Rating: *how we rate restaurants
In a nutshell: Twist on breakfast: make-your-own pancakes
Minuses: risk of burning your breakfast
Sound-bite: “Why didn’t I think of this?”
Slappy Cakes originated in Portland, Oregon and has spread to Singapore, the Philipines, Japan and now Maui. This clever take on the most important meal of the day enrolls everyone at the table and makes breakfast the entertainment. The exterior is unassuming, a large grey building tucked into the Honokawai Marketplace. But enter into a vast, bright space with pops of color and soaring ceilings. As you’re lead through the rambling restaurant you’ll immediately notice the griddles in the center of each table- yep, that’s for the pancakes.
Don’t worry, your friendly server will give you a quick tutorial on the Slappy Cakes Panasonic griddle (which will be much appreciated, especially if you can’t read Japanese). The griddle is simple; the hard part is deciding on what kind of pancakes you want to create. The options are endless: different flavors of batter, toppings ranging from savory to sweet, chocolate or fruit, to add toppings while they cook or add on afterwards- tough decisions before breakfast.
Luckily Slappy Cakes serves Maui Oma coffee and has a bar with an inventive drink list that’s sure to get your creative juices flowing. Some of the options include a variety of mimosas, a Bloody Mary made with cucumber vodka, and their own twist on favorites like the Rum for Breakfast (Mai Tai) and Slappy Screw (Screwdriver made with cinnamon sugar rum). Or get the best of both worlds with the Spanish Coffee- (served hot or cold) with fresh bananas, coffee, spices, coffee liquor, and a kick of Bacardi 151. On our visit I chose the Spanish Coffee, because it sounded too interesting to pass up. My companion chose the same but had them hold the bananas. It was definitely a wake up call, and after a sip we were ready for some pancakes.
Our friendly server suggested we make a pancake selection as an appetizer and share another dish. This is a great idea for those dining with impatient keiki since the batter and toppings can be brought out quickly.
First choose from buttermilk, vegan and gluten-free, chocolate, whole grain or Okinawan sweet potato batter and add on from there. We took the traditional route, with Slappy Cake’s signature buttermilk batter- which is yummy on its own and lends itself as a good base to any topping. There is a far range of “fixins”- from the sweet: chocolate chips, fresh fruit or shredded coconut; to the savory: cheeses, mushrooms, scallions or nuts. Toppings include choices like lavender honey, coconut peanut butter or 100% Maple Syrup. Get adventurous and create your own combo or choose one of Slappy Cake’s recommended combinations. Then get to cooking, or for an additional charge they’ll cook it up for you.
The batter comes in a squeeze bottle, which kids young and old will enjoy. Hearts, stars, cartoon characters and letters appear on the griddle and everyone gets in the fun of pouring, adding toppings and flipping. This alone can be worth the trip to Slappy Cakes- but the rest of the menu is the icing on the cake (or the whip cream on the pancake).
The menu has a hearty Southern slant with a local twist: loco moco with red pepper sauce, country fried steak, or sausage gravy and biscuits are sure to please. As are the selection of Benedicts (featuring pork belly, Ahi or Portuguese sausage on a housemade English muffin) and various scrambles. We chose the mushroom, Portuguese sausage and goat cheese scramble and were perfectly pleased. Portions are generous and the potatoes were crisp and delicious. You could order up a few options and share with your companions. Bacon-lovers will be in hog heaven with chicken fried bacon drizzled with housemade apple caramel sauce or candied bacon, caramelized with brown sugar and macadamia nuts.
Open until 2pm, they offer a short lunch menu as well as a Happy Hour (12-2) with $5 drinks and pupus (small plates). Weekly and seasonal specials are also available. Whatever you choose, you’re sure to leave Slappy Cakes well fed and with something to talk about.
Other Reviews: *ordered by accuracy
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