Flapjack Flip-Off VII: Bananarama!

Who will claim the throne of the pancake purveyors?

The If These Were Any Drier They Would Be a Fire HazardAward honors the ELEVENTH STREET DINER's desiccated discs of slightly salty, blandly flavored jacks (FSF: 7). Decent cup of joe, and bonus points given for quick refills, properly softened butter pats, and best flapjack-eating environment. Bonus points detracted for Smucker's Breakfast Syrup devoid of even fake maple flavoring.

The They Go ON TOP of Corn Flakes, But INSIDE of Pancakes Award is tossed in the direction of PELICAN CAFE, whose epicurean Einsteins of the kitchen simply scattered sliced bananas atop the pancakes instead of within. Cakes were dry, sordid affairs (FSF: 5) paired with a pourer of fake syrup. No butter offered, nor glass of water (serving pancakes without water is specifically forbidden under rules set forth in the Geneva Conventions' little-known Breakfast Addendum). Service was friendly; coffee less so. On the plus side, flapjacks were attractively striated in mahogany hues.

The Getting Batter All the Time Award is given to J.J.'s AMERICAN DINER, which attempted a valiant comeback after its humiliating defeat in the blueberry battle of last season, when we complained that their hotcakes seemed "dry-cleaned rather than griddled." Perhaps because of that description, this time around the kitchen made sure to authenticate the cooking method by passing out pancakes pockmarked with black crud from the grill. Otherwise it was a much improved showing. The large, floppy flapjacks tasted a bit biscuitlike (Bisquick mix?), with a noticeable spike of vanilla, and were the only ones we encountered with double banana action — warmly cooked inside, cool slices on top (FSF: 8). Maple syrup boasted full, faux-maple flavor. Freshly brewed coffee, too, which earns double points.

JOE ROCCO

Location Info

Map

Eleventh Street Diner

1065 Washington Ave.
Miami Beach, FL 33139

Category: Restaurant > American

Region: South Beach

S&S Diner

1757 NE 2nd Ave.
Miami, FL 33132

Category: Restaurant > American

Region: Downtown/Overtown

Biltmore Hotel & Resort

1200 Anastasia Ave.
Coral Gables, FL 33134

Category: Hotels and Resorts

Region: South Dade

Bagels & Co.

11064 Biscayne Blvd.
North Miami, FL 33161-7477

Category: Restaurant > Deli

Region: Upper Eastside/Miami Shores/Biscayne Park

Jimmy's East-Side Diner

7201 Biscayne Blvd.
Miami, FL 33138

Category: Restaurant > American

Region: Upper Eastside/Miami Shores/Biscayne Park

JJ's American Diner

1450 S. Dixie Highway
Miami, FL 33146

Category: Bars and Clubs

Region: Coral Gables/South Miami

Details

Eleventh Street Diner, 1065 Washington Ave, Miami Beach; 305-534-6373. Breakfast daily, 7:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Pelican Cafe, Pelican Hotel, 826 Ocean Dr, Miami Beach; 305-673-1000. Breakfast daily, 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Bagels & Co., 11064 Biscayne Blvd, Miami; 305-892-2435. Breakfast daily, 6:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Jimmy’s East Side Diner, 7201 Biscayne Blvd, Miami; 305-754-3692. Breakfast daily, 6:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

J.J.’s American Diner, 1450 S Dixie Hwy, Coral Gables; 305-669-2698. Breakfast daily, 7:00 a.m. to midnight.

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JIMMY'S EAST SIDE DINER takes the I Didn't Know Pancakes Came in This ColorAward for its yellow griddlecakes gilded with slices of banana. Nicely done — smoothly textured, steamy (FSF: 9), served with soft aluminum-wrapped butter pats and a glass pourer of mock maple syrup. Fairly strong coffee, and alert service, too. Still, in regards to the ideal banana pancake, there really should be a difference in color between the banana and the pancake.

And The Mrs. Beeton Flapjack Flip-Off Trophyis proudly presented to ... BAGELS AND CO., for the fluffiest of flapjacks, golden brown with white, marvelously moist interiors speckled with sweet, softly cooked circles of banana (FSF: 9). So impressive a stack that one could, and did, ignore so-so coffee and the plastic squeeze-bottle of Log Cabin Original Syrup on the table (maple syrup is listed as one of many minor ingredients). One caveat: The menu offers only banana-nut pancakes, so you'll have to request an omission of the nuts.

Heartfelt congratulations to our winner. There is, regrettably, no monetary award (or at least not directly, although a number of former contestants have made out like bandits via defamation cases against us). Be that as it may, Bagels and Company possesses sole bragging rights as the premier purveyor of pancakes until a new establishment is bestowed with the Beeton beacon of excellence during next year's Flapjack Flip-Off VIII. Eight, as you may well know, is the number of pawns on a chess board, pinches to a teaspoon, bits in a byte....

Eleventh Street Diner, 1065 Washington Ave, Miami Beach; 305-534-6373. Breakfast daily, 7:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Pelican Cafe, Pelican Hotel, 826 Ocean Dr, Miami Beach; 305-673-1000. Breakfast daily, 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Bagels & Co., 11064 Biscayne Blvd, Miami; 305-892-2435. Breakfast daily, 6:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Jimmy’s East Side Diner, 7201 Biscayne Blvd, Miami; 305-754-3692. Breakfast daily, 6:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. J.J.’s American Diner, 1450 S Dixie Hwy, Coral Gables; 305-669-2698. Breakfast daily, 7:00 a.m. to midnight.

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