Yesterday, we were attempting to wolf down yet another meat-based “local specialty” in the “horseshoe” of Springfield. The horseshoe is literally a pile of ground beef and french fries on texas toast that is then slathered in “cheese” sauce with a side of indigestion.
That’s when the gentlemen seated next to us noticed us taking a picture of our meal, he turned us on to the city’s biggest challenge at a place just around the corner called Charlie Parker’s Diner.
Charlie Parker’s is a tiny eatery that specializes only in breakfast and lunch, but does a brisk business with locals and tourists who come in to learn more (and perhaps take a shot at) the pancake challenge.
The menu is small – standard diner fair – but right away I noticed the challenge issued near the bottom left of the menu:
Now, I’m not one to shirk a challenge, and since I had $12.95 to burn (not really), I decided to order the four stack. In about five minutes, I regretted and was actually ashamed that I had even considered myself worthy of this challenge. In fact, it was amusing when she brought out the pizza pan sized pancake – I even giggled like a child – until she said, “the kitchen is working on the other three, do you want me to bring them straight out or would you like me to box them to go?”
WAIT! There are THREE more of these things. THREE! Oh, what a mistake I’d made. Each of these pancakes is one and a half pounds of cooked batter, four equals six full pounds of pancake. Making these things ties up the kitchen as it fills nearly one entire stove top. In fact, the owner Mike Murphy told us that they don’t even allow the challenge after noon, because one order can throw off the lunch rush.
So let me say that, for its size, this pancake was perfectly made. It was about 3/4 of an inch thick, moist and evenly cooked. And herein lies the problem, you really probably eat more of this thing than you can because they are so delicious, for me… sadly, that limit came at only about 45% of one pancake – which is still a respectable almost pound of pancakes.
Only two people, that’s right I said TWO PEOPLE, have ever eaten all eight pounds and Mike says they both fit the same profile – about 24 years-old, 6 foot and a delicate 160 lbs. AMAZING!
They boxed up our other three IN PIZZA boxes and Mike had some great tips for us for St. Louis and we were on our way.
To learn more, and to see a menu, click here.