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Photograph by Sarah Boyum

Wendell’s Serves Denver’s Most Feast-Worthy Pancakes

The Berkeley diner's massive griddle cakes will please both traditionalists and innovators.

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Pancakes can be polarizing: For purists, it’s buttermilk in the batter or nothing, and garnishes stop at real maple syrup and butter. Others hunger for fruity fillings, sweet sauces, and even whipped cream on top. (Pancakes are not ice cream sundaes, people.) But Eric Lee, the chef at four-month-old Wendell’s, a diner in Berkeley, has created a pancake to please traditionalists and innovators. His buttermilk-based recipe, lightened with whipped egg whites and infused with brandy, lemon zest, and vanilla paste, results in fluffy, flavorful griddle cakes practically the size of hubcaps; $11 gets you two of the behemoths. “I wanted Wendell’s pancakes to be gigantic,” Lee says, “so when the plate comes to your table, you’ll be crushed—not by a gut bomb, but by the value.” The only debate remaining is which topping set you’ll choose: the classic-with-a-twist combo of maple butter and maple syrup; crunchy maple pecans, butter, and lemon zest; or our favorite, a seasonal fruit compote offset by sweet clotted cream and, surprisingly, thyme. The savory, slightly minty herb lends such fresh flavor, it’ll woo even flapjack minimalists. 3838 Tennyson St., 720-485-3901

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