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Hi-Hat Pancake House
380 Maine Avenue
Chris & Amy Ayers
June 30, 2008 4:09 PM
Passed by on the New England Ice Cream Tour, the Hi-Hat’s aging neon sign and drive-in stalls beckoned us back for a visit. There's nothing fancy about Hi Hat--walk in, seat yourself (as per the sign near the door), and wait for the prompt diner greeting of "Coffee?" Choose from among the daily specials freshly written on a chalkboard, or opt for a Hi Hat staple from the standard breakfast menu. Fans of flapjacks will be delighted to find that there are nearly as many varieties as you can count on your hands (ranging from the traditional blueberry to the intriguing butterscotch chip!).
After learning that the corned beef hash was not homemade, we went to Plan B which consisted of bacon pancakes, chosen from a dozen varieties, and the classic eggs, sausage, and toast combo. We had never heard of bacon pancakes, and our server assured us that they were indeed flapjacks with pieces of real bacon in the batter. Sure enough, as the batter was poured onto the griddle, three strips of crispy bacon were crumbled onto each pancake, and when flipped, the bacon cooked into the fluffy cake on top. Dressed with a little butter and syrup, the taste was a revelation: the savory bacon melding with the sweet syrup and light pancake—so simple yet so creative. When strawberry syrup was sampled (poured out neon pink like cough medicine from a tableside decanter with the usual spring-loaded thumb valve), it added another level of uniqueness to the overall taste.
Two eggs, cooked over medium, were flawless, leaving plenty of yolk on the plate to be sopped up by Hi-Hat’s homemade bread. We chose rye over white, wheat, cinnamon raisin, or Italian, and its density and heartiness influenced us to buy a loaf for the road, too. The link sausage reminded us of Swift Premium’s Brown ‘n’ Serve sausage but better: fatter, crispier, and more flavorful than the store-bought kind, and each link seeped juice when fork pressure was applied to cut it into bite-sized pieces. Adding a small jar of homemade strawberry-rhubarb jam to our final bill, we left the Hi-Hat quite satisfied and looking forward to our next visit to try the burgers, hot dogs, and seafood baskets for lunch or dinner.
Eggs, Meat, Toast, and Coffee Combo
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