You are viewing this article in the archives. For the latest breaking news and updates in Ann Arbor and the surrounding area, see
Posted on Thu, Feb 4, 2010 : 5:10 a.m.

Nick's Original House of Pancakes home to delicious breakfast, lunch

By Julie Halpert

Nick Panos is a self-described “restaurant brat.” His mother owns The Village Kitchen, while his aunt runs The Broken Egg and he’s been eager to open his open breakfast and lunch spot. So he was pleased when a space became available in the Ann Arbor/Saline Road corridor — an area he thinks is clamoring for its own pancake place.


The interior of Nick's.

Angela Cesere |

He opened Nick’s Original House of Pancakes on December 22. And judging by the 20-minute wait we experienced on a recent Saturday afternoon, his instincts were right. Panos says his restaurant is attracting many who live in that part of town. He’s clearly in his element here, greeting all of the customers, many of whom he knew by name.

Panos instills that same friendly spirit in his staff. Our server eagerly greeted us, saying “Welcome to Nick’s!” and maintained that level of enthusiasm throughout our meal. We were lucky to have him on both of our visits, and his congenial demeanor made the entire dining experience extremely pleasant.

Nick’s has an extremely ambitious and extensive breakfast menu, including 17 varieties of pancakes ranging from the standard buttermilk to more exotic flavors like pumpkin and peanut butter chip. There are also nearly two dozen types of omelets, 7 Belgian waffles, crepes, and 9 versions of French toast; as well as lunch fare like salads, sandwiches and soups. The ambience is simple, what you’d expect from a cozy, well-equipped family restaurant, with many high-backed booths, perfect for large parties.


Foreground, peanut butter chip pancakes; background, a spinach omelette with hash browns and toast at Nick's.

Angela Cesere |

I devoured the huge platter of pancakes — both the sinfully sweet pecan banana and the blueberry, which was laden with fruit. They would have been even better had the cook topped them with fresh butter, instead of prepackaged pats.

The scrambled eggs were light, fluffy and moist. Bacon was thick and crispy — “the best I’ve ever had,” declared my son. Many of the breakfast dishes are served with crispy and delicious hash browns, definitely worth ordering.

There are 2 categories of crepes here: sweet and savory. I opted for the savory, with chicken Florentine. The crepe was light and fluffy, with the chicken and fresh spinach melding together for a nearly perfect dish. The only drawback was that the hollandaise sauce was so subtle, you could barely detect it. That problem was also evident with the eggs Benedict. Though highlighted as a specialty, it was one of the weaker breakfast offerings.

Our ventures into the lunch fare were generally successful. Both of the sandwiches we tried, the tuna and turkey, tasted fresh and were served on delicious homemade bread. Though the fries were good, they weren’t cooked to my husband’s typical well-done specifications. (The server said he insisted on sending them back when he gave them a first look, since he thought they were undercooked, but the ones he brought were still not well done.)

The chocolate shake had a thin consistency — instead of being thick and creamy — and could have used a stronger chocolate flavor.

Nick’s clearly was overwhelmed by the customer turnout on our first weekend visit, and we had to wait a long time for our food. Panos says he’s trying to “work out the kinks” and improve this situation. There were no such issues the second time around, when the place was nearly empty on a weekday morning.

Nick’s definitely fulfills a craving among area residents for a family-friendly breakfast and lunch spot. I think with its congenial service, variety in breakfast choices and food that is generally well prepared, it deserves to fare well.

Nick’s Original House of Pancakes 3030 Lohr Circle Ann Arbor 734-622-6425 Nick’s Original House of Pancakes in restaurant guide Hours: 7 a.m.-3 p.m. every day. Plastic: Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover. Liquor: No. Prices: Inexpensive to Moderate. Pancakes range from $5 to $7; sandwiches $5-$. Value: Very good. Noise level: Loud when crowded. Wheelchair access: Yes. Smoking section: No.


Somewhat Concerned

Fri, Oct 1, 2010 : 10:18 a.m.

Food remains mediocre and service is pretty poor. A2 has half a dozen better places for breakfast.

4 Fingers

Fri, Aug 6, 2010 : 10:15 a.m.

this place gets packed on the weekends, so be willing to wait a few minutes. We were there the day the above incident happened and I can't believe how rude that customer was! he was told he'd be seated next and instead got beligerent with management and was finally told to leave by one of the regular customers after swearing at the manager. Aside of that entertainment the food was pretty good and the staff was friendly and attentive.


Sun, May 2, 2010 : 9:09 p.m.

