Hubcap-sized pancakes are Pamela's Diners road to riches
P&G's Pamela's Diners have a large part of Pittsburgh covered.
That's not only because of the chain's incredible, hubcap-sized pancakes.
With locations in Millvale, Mt. Lebanon, Oakland, Shadyside, the Strip District and the original site in Squirrel Hill, the restaurants have become a destination point for those with hearty breakfast appetites.
Keith Smith, who manages the Millvale location, has hosted patrons from as far away as Arizona and Indiana who come specifically for the chain's pancakes.
What's the secret?
There's silence before Smith says, "I can't tell you." More silence. "I really can't tell you."
Trust us. The hubcap-sized flapjacks (really, they are that big, albeit for a small car) have an inherent sweetness even before one douses them in maple syrup. They are served wafer-thin, with crispy edges. A mere $4 gets you three pancakes that will tide you over until supper time.
Just don't ask for recipe.
Restaurants don't survive by offering just one menu selection. Pamela's also specializes in omelets, ranging from the Corned Beef and Swiss ($6.25) to Cheese ($5.25). They're also enormous, and come with a mound of home fries (potatoes lyonnaise, to be exact) and a serving of toast.
Another option is California French Toast ($4.25). This is probably not your mom's version (unless you grew up in Los Angeles), but it's nevertheless appealing: Wheat raisin bread dipped in an egg batter rich in vanilla and cinnamon, topped with powdered sugar.
For a little variation (forgive those who want to mess around with perfection), Pamela's also offers Specialty Hotcakes. At $6.25, the choices include Chocolate Chip, Strawberry, Banana Walnut and Blueberry.
Each Pamela's location closes daily by late afternoon, so there are no dinner options. Lunch is served daily (save on Sundays), with a variety of burgers, sandwiches and salads at each locale. Some selections are tailored to the location, with name changes and slight variations. The Chatham Club at the Squirrel Hill locale is made from turkey breast, bacon, cheese, lettuce and tomato. The Duquesne Club at the Shadyside restaurant is almost the same sandwich with ham substituted for the turkey breast. Both are $6.50, and come with a choice of French fries, home fries, onion rings or cole slaw.
Service is quick and friendly at Pamela's locations -- Smith says training the waitstaff correctly is a priority, and "the ones who aren't good don't last" -- but be prepared to wait a bit on weekends, when it seems entire neighborhoods flock to the restaurants. On previous Saturday morning visits to the Squirrel Hill location, which opened 28 years ago, there were often lines out the door.
P&G's Pamela's Diner locations
Millvale: 232 North Ave., 412-821-4655. Hours: 8 a.m-4 p.m. Mondays to Fridays; 8 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturdays; 8 a.m.-2 p.m. Sundays
Mt. Lebanon: 427 Washington Rd., 412-343-3344. Hours: 7:30 a.m.-3 p.m. Mondays to Saturdays; 8 a.m.-3 p.m. Sundays
Oakland: 3703 Forbes Ave., 412-683-4066. Hours: 7:30 a.m.-4 p.m. daily
Shadyside: 5527 Walnut St., 412-683-1003. Hours: 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Mondays to Saturdays; 9 a.m-3 p.m. Sundays
Squirrel Hill: 5813 Forbes Ave., 412-422-9457. Hours: 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Mondays to Saturdays; 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Sundays
Strip District: 60 21st St., 412-281-6366. Hours: 7 a.m.-3 p.m. Mondays to Saturdays; 8 a.m.-3 p.m. Sundays
Web site for all locations is www.pamelasdiner.com .
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Moore hopes to see red (zone) in Steelers debut
- CDC backlog means W.Pa, likely won’t get respiratory virus diagnoses quickly
- PSU figures to flex its top-10 ground ranking Saturday
- Steelers notebook: Ravens DL fined for hit on Roethlisberger
- $5M grant sought for trade center site near Pittsburgh airport
- Predictions are for lots of brilliant color this autumn
- Daughter says of Utah doctor: He’s a ‘monster’
- Inside the glass: Johnston’s opening practice grueling
- Pitt meets Iowa’s muscle
- Ligonier Township considers cellphone tower requests
- Judge lifts order blocking racy state emails