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Day 241: Secret Tuesday Open Houses in Bethesda

Open House at 6725 Hillandale Road

Did you know that real estate open houses are not just for the weekends?  When I first became an agent back in the early 1990’s I was surprised to find out that REALTORS® (pronounced REAL TOUR not REAL I TUR) host open houses for each other (almost secretly) on Tuesdays.  In our local area Tuesday is the day that most real estate offices have their weekly “Sales Meetings” and hence it’s also a great time to go out after the meeting and see the new inventory of available homes for sale.  Of course the internet has changed this wonderful custom.  What used to be a widely attended event, filled with great food (supplied by agents and “hungry” loan officers), conversation, and collegiate cordiality amongst our peers, has sadly grown less popular.  I suspect the internet is at work here because now with the incorporation of high quality photography into the MLS system, the real estate community can sit at home and quickly browse through the new listings without ever taking off their bunny slippers.  I guess I’m an old-timer now because I still feel their is great value in putting your “boots on the ground.”

Here’s how you can get in on this event both on Tuesdays and during the weekends.  Depending on how an agent has coded the open house in our system (“Broker” vs. “Public”) you can see which houses are open by going to is our official MLS service available to the general public online.  That’s right!  The latest and greatest information the REALTOR community uses is NOW available to the average citizen. is superior in my opinion because the contract status of the property is more up-to-date then many of the other web sites.  I often get calls, weeks after a property is under contract, from people looking at outdated information from some other website online. Down in the bottom of the main screen is a Open House icon with balloons.  To the right (remember we still want to keep this stuff secret) is the link “+search all.”   This is a great tool if you want to plan your open house tours on the weekends as well or see if a particular home will be open so you can send mom and dad over to take a peek at something you like.  Other websites like Trulia have similar functions.  When you go to the open house (even if you just see an odd open sign on a Tuesday in front of a house you are driving by) tell the agent who you are, that you are not an agent, but “Brian Maury” suggested you stop by to see the house!  If you’re interested in the house this is no different than if you were a curious neighbor visiting on any other open house on a Sunday.

Renovated Kitchen

Speaking of open houses, this Sunday, from 1-4 p.m., Amy and I will be hosting an open house at our newest offering located at 6725 Hillandale Road in the Kenwood Forest community.  The totally renovated one bedroom condo is just steps from downtown Bethesda and would make a great home or investment property.  To see a virtual tour of the property visit our website at  See you this weekend (or maybe even today) at the open house! ~ Brian

Day 240: Maryland's First Solar Power Pole

Solar Pole in Bethesda

I was getting gas recently at the Exxon Station near the Wildwood Shopping Center this month when I noticed something peculiar that I had not seen before.  The strange device looked like a gas pump that was powered by solar panels.  Turns out I was looking at Maryland’s first “Sun-Tracking Electric Vehicle Charger”- the Solar Pole.  I’m a techie at heart and this thing is cool.

Governor Martin O’Malley and County Executive Isiah Leggett were on hand August 8th to unveil the Solar Power Pole, Maryland’s first high-efficiency, sun-tracking electric vehicle (EV) solar charging station.  Advanced Technology & Research Corp. (ATR), based in Columbia, Maryland developed the device that tracks the sun as the earth rotates to capture clean solar power.  The solar power is converted into electric power and then stored in the utility grid.

Standing at 18′ tall the Solar Pole has six solar panels on top of the pole and features a very small footprint designed for urban environments.  The Solar Pole can charge two electric vehicles at a time and an hour’s charge on the Solar Pole will translate into about 20 miles of vehicle driving.

A local commercial real estate owner, “Tripp” Aubinoe, installed the Solar Pole in the parking lot of his medical office building at 10401 Old Georgetown Road to provide service to his tenants and their customers.  He said that he installed the device in anticipation of a “flood of electric cars” to soon enter the market.  Last July ATR was awarded an $1.1 million dollar grant from the Maryland Energy Administration as part of Maryland’s effort to develop a green energy economy in the state. ~Brian

Day 237: Pre-hurricane Show at Parker's


Come on “Irene”, oh I swear….

