to serve you an Irish inspired breakfast in Denver at the Original Pancake House with our very own Corned Beef Hash and Eggs.  From all of us at the Original Pancake House, Happy St. Patrick’s Day!


Cinnamon Almond French Toast

The Delicious History of French Toast

At the Original Pancake House, one of our favorite brunch menu items is French toast.  In fact, we love it so much, we offer four different types on our breakfast menu including Sourdough French Toast, Seasonal Berry French Toast, Cinnamon Almond French Toast, and the Denver breakfast favorite, Banana Praline French Toast.

Cinnamon Almond French Toast

 

With French toast on our minds, we were wondering, where did this delightful dish originate?  We were intrigued to find that, though the name implies a French origin, the first mention of this meal appears in Roman times.  In a cookbook attributed to Apicius, from the 4th or 5th century, a recipe simply called “aliter dulcia," or “another sweet dish,” describes soaking

bread in a milk and egg mixture, frying in oil, and then serving with honey.   French toast next appears in medieval cookbooks throughout Europe.  In France it was called “pain perdu” or “lost bread,” which probably referred to the fact the cooks used stale or old bread in this dish.  German, English, and Scandinavian cookbooks refer to the dish as “poor knights” bread, which is also a nod to the use of ol1d bread.

The first references to this ancient dish as “French toast” appear in the late 18th century in North America.  In New Orleans, the dish maintained its original French name of “pain perdu.” However, in English speaking areas of the North American colonies, the dish became known as French toast as it was popularized by French immigrants.

So the next time you are out for breakfast in Denver, share the ancient history of French toast with your fellow diners.  It is a fascinating story!


Breakfast for Champions

Breakfast of Champions: What are Olympic athletes eating?

Breakfast for Champions

With the 2014 Winter Olympics underway, we were wondering, what is the true breakfast of champions?  With nutrition being just as important as the innumerable hours spent training for the Olympic Games, what do Olympic athletes eat for breakfast?  With a bit of research, we found some astounding facts. Did you know that many Olympians, especially those in endurance sports, require 9,000 to 12,000 calories per day?!   Amazing!  If we were so lucky as to have one of these athletes join us for breakfast in Denver, we might have to serve them one of each item on The Original Pancake House Denver menu!

 

For a day of training and competition, we found that Olympians focus on a substantial, yet healthy, breakfast.  After all, this first meal provides the foundation of energy needed to go for the gold.  In general, Olympians start their day with a healthy mix of carbohydrates, fruits and protein.  Many will combine a large bowl of whole grain oats with fresh fruit, and milk or yogurt.  In addition, you will likely see athletes enjoy eggs, a great source of lean protein, with toast or a bagel for additional energy.  Some athletes are reported to eat a whopping 12 eggs for their first meal of the day!  And because they continually burn so many calories between training and competition, you will often see competitors munching on bananas and enjoying a glass of chocolate milk to keep their energy high.

 

From The Original Pancake House Denver, we wish all the athletes on Team USA “good luck” in the 2014 Sochi Olympic Games.  And for the twenty Coloradoans competing in Sochi, we would love to have you stop by for an Olympic-worthy breakfast in Denver when you return home!


Aquarium

Escape Cabin Fever: Fun winter activities for the whole family!

We all know the feeling.  It’s too cold to play outside, indoor games have lost their charm, and everyone is feeling restless.  So what to do when cabin fever hits?  Take an excursion!  Denver offers many fun, family-friendly activities for cold weather days.  Here are a few of our favorite winter activities:

Denver Museum of Nature and Science -

The Denver Museum of Nature and Science offers a fun and educational experience for Denver families.  Visitors explore neat exhibits on everything from the solar system to dinosaurs.  Be sure to check out the planetarium or see an IMAX film when you visit.

Ice Skating at Big Bear Ice Are

Aquariumna

If the kiddos are bouncing off the walls, then a trip to the Big Bear Ice Arena might be a good choice.  Located in the heart of Lowry, Big Bear offers public ice skating, broomball, figure skating lessons and ice hockey leagues.  If your kids have a need for speed, strap on a pair of skates and let them go!

Denver Aquarium -

The whole family will love strolling through Colorado’s largest aquarium.  With a maze of different aquatic habitats and thousands of sea creatures to admire, the Aquarium features a shipwreck and sunken temple to delight the kids.  Make sure you check out the Mystic Mermaids interactive show and get a tasty snack at the Aquarium restaurant.  

Fun City -

Grab a few friends and head to Fun City for hours of family entertainment.  Fun City offers oodles of activities including laser tag, a foam factory, go-karts, miniature golf, an arcade, and rock climbing. 

Enjoy Your Favorite Denver Breakfast-

At The Original Pancake House Denver, we love to take our whole crew out to breakfast on cold winter days.  With big plates of pancakes, eggs, waffles, and crepes to share, everyone will have a smile on their face! And once your bellies are full, you’ll be ready to try one of Denver’s fun, indoor activities.

 


The Fiesta Bowl

Heart-friendly Breakfast Ideas

With the start of the New Year, we all strive to make healthy decisions and fresh starts.  Thankfully, breakfast is one of the best ways to kick start healthy habits. If you start the day on a good note, it is much easier to continue the trend throughout the rest of your day, week, month, and year.  Here are a few breakfast ideas to get your day, and New Year, off to a heart-healthy start.

From The Original Pancake House "Lighter Side" menu
From The Original Pancake House "Lighter Side" menu

Breakfast Smoothie

– Combine one cup of low fat milk or soy milk with frozen strawberries and a sliced banana.  Blend in your food processor or blender until smooth and frothy.  For extra protein, add a scoop of protein powder.  Create variety by mixing and matching your fruits.

