Bean-to-Bar Chocolate Chip Spelt Pancakes at the Roadhouse

A super-tasty way to start your day on the west side of town!

By Ari Weinzweig

One of the seriously most delicious foods we have in the ZCoB is one that, so far at least, has gotten little attention. My forecast is that four or five years from now, the Chocolate Chip Spelt Pancakes at the Roadhouse will be one of the signature items on the morning menu! 

Why? Because a) they taste beyond terrific, b) they’re good for you, and c) they bring a beautiful balance of savory and very subtly sweet in every bite. And, they’re also topped with that absolutely, universally applauded Vermont Creamery Cultured Butter. Which means that what was already a 10 out of 10 just got better once again!

What is spelt?

If you don’t know it, spelt is an ancient grain that’s in the same family as wheat, but with a flavor that’s bigger and nuttier. Low yields have held back its popularity in the volume-centric business world of the 20th century, but like so many traditional foods, we’ve been working hard to bring it back. The folks at the Bakehouse say:

Our organic spelt berries come from Michigan and the surrounding Midwest region. When we mill them on our stone mill, it produces a beautiful cream-colored silky flour with large flakes of nutritious bran. Compared to whole wheat flour, it’s softer, not as absorbent, and produces a very extensible dough.

How to enjoy our spelt pancakes

Swapping in the spelt for the standard wheat flour in the pancakes has boosted the flavor by something like a factor of 50! Nutty, creamy on the tongue, still mellow but marvelously flavorful and delicious. And then you add in a handful of those dark bean-to-bar Nicaragua Chocolate Chips from French Broad Chocolate, and we’re rolling. It’s a great morning time version of the classic French bread and chocolate. Leaning as I do the savory side of things, I’d probably skip out on the chocolate chips and the maple syrup and stick solely to this remarkable old-school butter. Better still, I might order the pancakes with butter and some of the Maine Smoked Salmon from Foley on top. Add a side of sour cream and a good bit of the farm-to-table Tellicherry black pepper and you’ll be rockin’!

Swing by this week and order a plateful! Add in a glass of fresh-squeezed on-site (the juice equivalent of fresh milling for grain) grapefruit juice, and some Roadhouse Joe coffee from the Coffee Company.