At this moment, you mean everything….

Here she comes, good old Irene, heading to Bethesda!  In the spirit of fun and good cheer, Parker’s Bistro is inviting us out for a pre-hurricane show tonight starting at 9 PM with the 19th Street Band – one of my favorite local performers!  Here is an excerpt from their website:

The 19th Street Band

The 19th Street Band is a Washington D.C. based group best known for their enthusiasm and ability to entertain any crowd!   Whether you’re young or maybe just young-at-heart, The 19th Street Band serves up an eclectic mix of both modern and classic tunes that is sure to please the masses!   Their style can best be described as an acoustic mix of popular Rock, Country, Celtic, and Bluegrass songs.   Moreover, each member of the band is classically trained in music and offers their vocal talents to create a great mix of styles and perfectly blended harmonies!

Yea, I know we talk about Parker’s a lot in this blog but, as we mentioned before, it’s our local Cheers bar – where everybody knows your name and they’re always glad you came!  Come on down tonight and sing, dance, drink and be merry before Irene blows in and ruins our fun.  Parkers is located at 4824 Bethesda Ave.  Check out their Facebook page for tonight’s gig.     ~Amy

Day 224: Power Hour at Morton's

A good friend of ours is leaving the area so a group of us gathered recently for happy hour to wish him well on his new endeavor.  Our “happy hour” ended up continuing on for many hours!  Before we knew it, it was 9:30 PM and we realized that we had not had any dinner yet!  Someone suggested we head over to Morton’s located at 7400 Wisconsin Ave inside the Hyatt Regency to enjoy their Power Hour bar bites and drink specials.  I had never considered Morton’s for happy hour but it was great!  Their website states that Power Hour is from Open – 6:30 PM and 9 PM – Close, although I thought I saw a sign inside that said 9:30 – Close.

The Cosmo

It was another perfect summer evening so we walked from Bethesda Row over to Morton’s where we were greeted by their friendly staff who seated us in the cushy chairs at one of their tall bar tables.  We ordered drinks first of course.  During Power Hour, they offer $5 beer, $6 wines and $7.50 “Mortinis” and Cocktails.  I opted for the Power Hour Cosmo which was very nice.  But the best was yet to come…the food!

Their Bar Bites menu is brief but not short on taste!  We selected quite a few items and found each one to be truly mouth-watering!

Here is the Bar Bites menu:

Iceberg Wedge Bites
Blue Cheese Steak Fries
Chicken Goujonettes

Mini Crab Cake BLT’s
Smoked Salmon Pizza
Three Prime Cheeseburgers
Four Petite Filet Mignon Sandwiches
Oysters on the Half Shell and Colossal Shrimp Cocktail also available (We paid $2.75 per shrimp but seriously each one was like a meal in itself!)

Truly Colossal Shrimp

Our favorite selections were the iceberg wedge bites and the four petite filet mignon sandwiches (awesome!) as well as the colossal shrimp cocktail – the largest, meatiest shrimp I think I have ever experienced!  But ALL the food we tried made everybody squeal with delight – even the men, although I am sure they would deny it!   We hit the jackpot at Morton’s Power Hour – my new favorite place to go for a late night munchies attack or for a bite to share after a movie or a visit to the Roundhouse Theater for a show.  Next time, I hope to check out the oysters on the half shell!   ~Amy

Day 214: Back in Black

The bar

Recently, after our Day 173 blog post, Meet Me at the Finn, the marketing director for BlackFinn American Saloon offered to share with us a sneak peek of their new menu.   It was a treat we just couldn’t pass up!  We called a couple of friends and headed over to 4901 Fairmont Ave in Bethesda.  We were “Back in Black” but not to drink.  We had a whole new mission – to eat!  And did we ever eat!  Oh, we drank too of course!  I mean c’mon, it is BlackFinn!

