Massachusetts’ All-Time Greatest Breakfast Was Bickford’s Big Apple Pancake
I can’t stop thinking about the greatest breakfast dish to ever grace the SouthCoast and beyond. The Bickford’s Big Apple Pancake may be no more – because, well, Bickford’s is no more – but that hasn’t stopped it from running through my mind the past few days.
First, a friend of mine posted a photo of her eating a similar dish from a place out in Ohio.
Then, our friends at Red Cow Entertainment put out a video in their “RIP Restaurants and Retail” YouTube series on Bickford’s.
It seemed like the breakfast stars were aligning.
However, I'll sadly never get a true Bickford's Big Apple Pancake again.
Once upon a time, Bickford’s was spread across New England and was more prominent than IHOP or Denny’s; however, most of them closed up shop over a decade ago and now there are just two remaining, renamed “Bickford’s Grille.”
Bickford’s as we knew it began in 1959, and by the mid-1990s, there were over 70 locations across the region. Locally, there was one in Fall River, one in Raynham, one in Seekonk, and two in Brockton.
Bickford’s offered breakfast, lunch and dinner, with breakfast available any time of day; it was one of the true late-night dining options back in the day.
And I knew just what I was getting every time I walked through the door.
It goes by many names: apple pancake, baked apple pancake, German apple pancake, Dutch apple pancake, and my personal favorite, the Dutch baby. However, at Bickford’s, it was simply the Big Apple Pancake. There was also a smaller version, the Baby Apple, for smaller appetites.
Basically, pancake batter was poured into a skillet, sliced apples were added (preferably Grannysmith), and the entire concoction was baked in the oven until it came out puffy and golden. It was then slathered with cinnamon and sugar and served piping hot to your table along with some maple syrup. Some even opted for a scoop of vanilla ice cream to be added to the middle, but that was just too sweet for me.
Here's a how-to on how to make one at home. I doubt it's the same, but it's worth at try.
There is only one restaurant in the area that I’m aware of that still offers this breakfast delight, and that’s Good Days on Route 28 in West Bridgewater. They call it the “Baked Apple Cinnamon Pancake” and they describe it as “golden brown with sliced apples and cinnamon sugar glaze” and it will run you $11.99.
I tried to find other restaurants that offer the pancake, but kept coming up short, even under all of those various aliases.
Do you know a place that offers their own version of the Big Apple Pancake? If so, let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org. It’s been too long since I’ve had one and now I think I need one.
UPDATE: Thanks to reader "carouselmama" who let me know that the Cozy Kettle Restaurant at 366 Mariano Bishop Boulevard in Fall River offers both a small ($10.95) and a large ($11.95) baked apple pancakes, which she says is "delicious."