Food & Drink: Better Batter, Lotto Butter

FOOD & DRINK

First there was the passion for pizzas, then the craze for coffeehouses. Now the country is flipping over flapjacks. Dotted across the land are some 300 specialized pancake palaces, of which 150 have risen, without benefit of leavening, in the past two or three years. Mostly chain-operated, the pancake shops are attractive, glittering clean, well designed, usually are located in suburban areas, where they get maximum family traffic. They offer the once-humble griddle cake, glorified and garnished in up to 37 astonishing varieties (e.g., crepe suzette, blintze, Swedish roll-up, royal Hawaiian). Fast growing Pancake Kitchens, Inc. this week...

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