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My Teenage Memories, Crushed – The Pancake Manor

The other night I visited a hangout from times gone by. A time when restaurants weren’t open much past 8pm let alone 11, 12 or 1am. A time when it was rare to see an old building re-purposed into a modern venue. A time when anything topped with sour cream was considered the height of decadence. Yes my friends. I’m talking about the 1980’s.

The Pancake Manor loomed large in my youth. It was a place to go with your mates and behave like a grown up. Ordering crepes and pancakes in the surrounds of an old church restyled as medieval banqueting hall. Classy. It was hugely popular after attending concerts at Festival Hall, where I spent much of my teen years. I always wanted Chicken Nicoise ‘We call it chicken knickers’ or Beef Tabriz ‘diced beef marinated in red wine and herbs’ but usually could only afford a short stack ‘two fluffy pancakes topped with whipped buttermilk and maple syrup’. I went there that often that I can still remember the menu off by heart.

Serious Young Moderns...

Serious Young Moderns…

Last week we found ourselves at the far end of town after a few drinks so I decided to introduce Mr Tiffin to my misspent youth and take him to The Pancake Manor. I wish I’d let it stay in 1982. Barely anything has changed. The same medieval stylings, the circular bar in the centre, plenty of booths and absolutely gaggles of teenagers. Either pancakes are still in or they are so retro that they’re cool but there were dozens and dozens of groups of youngsters eating out with their friends. The short and long stacks on the menu were still there but sadly, Chicken Knickers was no longer on the menu. We chose simple mushroom crepes and chicken crepes in a tomato sauce.

Crushed By The Wheels Of Industry
Despite the crowds, our meals arrived quickly and that’s when my happy memories disappeared. The mushroom crepes were filled with a creamy mushroom filling which was fairly basic but wasn’t too bad. It sat on a pool of thin creamy sauce, possibly mushroom, flavoured with chopped chives and dried oregano. Bland but edible. Anthony’s chicken crepes were an odd combination of a chicken filling in a white sauce, sitting in a thin sweet tomato sauce, also flavoured with dried oregano. The chicken crepes were luke warm and the tomato sauce cold. We called the waitress who was totally at a loss at what to do. She immediately asked if we wanted to speak with a manager but we simply asked if they could be heated. The crepes were taken to the kitchen and back on the table in less than a minute. Warmer but not really warm enough. The crepes of my dreams had become the crepes you see in a thousand food courts across the country, heated in a microwave and dressed with some pea shoots. Edible but a lacklustre affair.

Pancake Trio

We decided to call it quits and leave the youth of today to enjoy the delights of The Pancake Manor. It wasn’t the worse meal I’ve ever had. It was just average. Perfect for teens and tourists and those wanting to get together somewhere quick and relatively cheap. Not so perfect for this Gen X-er. There was much discussion on social media about my visit. My partner in crime from all those years ago said ‘Maybe it was bad back then and we just didn’t know it.’ Maybe it was. I’d like to think that’s not the case but perhaps it’s true. Either way, my recent visit to The Pancake Manor stomped all over my lovely 1982 teen memories.

Visited: Friday 9th October – Dinner Service

The Pancake Manor
18 Charlotte St
Brisbane  Qld  4000

Pancake Manor Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

18 comments… add one
  • Maria October 20, 2015, 7:16 pm

    Oh didn’t this bring back some memories! I spent many a day and night at The Pancake Manor after school (and sometimes during!). Iain and I went there not that long ago and the savoury options were ghastly, but the pancakes I’d have to say were still as scrumptious as I remember them. Probably best to stick to dessert. Wasn’t there a giant chess game in the middle too?

    • Fiona Ryan October 21, 2015, 10:23 am

      I think the chess is still there Maria. Perhaps we should have just had the pancakes but I won’t be back to see if they are still OK.

  • Cassandra October 21, 2015, 12:41 am

    I love that places and tastes stay pristine in our memories whether or not that’s actually the case in reality. Makes you wonder, was it always this bad or is it because I didn’t know any better?

  • Dean Weber October 21, 2015, 6:50 am

    I really like the photo!
    Kind Regards

  • Tony Owens October 21, 2015, 7:29 am

    I remember going there many times after Festival Hall. In particular after seeing the Violent Femmes supported by a long forgotten little beat combo called Nirvana.

    • Fiona Ryan October 21, 2015, 10:22 am

      You’d be crying too.

    • Elizabeth October 22, 2015, 6:03 pm

      Oh Tony the violent femmes are doing a day on the green at the winery next year… Tickets just went on sale!

      • Fiona Ryan October 23, 2015, 11:25 am

        ha ha – we have seen them so many times. Speaking of Day on The Green – we are off to see the Hoodoo Gurus, RatCat, Died Pretty and The Sunnyboys in March. Talk about a flashback!

  • Jan Rhoades October 21, 2015, 8:31 am

    Sad face for you! :~{

  • Sherry m October 21, 2015, 9:57 am

    Oh yes I have some memories of that place too! Beef Tabriz was my fave. We actually had a meal there a few years back ( very strange-no idea why); sadly no Tabriz to be found. We used to go there in the 80s too, mainly because nothing else was open !

  • Elizabeth October 22, 2015, 6:01 pm

    What a fantastic photo, but alas, I did the same thing at the pancake manor in Brisbane and was equally disappointed! Long live our memories before we really knew any better!
    Liz xx

    • Fiona Ryan October 23, 2015, 9:28 am

      My ‘Serious Young Modern Phase’ taken at the gates of the City Botanic Gardens : ) c1984

  • Gary Lum October 23, 2015, 8:18 pm

    I remember going there as a teenager too

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