BEST PANCAKES - 2000
Once upon a time--21 years ago, to be precise--a young Colombian woman traveled far, far north and landed in a place called Minnesota, where she began spreading to seekers of the ultimate comfort food the joy that is a perfect pancake. The regulars from Maria's Breakfast Club still wax poetic about her toasty wild-rice and fresh-blueberry pancakes, so, naturally, it was a dark day when her lease expired and the coveted short stack was no more. Now Maria is in the biz again, and a recent trip to her airy new digs on Franklin Avenue yielded a raspberry-studded cake artfully crisscrossed with an amber glaze of her famous homemade syrup, topped, of course, with melting-by-the-second whipped butter. Slightly crisp and lovingly browned on the outside, piping hot and tender on the inside, this pancake had no intention of turning soggy on the plate. Of course, all the old favorites are available too, as well as distinctive creations like raisin-and-walnut, mango, pineapple, and the ever popular cachapas venezolanos (corn pancakes). Best of all, this breakfast nirvana is served all day, 7:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.