In the United States, Fat Tuesday largely means going to eat a bunch of rich delicious food and getting really, really drunk. In other parts of the world, though, the holiday stays much closer to its humble Medieval origins.
Since the 15th century, Shrove Tuesday has been a way for devout Catholics (and pancake lovers) to use up butter, eggs, and milk before they become forbidden during Lent. Even if you're not Catholic, there's no reason to let an excuse to gorge yourself on delicious pancakes go by. If you missed the opportunity to have pancakes for breakfast this morning, you better be having them for dinner.
Historically, kids used to go door to door and ask their neighbors for pancakes on Shrove Tuesday and throw broken pottery at their house if they refused. Thanks to these five delicious restaurants, you won't have to do that. Again, if you missed the opportunity to have pancakes for breakfast this morning, you better be having them for dinner.
1. Cafe Brazil
Cafe Brazil is the obvious choice for pancakes. They always serve pancakes that are consistently delicious, they're open late (some 24 hours), and they have locations all over the metroplex. If traditional short-stack pancakes aren't your thing, try the Pancrepes that are topped with fresh fruit and creme Anglaise. Or, get savory with chicken- and spinach-filled crepes with a spicy cream sauce.
The original Shrove Tuesday pancakes were thick and rich, but French influences made them much more crepe-like throughout the years. Go full-French with banana-filled crepes smothered in Nutella at Buzzbrews. You're an adult. You should absolutely be able to have Nutella for dinner. You could also stuff your own crepes with avocado and chorizo for a global Shrove Tuesday experience, 24 hours a day.
Most of the good pancake houses in Dallas close early, so you won't be able to go to the Original Pancake House or Crossroads Diner for your dinnertime fix. Norma's Cafe closes at 8 (most locations), so you might want to consider having your last dinner before Lent a little earlier. Norma's short stack tastes just like those pancakes your grandma used to make, but you won't have to lie to the waitress about what you're giving up for Lent.
4. Pop Diner
I know there's a few of you healthy types who are out there balking at loading up on carbs late at night. I hate to be the one to sabotage your Leg Night or whatever, but it's Fat Tuesday, bros. Live a little. Go to Pop Diner and get a stack of Trail Mix Pancakes. Pecans and raisins are healthy enough ingredients. You can go back to your boring chicken-breast-and-broccoli routine tomorrow.
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5. The Mecca
If you're really feeling the Mardi Gras spirit, go all out. Head to The Mecca Restaurant in Lakewood for a stack of pancakes full of blueberries, pecans or chocolate chips -- whatever the hell you want. Get a Blue Bell milkshake to round out your gluttony, or one of those massive cinnamon rolls on the side. This strategy is probably best for someone who's giving up something really difficult for Lent, like booze or butter. These pancakes (and ridiculously rich sides) will help you persevere.