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San Francisco Bay Area

SF - Sears Fine Food and the saga of the "Swedish pancake heresy''


Restaurants & Bars San Francisco Bay Area

SF - Sears Fine Food and the saga of the "Swedish pancake heresy''

rworange | | Aug 6, 2007 11:54 AM

I've been thinking of checking out Sears to check things out since the remodel. A friend sent me a SF Chronicle letter to the editor where the writer is so distressed that the pancakes changed that ...

"I am now forced to write the Swedish consulate here in the hope they will apply some pressure to force Sears to cease and desist from calling its chubby, dollar-size hotcakes "Swedish pancakes," a slap in the face to the fine Swedish people and their national delicacy."

So of course Sears replies ... but it was the coolest reply that kind of makes me want to try the place again ... after a few decades. They said that the only maker of a key ingrediant closed and so they sent the recipe off to a lab to recreate and after months of testing ... voila ... (or whatever the Swedes say) the pancake was perfected. To verify ...

"However, with the recent letter to the editor, we wondered ... could we be slipping? So we called everyone together (managers, servers, cooks, guests), including Joanie Boyajian (previous family ownership), and went to the kitchen. We mixed. We compared side-by-side samplings. We tasted, looked at texture and preparation. Plates and plates of Swedish pancakes were tasted, with and without lingonberries. The answer is: Sears recipe for our Swedish pancakes remains the same. Period."

Ok, ... this is two-fold.

I'm thinking I want to do a Swedish pancake crawl if I go to Sears. Who else makes good Swedish pancakes in the Bay Area?

There was a third letter to the editor saying Millbrae Pancake House made great Swedish pancakes.

In the past dishes like the corned beef hash and liver and onions had favorable mentions. Anyone tried those recently?

Looking at the website they mention their raised waffles based on an 1896 recipe from the Fanny Farmer cookbook. Anyone tried them?

BTW, Sears serves breakfast until three and closes at 10 pm. There's some plays I'm planning to see and I might do a pre-matinee breakfast or try something dinner-wise for a later show. The Swedish pancakes are available at dinner. They serve the lingonberry sauce with the roast turkey dinner.

I have to say that I was never a Sears fan. The Sears rec along with a North Beach Restaurant rec that I tried based on Zagat left me resentful of that publication to this day ... that was long ago when I first moved to SF .. no Chowhound and the internet wasn't even yet a twinkle in Al Gore's eye.

However, I'm thinking there might be long-term consistancy problems at Sears that remain to this day. It is what the Sears suggest as the problem ... an off day. Maybe I hit it on the wrong day at the wrong day.

Previous Sears posts since it re-opened in 2004 under new management:

Sears Fine Food
439 Powell Street, San Francisco, CA 94102

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