After a round of cocktails served by their terrific bartenders in the lively and well-equipped bar, we were guided down into the lower level of the three-story restaurant.  I had never been down to that area before but could imagine a heck of a good time there watching football when the season comes around.  Steelertown baby!

The Mediterranean Platter - get this!

Our generous meal began with some really scrumptous appetizers.  Since one of our friends is a vegetarian, we tried the Mediterranean platter and also the BlackFinn platter.  While visually the Med Platter doesn’t jump out as something you wouldn’t be able to stop eating, let me tell you, that stuff is GOOD.  I couldn’t stop snacking.  I wanted to just get a spoon and scoop up the roasted tomato dip!  The hummus was great too.  I highly recommend the platter, whether you are a veggie person or a carnivore.

Dinner was a fun experiment for us.  We all ordered different entrees and then shared bites with one another.  When I tried my friend’s shrimp and grits, I was so bummed.  It made me wish that I had ordered HIS meal instead of mine!  Even though the pecan crusted rockfish I had ordered was tasty, the shrimp and grits was off-the-charts delicious!  The grits were fluffy and nice – not soupy like some places make it and the cajun seasonings were zingy and flavorful.  Very nice!

The Chocolate Cup - Sinfully delicious!

But what really knocked our socks off was their delectable dessert that the manager encouraged us to try  – the “chocolate cup.”  It’s actually a warm mug of real peanut butter encased in chocolate cake with ice cream and some caramel sauce.  People, the chocolate cup alone is worth the trip to BlackFinn.  Who knew?  The manager told us how they created this concoction in the kitchen (it’s very simple) but I won’t reveal the recipe here.  You’ll just have to go to BlackFinn and try it for yourself!  Maybe the manager will let you in on the secret too.

So cheers to Blackfinn for a terrific new menu and a rockin’ good time!  See you there for football season!  The restaurant won’t be the only thing in black and gold!


Day: 210 Ronald and Me at the new McD's

Ronald McDonald & Carter (great face!)

There are three McDonald’s located in Bethesda and I know them all too well.  I’m not proud of the fact I know them well but my boys have a McDonald’s chicken nugget obsession and I indulge them.  We frequent the McDonald’s at Montgomery Mall, the McDonald’s on Pearl Street (between Montgomery Ave. and East-West Highway), and tonight’s blog the “new” McDonald’s on River Road.  The River Road McDonald’s, the first in Montgomery County, has undergone a major $500K+ modern facelift.

I finally meet Ronald McDonald!

This year McDonald’s has plans to “re-image” the standard McDonald’s look with a more contemporary look more reminiscent of Starbucks.  And our River Road McDonald’s is sporting the “new” image McDonald’s will likely have for the next 25 years .  Now there’s stone on the exterior and the large Golden Arches have been replaced with a curved ribbon of gold above the entrance.  The interior now looks like something you would see in Architectural Digest depicting the latest modern cuisine in New York.  Stools replace most of the booths, and round seating with “leather” seats provides much more comfortable dining.  High tables with stools and  flat-screen TVs, and free wi-fi now greet you as well.  According to the company, McDonald’s sales jump 7 percent in remodeled stores and they plan to remodel 600 stores in 2011.

The new Golden Arch!

The River Road McDonald’s has been running specials all month leading up to their grand re-opening on Sunday July 31.  Today we just happened to stop by and got to see Ronald McDonald in the flesh.  Man he hasn’t aged a day in all the years I’ve known him.  How does he do that? ~Brian

Day 205: BOGO Burger Day at Parker's Restaurant

Burger Day!

It’s Monday and that means it’s Burger Day at Parker’s Restaurant.  Parker’s is located at 4824 Bethesda Ave. and offers a casual dining area and sports bar.  Come dressed any way you like.  As we described on Day 37, we love going to Parker’s for happy hour between 3 PM – 6 PM weekdays.  Since it’s across the street from our office, it’s our own Cheers for RE/MAX!

