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Why I Swear by Delivery Pancakes

Pancakes are so much better when someone else makes them

A stack of panckes with syrup Shutterstock

This post originally appeared in the May 23, 2022 edition of The Move, a place for Eater’s editors and writers to reveal their recommendations and pro dining tips — sometimes thoughtful, sometimes weird, but always someone’s go-to move. Subscribe now.

The last time I wrote about pancakes, I said they were easy to make at home. Well, I lied. Or, not lied — I just discovered I was wrong when I attempted to make them from scratch. The main issue is that if you’re not using a boxed mix, every good recipe calls for buttermilk, which is not something I typically have in my kitchen. So a Saturday morning pancake breakfast either requires advanced planning on my part (not likely), a morning run to the grocery store (nope), or making pancakes without buttermilk or with a buttermilk substitute, every recipe for which has so far resulted in dense, sad silver dollars, not the fluffy bites I wanted.

However, I realized that this was a problem I could throw money at. I’ve already advocated for bringing maple syrup to your pancakes. Well, now is the time to bring the pancakes to your maple syrup: Ordering them in is your path to a great pancake breakfast.

I’m lucky enough to live a few blocks from both a pretty stellar diner and some bistros and brunch spots that deliver, so pancakes of the standard and even the lemon ricotta types are not hard to come by. But the first time I did this, I was skeptical. Pancakes did not immediately seem like the kind of food that would survive delivery well — a cold pancake is a sad thing. But it turns out that without any butter or syrup already on the pancake, they stay pretty sturdy. And if they do get cold, it’s nothing a quick flip in a skillet can’t fix.

A good order of pancakes is special. They’re tangy and spongy and sometimes get that buttery caramelization around the edges. But even if my diner is just using Bisquick mix, it’s worth it to me to spend the occasional money to have someone else make them. Even if I do have buttermilk, pancake recipes are difficult to scale, so either my two-person household has to be eating pancakes for days at a time, or the batter goes to waste. By ordering in, I can get the two pancakes I want, for any meal I want. It’s a low-lift treat.

I realized I still had rules in my head about what foods were appropriate for delivery, even after years of relying on delivery more than usual, and even after restaurants figured out how to successfully deliver everything from crisp fries to omakase platters. Before the pandemic, I would not have considered pancakes a takeout food. Now, there are no rules. Free your mind, and breakfast for dinner will follow.

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