Those of us who drive up and down Reisterstown Road on a regular basis have probably noticed that there's something different: IHOP is not there anymore. In its place stands Golden Griddle Pancakes and Cafe.
On Sept. 10, my boyfriend, a friend of ours and I went there for breakfast. I spoke with Michelle Engermann, who owns the restaurant with her husband, Matthew. She told us that their IHOP franchise agreement expired at the end of August and that, for a number of reasons, they chose not to renew it. But, they wanted to keep the restaurant and still remain a figure in the Reisterstown-Owings Mills-Glyndon community. So, Golden Griddle Pancakes and Cafe was born.
The day we were there I ordered a short stack of pancakes with a side of scrapple. I asked for a mocha iced coffee. Our server quickly returned to our table informing me that they were out of iced coffee, but that she could make me a hot coffee with mocha. She apologized, saying they put whipped cream on top of that beverage, and asked me if that addition would be OK. Of course that was OK with me. My hot mocha coffee came out in a huge cup — probably easily a 16- to 18-ounce cup — covered and piled high with whipped cream, and dusted with a fine sprinkling of cinnamon and nutmeg. This cup of coffee required no sugar or sweetener of any kind, and put a huge smile of my face. The pancakes were light and fluffy, and tasted delicious with old-fashioned syrup on them. The scrapple was cooked just right so that it was nice and crunchy on the outside and moist and warm on the inside. My boyfriend Rick had two large crepes stuffed with egg and vegetables, covered in a hollandaise sauce. Our friend ordered the ham, egg and cheese sourdough sandwich with home fries. She got a very generous-sized sandwich with a nice-sized portion of home fries. All in all, it was a wonderful breakfast for a Thursday morning.
The interior of the restaurant is nicely adorned with tables and booths. The booths are upholstered with a brown and tan floral pattern. There are a number of large windows that allow in the natural light. The restaurant was very clean; in fact they were washing the floor as we arrived. But nothing could overcome the sweet smell of pancakes cooking on the griddle.
The staff members were very attentive and friendly. Michelle took time from her busy day to chat with us and ask how our meals and service had been that day.
Like all small business, Golden Griddle Pancakes and Cafe will likely experience growing pains and some changes down the road. But it sure is nice to see such a wonderful business owner like Michelle be a part of the ROMG community.
Golden Griddle Pancakes and Cafe is at 11804 Reisterstown Road, Reisterstown.
Terry Chaney is a Reisterstown resident and can be reached via email at