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Best of 2000: Best Pancake Joint In Town

The Family House of Pancakes
562 Broadway, Chula Vista
(619) 425-5133

Thirty-six years ago, Mrs. Spizzano arrived from Italy with her husband and family and started this modest restaurant with one aim. "I'm not here to make money," she'd always say, "I'm here to make a living." Maybe that's why you get 12-egg omelets, and pancakes so popular that on Saturday mornings people line up around the block. They've even installed benches for them outside. Their recipe is "so secret," even Betty, who has been waitressing here 29 years, doesn't know it. "Cooks still haven't told me," she says. But it's not just flavor. It's quantity. Order a two-egg breakfast with pancakes ($4.25), pay $1.50 more to get the Idaho potato pancakes, and watch three big white china plates appear: one loaded with two eggs over-easy and a slew of thin-sliced home-style potatoes, the second with three potato pancakes (plus bacon and butter), and the third plate with whipped cream and apple sauce. The Idaho pancakes taste brown and fresh and tender and moist and distinctly potatoey. But load 'em up anyway with the apple sauce and cream, and pour boysenberry and apricot syrups on them from slide-top jars. You will come to a sticky end, friend. Sticky but very happy. Open 6:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., seven days.

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The Family House of Pancakes
562 Broadway, Chula Vista
(619) 425-5133

Thirty-six years ago, Mrs. Spizzano arrived from Italy with her husband and family and started this modest restaurant with one aim. "I'm not here to make money," she'd always say, "I'm here to make a living." Maybe that's why you get 12-egg omelets, and pancakes so popular that on Saturday mornings people line up around the block. They've even installed benches for them outside. Their recipe is "so secret," even Betty, who has been waitressing here 29 years, doesn't know it. "Cooks still haven't told me," she says. But it's not just flavor. It's quantity. Order a two-egg breakfast with pancakes ($4.25), pay $1.50 more to get the Idaho potato pancakes, and watch three big white china plates appear: one loaded with two eggs over-easy and a slew of thin-sliced home-style potatoes, the second with three potato pancakes (plus bacon and butter), and the third plate with whipped cream and apple sauce. The Idaho pancakes taste brown and fresh and tender and moist and distinctly potatoey. But load 'em up anyway with the apple sauce and cream, and pour boysenberry and apricot syrups on them from slide-top jars. You will come to a sticky end, friend. Sticky but very happy. Open 6:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., seven days.

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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