DINING: Battered location gets new pancake house

Don’t be scared off by the busy parking lot outside Lincoln Square Pancake House’s newest Indianapolis location (2330 N. Meridian St., 602-5040). The 5,100-square-foot restaurant likely has more seating now than in its previous life as a furniture shop.

ae-dininglincolnpancake-15col.jpg The new Meridian Street eatery’s Mexican Benedict offers a south-of-the-border take on poached eggs, with pico de gallo subbing for Hollandaise sauce. (IBJ Photo/ Aaron P. Bernstein)

Open daily for breakfast and lunch, the casual eatery north of downtown is part of a growing local chain owned by Greek immigrant George Katris and his son Chris. Lincoln Square is proud of the family atmosphere the Katris family has created since opening its first restaurant in 1989. The Meridian Street site is its eighth location.

The six-page menu includes lunch staples like sandwiches and salads (and, in a nod to the owners’ heritage, a gyro), but we focused our attention on breakfast. After all, it’s the most important meal of the day—no matter when you eat it.

First up: the Signature Pancake Platter ($7.79, plus $1.59 for toast). The two eggs, sausage and bacon served with the main attraction were slightly above-average diner fare and rounded out the meal nicely. But the pancakes clearly were the star, as they should be at a restaurant with “pancake” in its name.

The size of a small dinner plate, the pancakes were light and fluffy without being spongy—even when warmed up a few hours later. The syrup was flavorful but stopped short of overpowering everything on the plate.

We also tried the West Coast Omelette ($7.99), with avocado, tomato, bacon, onion and feta cheese enveloped by a delicate-yet-substantial egg “wrap.” It was perfectly prepared and plenty filling, even without the standard hash browns on the side. The small salad we requested in its place was fine, but nothing special.

Our most memorable choice was the Mexican Benedict ($7.99), a Lincoln Square take on the classic poached-egg dish. Served atop a crispy corn tortilla instead of the traditional English muffin, it also eschews Canadian bacon in favor of chorizo. Shredded cheese, sour cream and pico de gallo stand in for Hollandaise sauce. (And those ubiquitous hash browns came topped with cheese.) The combination truly tickled the taste buds.

Service was friendly and attentive, and the kitchen staff worked quickly—an important consideration during weekday meals when it’s likely diners are keeping one eye on the clock.•

Third in a month-long series of just-out-of-downtown dining reviews.

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