Eats Beat: Pancake house pays it back for Thanksgiving

Posted 8:24am on Tuesday, Nov. 26, 2013

Grapevine diners can spend Thanksgiving at a $70 hotel turkey buffet with ice carvings and a sushi station.

Or just go to the pancake house.

For the first time, the Oregon-based Original Pancake House will serve a $12.99 Thanksgiving brunch menu, including turkey or ham dinners but also pumpkin pancakes, breakfast crepes, biscuits and regular specials.

To make it a true Thanksgiving, the OPH will split the profit after costs and give half to Grapevine Relief & Community Exchange (GRACE), a faith-based charity food bank, housing provider and clinic.

The way the story goes, OPH’s Dallas-area franchisee was driving around looking for someplace open on Thanksgiving. He decided an OPH should stay open, but to serve both diners and the community.

The restaurant will open at 8 a.m. and close at 1 p.m., so go early. The morning will including regular drawings for pancake parties or “pancakes for a year” cards.

If you’re not familiar with the Original Pancake House, it’s new in Tarrant County but has been in Dallas 25 years.

Specialties include “Dutch baby” crepes, mandarin orange crepes or apple pancakes; 1505 William D. Tate Ave., 817-421-3444,

• Another affordable Thanksgiving dinner is at the Ranchman’s Cafe (the “Ponder steakhouse”) in Ponder, off Farm Road 156 about 10 minutes north of the speedway.

Ranchman’s was mostly booked by midweek, but check.

The $21.95 all-you-can-eat lunch includes turkey and both cornbread dressing and wild rice dressing, plus corn pudding, Brussels sprouts and lots of cobblers and pies; 110 W. Bailey St., Ponder, 940-479-2221, http://www.ranchman .com/.

• Vance Godbey’s, a Sunday buffet restaurant in a 1962-vitnage Texas 199 ranch house, will open Thanksgiving and Christmas, as always.

The holiday buffet — turkey plus petite filet mignon, barbecue, fried catfish and chicken-fried pork tenderloin — sells for $19.99, or $10.99 for children.

Vance Godbey’s is only open to the public Sundays and holidays. It’s old-timey, but the crowds still line up out the door.

It’s at 8601 Jacksboro Highway, Lakeside; 817-237-2218, http://www .facebook .com/VanceGodbeys

• The hotel buffets are mostly booked, but Ferré, Mercury Chophouse and Ruth’s Chris still have tables available.

This is Ferré’s first Thanksgiving brunch, and the menu is impressive: garlic-honey turkey, Peroni-glazed ham, shrimp scampi or sole piccata, with salads or soup and pumpkin tiramisu, $37.50; 215 E. Fourth St., 817-332-0033, http://www . ferrerestaurant .com.

Bud Kennedy’s column appears Wednesdays in Life & Arts and Fridays in 817-390-7538

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