Lexington Brass, Hyatt 48Lex
We didn't have to be told twice about Hyatt 48Lex's unique breakfast offering: jelly-filled doughnut pancakes. Chef Franklin Becker, who helped launch the swanky restaurant when the hotel opened over the summer, wanted to try out something new and we give him extra points for essentially inventing a whole new breakfast menu item. These babies (pictured above, bottom left) are doughy, filled with jelly, and come served with berries and lemon cream. Beat that, IHOP!
Verandah, Four Seasons Las Vegas
Though focusing mainly on Italian fare, this gorgeous Four Seasons dining room also knows how to do up breakfast American-style. The weekend breakfast menu offers gluten-free citrus pancakes (for the wheat wary among you) and plain buttermilk pancakes, but other guests have been known to find treats like citrus ricotta pancakes with cranberry compote, which one Yelp reviewer termed "earth-shattering, life-altering."
King's Highway, Ace Palm Springs
In the past, we've been fans of hanging out at Ace Palm Spring's awesome pool for hours at a stretch. And there's really no better way to work up an appetite than doing nothing by the pool. Once you're good and ready, just walk a few steps next door into King's Highway, the hotel's modern take on a roadside diner, and enjoy Ricotta Hot Cakes (above), served with maple crunch butter and bananas. At only $9, they'll be as kind to your wallet as your stomach.
Norma's, Parker Palm Springs
No, Parker Palm Springs isn't exactly the kind of place you go on a budget, but consider this your post-IHOP dessert. Inside Norma's, the hotel's luxe "diner," where once upon a time we devoured the Waz-Za waffle, choose between the more traditional Norma's Super Blueberry Pancakes (which come served with Devonshire clotted cream) or their James Beard Award-winning Potato Pancakes, served with homemade cranberry-apple sauce and sweet carrot payasam.
Front Porch Cafe, Z Ocean Hotel South Beach
Though this place moved in 2010 to settle inside a different hotel, the food remains firmly at the top of our list. Pancakes here come "heavy and hearty" and the menu even offers a disclaimer that the signature Granola Pancakes are "not for lightweights." We love it when our breakfast talks back to us.
Gracie's, Hotel deLuxe
At our most recent stay at Portland's Hotel deLuxe, we totally fell under the spell of the hotel's cozy cocktail lounge, The Driftwood Room. Right next door, Gracie's served up hearty breakfast fare, including the king of all pancake dishes, The Elvis. A tall stack served with peanut butter, bacon, bananas and dusted with powdered sugar—we have no words. Possibly a lip curl, but no actual words.
Trio, Four Seasons Austin
Trio, inside the Four Seasons Austin, is particularly proud of their pancake offerings, even going so far as to name the dish after the restaurant itself. Or was the restaurant named after the pancakes? Either way, the "Trio" consists of a rich stack of banana-blueberry, gingerbread, and oatmeal pecan pancakes. Three times the pleasure.
[Photos: HotelChatter; Hyatt 48Lex; Four Seasons Austin; Eating LA]