Our cheeseburgers

Have the Monday blues?  A burger makes it better!  Take it from us – we just ate a couple!  The Monday deal is this – buy one burger (and two drinks) and you get the second burger for only $0.99.  Parker’s burgers are fresh-grilled and tasty.  There are four burger options: a good old-fashioned cheeseburger, the hickory burger, the bayou burger and the roasted Portobello burger.  We both opted for the cheeseburgers today but instead of fries, Brian tried a side of asparagus.  They were big, fat, nicely grilled asparagus stalks and they were really tasty!

The Restaurant

Parker’s is a great place to party and August 20th they are throwing their own 20th birthday party. The details are posted on their Facebook page which you can check out right here.  There will be a DJ, drink specials, food specials, door prizes, a raffle and more.  Sounds like fun.   I am sure they will have the drinks flowin’, the music hoppin’ and the food cookin’!  Let’s party!


Day 204: After Movie Treat – Haagen Dazs


Häagen Dazs

I have a good friend who uses the expression, “That was top 5” referring to some place, meal, or other material object.  The phrase means that the particular subject would rank in his personal “top five” of best experiences of his life.  Well the Landmark Bethesda Row Cinema is “Top 5” for me with this caveat.  Part of what makes the experience great is the after movie ice-cream cone I used to enjoy at the adjacent Gifford’s Ice Cream shop.  Needless to say I was very disappointed when Gifford’s closed, amid litigation with the owners of Gifford’s and an investor who purchased the previous eight locations.  Stepping into the void left by the closed Gifford’s store is competitor Häagen Dazs in the former Gifford’s location.  They’ve been there a few weeks now.

Special Cones

In the 1960s Häagen Dazs was founded by Reuben and Rose Mattus of Brooklyn, New York.  The name implies an “old-world” origin of the company, like Holland or Denmark, but really it’s just a savvy New Yorker whose mother used to make and sell ice-cream from a horse-drawn wagon on the streets of the Bronx.  In the beginning there were just three flavors –chocolate, vanilla and coffee.  Today one can enjoy over two dozen classic flavors and more than a half-dozen “limited edition” flavors such as Sweet Chai Latte which is purported to be “inspired by the distinctive tastes of India.”  It’s chai tea blended with rich, “velvety” ice cream.  My favorite is Mint Chip.  As Häagen Dazs’ website states it really is “delightfully refreshing and invigorating.” They describe it as natural mint essence infused into a smooth, creamy base, with rich chocolate flavored chips added for the perfect finish to this cool treat.”  With 300 calories in a 1/2 a cup (that’s less than a scoop) and 60% of your daily requirement of saturated fat, this ice-cream could be a real life saver in an emergency.  Let’s say the federal government shuts down and chaos ensues.  Or I bet the 15 people stranded on that uninhabited island near Guam recently could have used a little saturated fat – don’t you think?  Anyway, after a great movie at Landmark, such as academy award nominee Incendies, DEFINITELY A TOP 5 MOVIE, stop in and enjoy a treat at Häagen Dazs.  However, if nothing but the classic Washingtonian Gifford’s will do then stop by the recently re-opened Chevy Chase Gifford’s (under the old management) near the Clyde’s Restaurant in Friendship Heights. ~Brian

Day 203: Bethesda Outdoor Movies

BUP logo 2011

Mark your calendars for Tuesday, July 26th to Saturday, July 30th to enjoy movies under the stars!  Bethesda Outdoor Movies, hosted by Bethesda Urban Partnership, has a terrific lineup for its 2011 summer movie series.  Here is the schedule for a this fun and FREE event:

Tuesday, July 26:  The Breakfast Club – This one is a true 80’s cult classic.  It’s rated R (sorry kids), but anyone who wore shoulder pads and big hair in the 80’s will appreciate this flick!  Too much fun!

Wednesday, July 27:  Bye, Bye Birdie – All I know of this one is that it’s a 60’s era film.  An oldie but a goodie.  NR

Thursday, July 28:  The King’s Speech – One of my favorite modern movies!  If you didn’t see it in the theater earlier this year, it would be a great choice for your Bethesda Outdoor Movie selection!  (Rated R)

Friday: July 29:  Rocky – A feel-good boxing classic.  The theme music is ringing in my head now!  Rated PG

Saturday, July 30:  The Social Network – Surprisingly a really great film in my opinion.  Who knew that Justin Timberlake could act?!  And quite well, I might add.  The movie is entertaining, interesting and fun.  Rated PG-13.

