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Breakfast at Annie's Starts Off the Day Right

Popular pancake house in Skokie rewards patience with big plates of excellent food.

Samantha was on vacation during Memorial Day weekend, so in light of her absence , we thought we'd share one of our favorite reviews. Enjoy!

doesn’t take reservations and the wait on weekends is often longer than 20 minutes, with lines occasionally stretching out the door. Patience is rewarded, as Annie’s attracts its crowds by offering large portions of truly excellent food.

My boyfriend and I visited Annie’s on a rare Wednesday when we could share lunch together. We got excited as soon as we parked and were hit with the delicious smells coming from inside the restaurant. Even at 12:30 p.m. on a weekday, the restaurant at 4900 Oakton St. had a solid crowd, occupied mostly by senior citizens and families.

The diner’s interior is casual and homey. Each of the booths and small tables is set with a bud vase with a fresh flower. The walls are lined with black and white photos including multiple images of Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Statues of chickens are scattered throughout as well as vine-covered trellises.

We were seated and offered drinks quickly. When our server came to take our orders, she was curt but offered honest opinions on the food. When I asked whether I should get Annie’s favorite French toast ($8.25) or the fresh cinnamon apple pancakes ($7.90), she said that the cinnamon apples made the pancakes soggy and that I should go with the French toast. While she didn’t offer opinions on my boyfriend’s debate between the ole omelet ($7.90) or asparagus and mushroom skillet ($7.30), she did tell him that more people went with the ole. The service continued to be solid throughout. Our drinks were regularly refilled and we snacked on some very good fresh baked rolls, which are served atop a basket of crackers, during the brief wait for our food.

The ole omelet had the perfect ratio of eggs and toppings, with chorizo sausage, jalapeno peppers, onions and cheddar cheese distributed throughout the large but not too fluffy dish. Pouring salsa over it added some extra kick to the already savory flavor from the spiced meat and peppers. The large serving of crisp hash browns made for an excellent side along with the two buttermilk pancakes that were particularly good covered in warm maple syrup.

As good as the omelet was, the French toast was extraordinary. I grew up on challah French toast so I’m always excited to see it on a menu. Annie’s version is way better than my mother’s. The rich, fluffy bread was great with a bit of sliced fresh strawberries, but truly heavenly when you got a piece of banana topped with shreds of toasted coconut.

Both of our plates were so large that we wound up taking a significant portion to go and enjoyed the excellent leftovers a few days later. I was happy to have a partner in dining to mix and match the flavors of our dishes, though my boyfriend said he might have to go with the French toast the next time. That works fine for me as it will give me the chance to try one of the other options on the long menu that has earned Annie’s Pancake House a well-deserved following. 

Article run date - 03/07/11

Mike Reid March 07, 2011 at 01:59 PM
Annie's always delivers a great meal and service each time I go. Breakfasts are excellent, especially the double-yolk eggs, and prices are reasonable. Lunch as well is a superb value for the price. If you have been there before, you know what I mean. If not, definitely stop by this friendly, family place in downtown Skokie.
david June 23, 2012 at 03:02 PM
We've had a few ok meals there. The portions are huge and the service is polite. If they'd get rid of Mrs. Butterworth's high-fructose corn syrup and get real maple syrup it would be a home run. It's all in the details.

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