Review: Silver Pancake House is a delicious daytime gem | Restaurant Reviews | St. Louis | St. Louis News and Events
Besarta “Bessa” Asani sees it all the time: a guest walks into her restaurant in Warson Woods, orders a drink, then an appetizer, and lingers a bit. They will then choose a main dish, followed by a few side dishes, another drink and possibly a dessert. It’s a scene you would see in any fine dining establishment. But not in a place like Asani’s.
Her currency is pancakes, bacon, turkey clubs and orange juice – not the typical multi-course feast stuff, but an experience she’s been happy to provide since the restaurant opened. Silver creperie (9983 Manchester Rd, Warson Woods; 314-858-9091) last November. According to Asani, the fact that diners are willing to treat their breakfast as a multi-course affair is proof that the neighborhood was hungry for a serious and simple daytime spot; in a thriving area with restaurants and people with the disposable income to frequent them regularly, it seemed like there should be such a place. And yet, there was none.
Asani was the perfect person to change that. An industry professional who has done her best to retire from the business, the Chicago native found herself retired after her twin brother opened a breakfast and lunch restaurant, Golden Oak Pancake House , in Swansea, Illinois, a few years ago. It was an unexpected move, considering the two swore they would never return to the restaurant business. After spending most of their youth working in their father and grandfather’s restaurants in Chicago, Asani and his brother escaped after the family moved to Edwardsville while they were in high school. There they both fell in love with science and after graduation attended Southern Illinois University Edwardsville for biology and chemistry, determined to work their way as far away from the food industry as possible.
Asani’s brother was the first to snap, opening Golden Oak in 2019. At first, Asani resisted the pull, but when her twin opened a second location in Edwardsville, she saw how much he could benefit for his help and reacted. When it came to a third place, she decided to take the lead.
Initially, the plan was to open a third Golden Oak in southern Illinois, but when their broker flagged the old Wasabi in Warson Woods, they quickly changed course. The neighborhood – filled with homes and lacking simple breakfast options – seemed like the perfect fit for their family brand, so she struck the deal and opened last winter, determined to become a beloved part of the county center culinary scene.
Asani succeeded in this quest. Every weekend (and many weekdays as well), Silver Pancake House is packed with diners hungry for simple yet well-executed dishes. She is unapologetic about what she offers. While it’s not uncommon for her guests to treat breakfast like a chef’s tasting menu, Asani prides herself on serving nothing esoteric, fancy, or out of reach. There’s nothing on this menu that you won’t find at an IHOP or Denny’s; what’s different is that the food served by Silver Pancake House is high quality, freshly prepared and prepared with the care you would receive in an upscale restaurant.
You see how starkly different Silver Pancake House is from the breakfast chains in everything it does. Cookies and gravy, for example, is the quintessential version of form; the chewy cookies are smothered in a black peppercorn sausage sauce that strikes that perfect velvety balance between too runny and too thick. That same glorious nectar tops a crispy, golden piece of fried steak that stands out for its tender texture and delicate, well-seasoned breading that stays crisp even after being drizzled with sauce.
This same care is shown on egg dishes. A simple cheese omelet has telltale waves and creases that indicate excellent execution. Filled with a generous amount of gooey American cheese, it’s hard to tell where it ends and the egg begins. Too-easy eggs—perfectly cooked so the whites aren’t completely set—make a decadent gravy for corned beef and potato-stuffed Irish skillet. The dish is also notable for the quality of the corned beef. Unlike typical canned porridge, this one is crispy, like little bits of brisket, and interspersed with little strips of golden potatoes.
Spartan skillet is a great riff on Florentine eggs. Hash browns, tomatoes and spinach have a pleasant briny flavor thanks to a generous sprinkle of feta cheese. Likewise, jalapeños infuse the South of the Border breakfast burrito with fiery spice. Eggs, hash browns, mild breakfast sausages and cheese all soak up its zesty juices.
Silver Pancake House is known for its bagel sandwiches, a dish that seems pretty basic until you dig into the soft, toasty mix of gooey cheese, over-medium eggs and thick bacon, perfectly pressed together like a panini. . It’s a great example of how the restaurant can turn a simple offering into something special through excellent execution. Even the ham steak — a modest breakfast meat offering — gets extra care; instead of buying a pre-cut product, Asani and his team buy a whole ham and cut the steaks into thick slices themselves. The result is a hearty cut of pork with subtle brown sugar undertones that bring out the meat’s natural sweetness.
The restaurant’s eponymous dish is exactly what you’re looking for in a diner pancake: golden, malty, slightly crispy around the edges and fluffy inside. Alone they are good, but when mixed with melted chocolate chips they become exceptional examples of the form. The pecan version is also a success; nuts are folded into the batter so that each bite is infused with roasted sweetness. The French toast, too, is a thing to behold. Instead of the thin, flabby dishes usually peddled as such, Silver Pancake’s version is thickly sliced and as soft as bread pudding. The cinnamon apple glazed version is particularly noteworthy thanks to the chunky chunks of tender fruit and cinnamon sugar that adorn every inch of the toast, and then some. It’s as if someone opened Grandma’s apple pie and poured its entire contents onto this wonderful sweet bread.
With its abundance of decadent treats and breakfast staples, it’s easy to see why customers come to Silver Pancake with a tasting menu approach. How do you choose a dish when every option is so perfectly executed? Luckily, at this delicious gem, no one will judge you for ordering one of each.