So bring your lawn chairs and your honey to Woodmont Triangle at the corner of Norfolk & Auburn Aves. The shows begin at 9 PM sharp and I have no idea what they do if it’s raining.  Might be fun to find out though.  The seating area is actually on the street so a blanket won’t do much for you on the ground.   Chairs are definitely recommended.  You might also think about some bug spray too.  There are quite a few restaurants around so food and drinks are all taken care of.  Enjoy a romantic night under the stars at the 7th annual Bethesda Outdoor Movie Series.   ~Amy

Day 202: Tia Queta – A Little Bit of Mexico in Bethesda

The boldly-colored Tia Queta on Del Ray Ave

A few days ago, Brian and I were invited to attend a happy hour party at Tia Queta for a friend leaving the area.  Tia Queta is located at 4839 Del Ray Ave.  I had never been there before and didn’t even know where it was.  It was a warm evening and we were late (as usual) but even though it was a Friday evening and the busy dinner hour, parking in the public lot next door was no problem at all.  Now that area parking lots offer Pay-By-Cell, we didn’t have to run to the car to re-fill the meter either.

When you walk in the door of the unassuming, yet boldly colored Tia Queta, you immediately feel transported to Mexico.  The festive music and brightly colored murals on the walls begin your attitude adjustment until such time as the tequila can finish the job!  On this particular evening, our party was held upstairs on their rooftop terrace.  What fun!  The evening was warm and so was our greeting.  The casual atmosphere of the rooftop terrace was the perfect backdrop for a lively gathering of friends.  We really felt like we were somewhere in Mexico, far away from busy Bethesda.

Tia Queta

The drinks came first – mostly margaritas and Coronas of course.  Then came some wonderfully prepared dishes of all kinds.  The nachos and quesadillas were truly mouth-watering.  Loved the salsa too.  I think we also had what they call “miniature enchilada verdes.”  Sooo yummy!  I lived in San Diego for several years and enjoyed authentic Mexican food often.  The closest I have come to that since then is Tia Queta – and that’s saying something.

I am looking forward to a trip back sometime soon to enjoy a full dinner and perhaps some sopapillas for dessert.  I also noticed that Tia Queta offers catering services – an ideal option for a summer party.  But one of the best things that stuck with me about my visit to Tia Queta was the service and care offered by its owner, Roberto Montesinos, and his staff.  We received a warm greeting when we arrived and a big thank you when we left.  It felt like we had been visiting someone’s Mexican home.  If you have never stopped in for a meal at Tia Queta in its 31 years in Bethesda, it’s never too late to try it.  You’ll be glad you did.  ¡Buen Provecho!     ~Amy

Day 201: Heat Wave Bethesda 2011

The heat wave begins in Bethesda.  Temperatures in the 100’s have arrived!  What will you do to cool off?

We recommend a swim at Bethesda Pool, shave ice at Clayboys, Calder’s Cart or a Swirl at Uncle Julio’s Rio Grande Restaurant – and NOT necessarily in that order!

Stay cool everyone….  Amy & Brian

Shave Ice Flavors


Swirl from Rio Grande

Day 200: Bethesda-Chevy Chase Restaurant Week…again!

BUP logo 2011

It’s that time again, time for Bethesda Restaurant Week.  It’s a great excuse to get out and enjoy a good meal at an affordable price.  Try a new dish at one of your favorite restaurants or give a restaurant a try that you have never experienced before.  The 28 participating Bethesda and Chevy Chase restaurants are listed on the Bethesda Urban Partnership website.  Lunches are $12 – $15 and dinners are $30…well except for Le Vieux Logis who is offering $29 dinners just to really shake things up!