Date of visit 5/2/10 My family and I tried NOHP 3 times. Each time there was some sort of issue that left a bad pun intended. This last visit was the final time!!!! A party of 10 were waiting patiently for 25 mins. No biggie...until they were next to be seated and the host, who turned out to be so HORRIBLY RUDE, seated a 2 top at the booth. ( It was two booths that could/should have turned into one large booth) The gentleman asked the host what happened and the "host" got really defensive and flat out rude to the customer. He loudly informed the man that he was taking his name off the list, threatening to not seat them at all, or making them wait an additional 30 mins. WHen the customer spoke to NIck himself, he crossed his arms and said with an attitude "what's the problem" After that my family left! I refuse to eat somewhere that feels it's ok to treat people that way! There are many great restaurants in Ann Arbor, this is not one of them!!!


Tue, Feb 23, 2010 : 1:24 p.m.

Servers are slow, unattentive, and unknowledgable about the food....and I can't imagine that the help is going to get much better anytime soon given that they're hiring for all positions once again (as of an ad posted online today!). Prices are high, and I couldn't help but noticed that they used a sharpie to cross off items supposed to be included with their breakfasts? on the menu when I was there. Overtime, may get better...but has anyone checked out the Koney across the street in the Target complex (next to Petsmart). Nick's has nothing on the prices and quality of that food..hands down. Just my 2 cents :]


Wed, Feb 17, 2010 : 9:01 p.m.

We tried "Nick's" and the food was not good and our food was cold. How can you mess up a breakfast? We will continue to eat at the best breakfast place in town, and that is Classic Cup Cafe.


Wed, Feb 10, 2010 : 7:01 a.m.

I thought can a pancake house make it there? If Big Boy could not why could someone else, I miss the Big Boy, but from the reviews I will save my money and not visit "Nick's". Mark's Coney Island has a great breakfast if you can get past the grease and the smoke smell. That may change come May 1st.


Sat, Feb 6, 2010 : 11:41 a.m.

The quality is that of a dive. The service lacks follow through to serve the customer. Will I ever go back? Not even if someone else was buying would I ever go back. They might as well put the lease sign in the window to make way for the next business to start at this location.


Thu, Feb 4, 2010 : 5:45 p.m.

The breakfasts served near the ann arbor/ypsi border are worth the drive along washtenaw and carpenter are worth the drive.


Thu, Feb 4, 2010 : 2:36 p.m.

I had some high hopes when I heard about this place opening but after going back for a third and final try I was let down. The first two times I tried the breakfast and both times the food took a long time to come out (they weren't overly busy) and tasted very generic. It seems no different to me then Big Boy or Denny's. I tried a burger last time and I appreciate that they get their meat from Knights, but if they are going to overcook it until it is completely dry then what is the point?


Thu, Feb 4, 2010 : 11:14 a.m.

I don't know if I'll go back... Waiting for table is one thing... but waiting 40 minutes to get our food??? On top of that, our toast was cold, as if it was sitting around for while... the service was horrible... someone came by once in a while... had to stop someone to get a refill on the coffee... I saw someone who actually went up to the counter for more coffee... they are lot of logistics that needs to be worked out... maybe hiring more cooks? Seriously... does it take 40 minutes to get a pancake???


Thu, Feb 4, 2010 : 9:32 a.m.

My wife and I visited a week after they opened and observed a lot of confusion and kitchen issues, including overhearing a guest in the next booth over complaining loudly about the 45 minutes he was spending waiting for his meal (which then arrived incorrect). Our meals were nearly merely average (aggravated by being well on the way to getting cold) when they arrived after 30 minutes. Getting cold doesn't do much for the Hipster Hash. We love the idea and think it's a great location for a breakfast place. It has great potential. We figure we'll give it another try after they've had a few more weeks to get things straightened out.

Somewhat Concerned

Thu, Feb 4, 2010 : 9:22 a.m.

I like breakfast food any time of the day, and especially pancakes, but Nick's is disappointing. Both the food and the service leave something to be desired. Fair disclosure: I feel the same way about The Village Kitchen, where the "fruit" portion of their daily special turned out to be 3 pieces of canned peaches in heavy syrup.


Thu, Feb 4, 2010 : 9:16 a.m.

I agree that my two visits to the restaurant have both been disappointing all around (Sunday early afternoon breakfast both times -- about 3 weeks and four weeks after they opened). The food, the service and the price. I wanted to like it. If they can up the service and food quality level (possibly by reducing the menu?) and reduce the prices, I might go back.


Thu, Feb 4, 2010 : 8:23 a.m.

The service needs to be improved. Also, has Nick's invested in highchairs for those that have infants?


Thu, Feb 4, 2010 : 6:25 a.m.

I was disappointed about losing Big Boy in our 'hood. But, I agreed about the first weekend opening. I was deeply disappointed (slower server and getting food and hair in food). I love breakfast and pancake. So after a few weeks, I decided to give it a second chance. I am so glad "Nick's" fixed the "bugs". Now I don't have to travel to downtown AA for a breakfast. Keep up the good work "Nick's".