Sunday, May 6, 2012

Stepping Stone Cafe (Part 3)

(Original Review -- May 2011)
(Second Review -- October 2011)

Usually, National Pancake Day falls on the last day in February, although this leap year, it was still February 28. Unfortunately, I had a little (big) distraction with the Washington State Bar Examination. And although I was nearly two months late, I ventured to Stepping Stone Cafe on April 20 to eat a stack of mancakes.

For the last couple of months, I've attempted to channel my own freak-eating panda, and potential has surfaced. For example, the failed peanut butter burger attempt at Rock Rest in Colorado was not from capacity overload, but flavor fatigue, heaviness, and a lack of mental toughness.

My friend Roger came along to attempt the challenge with me. A third person who wanted to try the mancakes had to work at the last minute. Oh well, onward we go!

$8.50 for three mancakes? Love it!
I knew bacon would be vital, but meat crack
turned in an MVP performance on this visit!
I didn't want flavor fatigue to strike the death blow this time, so I got a side of bacon with my mancakes. I had Powerade Zero at the ready, if I needed it.

When the stack arrived, I was hoping for extremely fluffy pancakes, since they looked puffy and gorgeous. When I cut into the mancakes, I needed to put in work to saw it with my butterknife. They were also tearing in a way that evoked rubbery, chewy qualities. I hadn't started eating, and I already knew this would be a fight. I'm horrible in guessing how much these three mancakes collectively weighed. Each mancake also retained a bit of lightness, so it could have been worse.

Stack of mancakes...yes, they really are that huge
(Stepping Stone Cafe)
My strategy was to come flying out of the gates, using as little syrup as possible. If I needed to add any condiments, then I wanted it to feel like a treat, not some "not this again" thought racing through my brain. I ate the first mancake in 2:52.

I ate the center portion of the mancakes, then focused on one half. The equivalent of two mancakes exterminated at the 8:45 mark. Then, the flavor wall hit.

But mancakes fear bacon. It's serious Kryptonite to the starchy, boring flavor virtually all pancakes possess. Food wall tries to crush panda. Panda pulls a John Cena and does some superhuman feat to keep going. Feel free to have the adult males boo and the ladies/kids cheer. But it's hard to boo bacon.

The third mancake was easily the hardest, but it went down at 29:45. Yup, 21 minutes to eat the last 12" mancake after dispatching the first one in less than three minutes. I ate it at a leisurely pace anyway, talking with my friend for much of the time. It's still a win for man, my first quantity challenge win anywhere. I'll be building a bacon shrine, because meat crack was the MVP there to pull me through.

****Here's video of me taking down the three mancakes! It's finally re-uploaded after the video was down for a few months! I sincerely apologize if you read this post in the past and clicked on a dead video link!

I wasn't real full afterward, more like a fluffy content panda. Yeah, try envisioning that one.

My friend made a little dent, but ultimately bowed out. Still gotta give him credit for trying.

The mancakes were OK. Nice and piping hot off the flattop, but I would otherwise seek out some extra fluffy pancakes elsewhere. To be fair, larger pancakes are probably more at risk of being chewy and rubbery anyway.

Finished plate
The photo that went on my FB page
and Stepping Stone's FB page!
The service was much better than my last visit, so that by itself increases the rating. A friend told me that the old challenge was to eat the stack of three mancakes PLUS a Smothered Badass omelet. An impossible feat for me, but I honestly may order that Smothered BA next time.

But I'm always wary of the specials. If there are some real awesome ones on the board, I might have to go that route instead. 6/10

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