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Vegas Eats Preview: The Griddle Cafe at SLS Las Vegas

By Chuckmonster on Wednesday, 28th May 2014 1:35pm
  » filed under Las Vegas  comments: 10


SLS Las Vegas is opening on Labor Day Weekend with great fanfare, trumpeting to the universe how incredibly awesome the stable of eateries they are importing from Los Angeles will be. Like, totally awesome.

Fortunately for you, most of the VT staff lives in L.A., making it undeniably easy for us to unpack and insert the awesomometer, then share the results. Previously, we visited the original Katsu-Ya location in Studio City.

As before, this series of posts are previews of what might happen at SLS, based on reviews of the existing venues in Los Angeles.

The Griddle Cafe is located at the intersection of Fairfax Avenue and Sunset Boulevard, nestled into a long thin space between a CVS to the east and the Directors Guild of America building. It is adjacent to the famed Laurel Canyon area of the Hollywood Hills, The Sunset Strip, Hollywood's Walk of Fame tourist mecca and the home of the largest Halloween party in the world - West Hollywood.

Sls Griddle Cafe Menu 1

Known for attracting long lines of underfed hipsters, caffeine addicted Gen X'rs and ravenously desheveled woo girls in PINK sweats, me and Miss Monkay made a beat-the-crowds appointment with VT staffers JohnH and Blackjacker1979 at the somewhat ungodly hour of 7:30am. There was already a line when the first of us arrived.

The Griddle Cafe is known for making thin, oversized single stack pancakes with an astonishing array of fillings and toppings. Offerings include "Good Ol' Fashioned" ($8.95) a basic buttermilk pancake, "Banananana" ($10.95) - a pancake topped with banana and brown sugar, "Hear Me Roar" ($11.95) - pancakes topped with Frosted Flakes and strawberries. The menu also features a number of references to being in grade school, including dishes called "Recess Time" (streusel) and "Teachers Pet" (apple). Now take those ideas and replace pancake with French Toast.

Sls Griddle Cafe Menu 2

The Griddle Cafe also offer a lunch menu - sandwiches and melts.

Sls Griddle Cafe Menu 3

The waiter arrived, fielded our questions then took our orders.

Sls Griddle Cafe Setting

He returned shortly thereafter with with two French press pots of coffee ($4.25 each) and two pots of Earl Grey Tea ($2.95 each) and two small cups filled with creamer. Can you guess which of us drinks tea?

Sls Griddle Cafe Coffee

My order arrived first, their featured menu item the "Red Velvet" ($8.95) a red velved panCAKE topped with brown sugar, powdered sugar AND a plump spiral of sweet cream cheese frosting, y'know, like an actual cake. It tasted like dessert.

Sls Griddle Cafe Redvelvet

Crumbly, perhaps a little dry. Obviously this is a red food coloring velvet cake, not a vinegar buttermilk cocoa chemical reaction fluffy cake. One thing is for sure, this cake is a certifiable sugar bomb.

Sls Griddle Cafe Redvelvet D

I did the best I could a kind of enjoyed the first 1/4 of what I ate. Maybe it was the novelty of the sugary showbiz breakfast spectacle.

And then, the sugar torpedo exploded in my stomach radiating into my blood stream and to every corner of my body. The detonation caused a reaction I certainly wasn't expecting...

In the battle between C.monster and The Griddle cafe's Red Velvet panCAKE, the CAKE won, but, once again, I had the last word.

Sls Griddle Cafe C

Miss Monkay ordered the "Mounds of Pleasure" ($11.95) - coconut and chocolate chip filled pancake topped with whipped cream and chocolate sauce.

Sls Griddle Cafe Mounds

MissMonkay says: "For the record, I liked my pancakes. They were tasty, BUT too much of a sugar overload. Mind you, they were no Du'Pars, but shit, we knew that going in."

Blackjacker1979 ordered "A Time To Love" ($11.95) - topped with streusel, butterscotch chips and caramel filled with whipped cream, powdered sugar and pumpkin flavored sludge on top.