Incredible Egg-white Sandwich

– Assemble this delicious morning meal with a toasted whole-wheat English muffin, scrambled egg-whites and a slice of tomato.  For extra protein, add smoked salmon and you have the perfect brain-boosting breakfast.

Spunky Oatmeal

– Spruce up your oatmeal with the addition of fruit and nuts.  Adding tangy rhubarb, blueberries, raspberries, currents, or cranberries can add a much needed zip of flavor to this pantry staple.  By adding nuts you’ll get an extra boost of protein, healthy fats, and vitamins to help keep you full and feeling great all morning.

And when you are heading out for breakfast in Denver, try The Original Pancake House Denver’s “Lighter Side” menu.  We offer breakfast favorites like Old Fashioned Oatmeal, Cream of Wheat, Scrambled Egg Whites, and Homemade Granola, to name a few.  With these heart-friendly options, you can enjoy a delicious, guilt-free breakfast out with your family!


donut

Winter holiday food traditions around the world

At The Original Pancake House Denver, we love the holiday season.  Each year during the months of November and December, we add a few holiday favorites to our Denver breakfast menu – Sara’s Granola Waffle with Maple Whipped Cream, Egg Nog French Toast and our much loved Ho! Ho! Ho! Pancakes, to name a few.  These special breakfast traditions always make our season brighter and we love sharing them with our OPH Denver family.  Which got us to thinking – we know what we love for a holiday breakfast in Denver, what are some holiday traditions celebrated by other cultures and religions?  We did a bit of research and found a multitude of delicious dishes to make your mouth water!

Mexican Holiday Feastdonut-179983_640

In a traditional Mexican holiday feast you will likely find tamales on the menu.  Because they take so much time and care to prepare, many families only serve them on special occasions.  Mexican tamales are wrapped and steamed in a paper or a corn husk and are filled with masa, a corn based dough, and either meat, cheese, fruits, vegetables, or chiles.

In addition to tamales, pan dulce is traditional treat during the holiday season. These sweet rolls are made fresh daily in local panaderias. Almost like a Mexican doughnut, you might find them with a red or green topping and festive sprinkles.

Filipino Christmas Treat

Just after Midnight Mass on Christmas Day, many Filipino families enjoy a Bibingka Especial. This coconut and rice flour cake is lightly sweet, and made with rice or cassava flour. Traditionally, these cakes are cooked over charcoal in a banana-leaf-lined clay pot.  Served with tasty toppings, Bibingka Especial is very popular in the Philippines during the Christmas holiday season.

The German Fruitcake

Ah, the infamous fruitcake!  Dresdner Stollen, the original and famous fruitcake recipe from Dresden, is sold throughout Germany during the holiday season.  Made from rich yeast dough and mixed with candied fruits and nuts, these special holiday loaves are folded before baking to symbolize the baby Jesus in his swaddling clothes.

American Kwanzaa Traditions

Kwanzaa is a weeklong celebration that links African traditions and American customs. Kwanzaa runs from December 26 through January 1 of each year and is always accompanied by friends, family and feasting! On each day of a Kwanzaa celebration, the host serves a dish from a different symbolic place, such as Africa, the Caribbean, and South America.  These dishes might include black-eyed peas, shrimp creole, mashed yams, corn bread, or creamed collard greens.

Hanukkah Brunch

Also known as the Festival of Light, Hanukkah is celebrated for eight days and eight nights in the Jewish religion.  A typical Hanukkah brunch always includes several delectable dishes.  Potato latkes, or crispy potato pancakes, are a staple of many Hanukkah meals.  In addition you might find a simple applesauce, or delicious egg frittata.  To round out the meal, Jewish families often serve homemade doughnuts, a tribute to the oil that lasted eight days and nights, and traditional rugelach cookies.

Whatever holiday you celebrate this season, and whatever your heritage, we hope you are able to share a good meal with friends and loved ones! Happy Holidays from The Original Pancake House Denver!


christmas

Holiday Stocking Stuffers!

It’s that time of year!  The hustle and bustle of the holiday season has us bundled up and running around town finding little things to bring joy to our family and friends.  To help you out, we’ve compiled a list of our favorite stocking stuffer ideas! christmas-21636_640

For the forgetful spouse

– Trying to get to your favorite Denver breakfast spot and they can’t find their keys…again?  This key fob locater may be just the gift!  Now they just have to remember to attach it to their key chain!

For the eco-conscious friend

– For the tree-hugger in your life, Carbonfund.org offers several gift options.  Choose between offsetting their carbon footprint or planting trees, for as little as $10 you can make your green friend a happy camper!

For the over-worked

– She canceled your Saturday morning Denver breakfast date again because she had to work?  Brighten up her cube with some fun games from officeplayground.com.  This fun website offers little gadgets such as mind bender games, stress balls, and even solar powered flowers for her desk.

For the techie

– For the family member or friend who is attached to their new iPhone, these gloves are just the gift.  The North Face E-Tip glove has full palm conductivity so you can stay connected and active on your touch screen without exposing fingers to the frosty elements.

!For the Foodie – Give the gift of Pancake Cheer!  Did you know The Original Pancake House Denver offers gift cards?  Share the joy of a delicious breakfast with co-workers, friends and family!  Nothing says love quite like the gift of a warm and delicious breakfast in Denver.

Happy shopping and Happy Holidays from your OPH Denver Family!