Some of our favorite participating restaurants include:

Assagi Mozzarella Bar

Food, Wine & Co

The Irish Inn at Glen Echo


Le Vieux Logis

Mon Ami Gabi


and Redwood Restaurant

But we have yet to try some of the places on the BUP list.  Perhaps this will be our chance to find a new favorite!  Any suggestions?


Day 199: Take the plunge!

Bethesda Community Pool

It’s been awhile since I visited the Bethesda Community Pool located at Little Falls Parkway and Hillandale Road near the Capital Crescent Trail.  I used to live in the Kenwood Forest townhome community nearby and take my older girls here all the time.

Late one afternoon last week I visited the pool with my youngest son.  We had a blast.  Since the last time I visited they’ve built an entirely new six-lane 25 meter lap pool on the property.  The main pool is in the shape of a “Z” and features a 50 meter long course and a shorter 25 meter course that goes into the well of the diving area.  The diving area includes a large slide.  My son is not quite able to handle the deep-end yet so, to much disappointment, he has to wait probably until next year before he can give the slide a try.

New Lap Pool

The pool is open weekdays 1:00 – 8:00 p.m. and weekends 12 noon to 8:00 p.m.  Did you have a paper route as a child?  If so they have an “early bird lap swim” from 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.  Not that early really.  The pool features a pool house with his and hers entrances.  First you have to check in with the staff and there are numerous options for paying to use the pool.  The easiest way to enter the pool is with a pool pass.  Click here to apply.  You have to be a Montgomery County resident to apply (and yes they will verify residency) and a Family Pass for up to four people is $275 ($20 each person thereafter) for the season.  A couple can get a “Pair” pass for $240.  There is no gender requirement for a couple you just need to reside at the same address.  An individual pass will set you back $195 and seniors get $20 off that.  A senior couple gets in for the summer for $230.  Speaking of the senior rate, that begins at only 55!  The older I get the younger 55 seems.

Now maybe you’re like me and you just want to pay as you go.  Each trip to the pool will cost $6 for an adult and $4 for a child; seniors at $4.50.  If you come in after 5:30 for the “twilight” swim the cost is reduced by 50¢ to $1.00.  As if that was not enough, you can also get a “P12 Card” good for 12 visits for the price of 10.  If all this is confusing just call the pool at (301) 652-1598.  I’m surprised the County has not yet developed an iPhone app for all this!

Speaking of technology.  When we were paying for our “twilight” pass the other day I noticed people zipping through the line next to me courtesy of a finger ID technology the County has up and running at the entrance.  What you do is put your forefinger in a device that scans your fingerprint and then records your visit.  Not sure what happens if your fingerprint does not match or you are on the “no-dive” terrorist list.  Perhaps you’re forced into the baby pool for a dunking of noticeably warmer water.  Why is the water so much warmer and slightly discolored there anyway? The next time the temperature starts to soar, head on over and instead of just putting a timid toe in the water, put your finger in the scanner! ~ Brian

Day 189: Would Norman Rockwell have painted this park?

Woodacres Park

After I was born I came home from the hospital to a small brick colonial located on Newburn Drive in the bedroom community of Wood Acres.  The Wood Acres neighborhood is bounded by Massachusetts Avenue to the west, River Road to the east and Goldsboro Road to the north and along its southern edge residents here enjoy a very unique and special park.  There are not many neighborhoods in Bethesda that have a park in the middle of the neighborhood and there are fewer still that have a park that is adjacent to the elementary school (recently renovated Wood Acres Elementary).  The proximity of the park next to the large ball fields of the elementary school results in park that meets a wide variety of outdoor needs including soccer, softball, baseball, and a number of special activities held here.  To enter the park take Massachusetts Avenue to Wynwood Road and drive to end where it dead ends into Woodacres Park.

