I Thought the Brief Was Hotcakes So Here is My Piece About Hotcakes.
By Andrew Broadley (he/him)
As a child, I grew up playing football during an era where we all called it soccer and the player of the day was awarded a McDonald’s voucher because well, McDonald’s were the sponsor of the whole competition. Marketing 101. While I loved my McDonald’s visits with my dad, I was somewhat of an anomaly for a child my age. I hated the hotcakes. McDonald’s is somewhat famous for these little guys but they just never sat right with me. But was I right in my thinking? Did I possess a refined palette that even in my infancy knew taste from trash, or was I just a fussy little bugger? I had to find out.
I informed Rebecca that she should expect to see hotcake related expenses show up on the company card and I let loose, beginning a journey to get to the bottom of all this hotcake madness.
9:12am, Burger King
Burger King once lined Queen Street with no less than three stores, but Covid hit them hard and all three have been vanquished, leaving me with a drive to Dominion Road. I took the trip early, which was clearly a mistake as I sat in Auckland traffic all morning.
What to say about the hotcakes? Not a lot. They tasted the way I remember McDonald’s tasting, but without the charm of McDonald’s. Good value though, not that I was paying.
Price: 3.5 Taste: 2.5 Texture: 3 Presentation: 3 Toppings: 3.5
How to follow up ‘McDonald’s lite’? With McDonald’s itself. I’ll be honest though, the hotcakes were kinda shit. Young Andy clearly knew his gastronomy. I am fairly confident McDonald's are just selling us on nostalgia 'cause the place was absolutely packed with people eating hotcakes. Why is no one in the office? It’s 10:02 on a Thursday. Go to work.
The hotcakes were somewhat rubbery, they didn’t really taste like anything and at $6.10 it’s not really a steal. I will say they are generous with the butter and syrup, the latter with a surprising smokey undertone that I somewhat enjoyed.
Price: 3 Taste: 2.5 Texture: 3 Presentation: 3.5 Toppings: 4
10:37am, Federal Delicatessen
I thought this piece would be kind of funny but by this point, I was lowkey already over it. It was still early, I felt heavy, I had ruined the healthy eating kick I was on and I hadn’t eaten anything I enjoyed. Federal was my only real hope because I fuck with basically everything they serve.
Their hotcakes (griddle cakes) are damn good. Infinitely better than any McDonald’s offering, with berries and cinnamon-infused butter and actually fluffy hotcakes. As someone who doesn’t like hotcakes that much, I liked these.
Price: 3 Taste: 4 Texture: 4.5 Presentation: 4 Toppings: 4.5
11:35 am, Wendy's
The syrup overload was making me feel a bit sick so I was excited to try Wendy's, as I saw their hotcakes came with a berry dressing. When I arrived, they said they don’t serve hotcakes so I guess I looked at an overseas menu? I dunno. I ordered a sundae, which I’m never a big fan of because I’m a soft serve in a cone guy, but it was pretty good. Technically not a hotcake, but somehow managed to rank quite high in the scoring...
Price: 3.5 Taste: 4 Texture: 4 Presentation: 3 Toppings: 3.5
2:36pm, Tastea Alley
After a hiatus over lunch to soothe my belly, I ventured back out. I saw online that Tastea Alley did souffle pancakes, all wobbly and fluffy and yum like the ones I had in Japan. They said they don’t do them anymore though so yeah... I didn’t get anything
2:47pm, No.1 Pancake
Not a hotcake, but I froth a Hotteok and when you have the company card you make the most of it. I was pretty damn ready for a savoury one, but because I was already pushing it by including it at all, I opted for a simple sweet one. Cinnamon n sugar is a classic and straight delicious, but due to the toppings being internal, it’s molten. Be careful.
Price: 3.5 Taste: 4.5 Texture: 4 Presentation: 3 Toppings: 4
Denny’s is an icon of friendship. It fills me with warmth every time I step through the door and smell the mix of burnt sugar and disinfectant. I really wanted to order some curly fries, but I had to finish what I started. Hotcakes.
Honestly, I barely ate them. I was preoccupied with regret. The joy of blowing company money was lost by this point and I felt like a fool. Who forces themself to eat food they don’t enjoy all day long? My elaborate joke had a punchline after all, and the punchline was me.
But I’m a professional, so, I still ranked them highly because from the few bites I had they actually were yum. The ice cream was great and the syrup came in a fancy bottle that they just left on the table for you to dowse your hotcakes in. Great value for money at only $8. Fuck McDonald's, spend the slight bit extra and have a significantly better experience.
Note: The texture somewhat resembles an English crumpet, which I don’t really like, but I know most people dig those, so if that sounds good to you, well you go hard then.
Price: 4.5 Taste: 4 Texture: 3 Presentation: 3.5 Toppings: 4.5
Hotcakes are overrated.
1st: Federal Delicatessen
3rd: No.1 Pancake
6th: Burger King
7th: Tastea Alley