Sls Griddle Cafe Love

Everyone at the table tasted this concoction, and we all decided that it was abundantly bizarre. Blackjacker, grimaced, sighed and gave up about 10 bites in. The pumpkin sludge tasted like oily sweet pumpkin pie filling. He brought it home for his brother (known throughout as food's worst enemy) who loved it.

JohnH ordered the "Apple Cobbler French Toast" ($11.95) - described on the menu as thick sliced apple bread rolled in cinnamon crunch batter and griddled to perfection, served with baked cinnamon apples. Home sweet home!

Sls Griddle Cafe Apple

"French toast" covered in sugar with apple pie filling on the side. John cracked it in half, ate about four bites and then became anamored with the disc shaped yellow substance sitting next to the bread.

Sls Griddle Cafe P

"What do you guys think this is?" he asked the table. There were two votes for "fried banana" and one vote for "a chunk of pineapple." The answer? We tasted it.... a disc of butter with strong orange notes, thanks to the embedded rind zest.

The Griddle Cafe isn't just a culinary calamity, it is a disgusting dessertery masquerading as breakfast nook. But Chuck, why is there a line 100 deep to get in on weekend mornings? It could be that there really isn't a helluva lot of breakfast joints in that part of Hollywood, and none that have onsite parking that doesn't cost $8 bucks. Not that this is any of your problem, parking is plentiful and free in Las Vegas.

As far as gluttony goes, the offerings at Griddle Cafe (which isn't owned by sbe) match perfectly for drunk Vegas. Chances are, you'll already feel like shit when you wake up at SLS and a megaton sugar bomb might be just what you need to motivate your slothy Pink bedecked ass from your room to the pool.

I had the opposite reaction to sugar toxicity served at The Griddle Cafe. An epic sugar crash decimated my day, sending my mind into a deep sprial of anger, depression, frustration and seething hatred of self and humanity - all in the car ride home. MissMonkay put me in bed, brought me water and gave me solitude to pass the poisons in peace, which took about ninety minutes. I was cranky for the remainder of the day.

Sls Griddle Cafe Check

Oh, and breakfast for four cost $70+ bucks with tip. I'm going to guess that Vegas pricing will add a buck or two bucks for each entree.

Tagged: vegas eats   griddle cafe   dining   reviews   sls las vegas   sbe   pancakes   


Comments & Discussion:

enjoying these 'previews' not only for the 'first look' for many of us, but loving the group style reviews.

I think i got diabetes and gained 3 pounds just by looking at those pics.

I cannot overestimate the amount of sugar contained in each of our dishes. I experienced a reaction much like Chuck, from a bit of giddyness when we left (driving side by side up Fairfax) to a total and utter meltdown once I got home to destroyed most of my day (and led into lunch). This is not a place for those who are affected by their blood sugar levels. You will regret it.

The French Press coffee is something I wish that the DuPar's at the Golden Gate offered (Their other locations have it.).

I guess when it comes to pancakes, I'm pretty much a purist. Plain, blueberry, bacon or chocolate chip are fine, but those pancakes at The Griddle Cafe are a sugar overload (Although the Saturday Morning Fever pancake sounds intriguing.). Some of this stuff sounds like they should be in crepes and not pancakes.

Wow. My teech are chatterng just looking at the pictures. I love bananas and pancakes so I will try this place then walk the entire length of the Strip to burn off the sugar high.

"But Chuck, why is there a line 100 deep to get in on weekend mornings? "

Exactly why I think SLS Las Vegas will be a huge success.

As someone who has written about delicious and very unhealthy food and was paid to do it...

Bleh, no thank you.

In the spirit of The Heart Attack Grill, here are two suggested alternate names:
1. The Cavity Cafe
2. The Diabetes Diner

@detroit see the thing is, the line is 100 deep because LA has the tourist cache to trap people into shit like this. while there are certain things in Vegas that do the same thing (IE the Pawn Stars hole) I don't know that this would carry over in Vegas the way it does here. HHaGG is an example of that working to an end. It was wildly successful but certain locations didn't replicate that success, like the one at the M.

Regardless, the food was gross. But if people want to wade through a line to eat a shitty sugar cake, more power to them.

Yeesh. You could order from the Lunch menu but still get a contact high. I'll stick to eggs, meat, and plenty of joe for my Vegas breakfasts...

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