Zip Line

In 1999, the residents of Wood Acres formed a citizens group called Friends of Wood Acres Park to raise funds to renovate the 10.4 acre park that includes two tennis courts and a basketball court. The park renovation and fundraising was a huge success with funding topping over $100,000.  Contributions from the Wood Acres Citizens Association, neighbors, friends, and businesses made up nearly 70% of the funds raised to renovate the park.  The result is a wonderfully updated park featuring an array of new playground equipment, benches, swings, slides, and a bike friendly “highway” that circles the park.  The newly renovated park was re-dedicated on July 4, 2001 during one of the highly acclaimed annual Independence Day celebrations that Wood Acres has become famous for.  The annual 4th of July parade, complete with competing floats from various streets and local political leaders, culminates at the Woodacres Park where citizen volunteers await to serve soft drinks, hot dogs, ice-cream and other treats.  Seriously, as my brother Matthew says of Wood Acres, “It’s Norman Rockwell come to life.”

Woodacres Park

My kids love to come here and climb all over the equipment (especially the play equipment that resembles a train), chase each other around the rubberized highway, jump on the “zip line”, and have me push them high on the swings.  Situated under the canopy of large mature trees, this park gets just the right mixture of sun and shade all year-long,  The park, as well as the community’s spirit, are truly one of Bethesda’s treasures and would have made great canvass for our beloved Norman Rockwell. ~Brian

Day 188: The Original Pancake House

The Original Pancake House

Today we stopped by one of our favorite breakfast stops –  The Original Pancake House located at 7700 Wisconsin Avenue (located in the office triangle between Woodmont Avenue, Old Georgetown Road and Wisconsin Avenues).  The Original Pancake House was founded in Portland, Oregon in 1953 and has since expanded to over 100 restaurants from New Jersey to California.  We start off our order with real fresh-squeezed orange juice that is so refreshing.  Today my young boys got their chocolate milk in a small styrofoam cup with a lid reminiscent of a coffee top from Starbucks.  They were really cute.  The portions here are huge so consider ordering just one order and splitting it with another adult.  One of my personal favorites here is a side of bacon.  They prepare very thick cut bacon that is quite lean.  I ordered one of my favorites here the blueberry pancakes.  Pancakes have been around a long time but The Original Pancake House really knows how to make perfectly fluffy pancakes that are both light but nicely textured.  The secret they say is their recipe for “old-fashioned sourdough yeast” that they use in their pancake batter.   It is grown in their own kitchens from a culture of potatoes, flour and sugar.  When the blueberry pancakes arrive they have a small cup of blueberry syrup with real whole blueberries in the syrup.  Wow it’s mouth-watering again just thinking about them.  Amy often orders the Georgia Pecan Pancakes that are filled and topped with hot toasted pecans and lightly dusted with powdered sugar.  They really have a great breakfast menu with everything including waffles, crepes, eggs (any style), cereals, and omelets.  They also serve a great lunch as well.

Lots of fun before or after the meal outside

If you come on the weekends be prepared to wait to be seated as the line can get pretty crowded some days.  The good news is there is practically a park for the kids to play at in the courtyard just outside the restaurant.  I blogged about this a few days ago.  After breakfast the kids went outside to play at the fountain but instead decided to terrorize the other patrons in the restaurant by gawking at themselves in the mirrored windows of the restaurant.  They could see their own reflections in the windows but did not realize the people trying to enjoy their meals inside were on the other side and really wouldn’t enjoy seeing two boys smile and make syrup covered faces at them.  Quickly we got the boys focused on the fountains and other ways to traumatize me instead.  The Original Pancake House and the courtyard is a great place for kids and a great meal.  The restaurant also gives back to the community by hosting an annual Christmas breakfast for the homeless and the needy.   Their website describes the event “[They] coordinate with local social services agencies to serve a free breakfast to almost 500 invitation-only guests. Close to 100 volunteers have made this an annual holiday ritual, each bringing a new hat, scarf, or pair of gloves as gifts for the guests in addition to pitching in to cook, serve and clean up afterwards. Monetary donations are used to provide blankets, toiletries, and clothing. There are even volunteer musicians who serenade the guests with carols.”  Stop by and enjoy a visit to The Original Pancake House.  ~Brian