Versus: Here's to You, Mrs. Robinson

Which Grand Slam truly hits one out of the park?

The Dish: Seattle deserves a Grand Slam, in or out of Safeco Field. And if our baseball team won't deliver one, our restaurants will. Our challengers both have jersey numbers (5 and 219), a couple of great pitchers (of syrup), and a home plate (of food). But when it comes to this breakfast staple of pancakes, eggs, and bacon, who will deliver a home run?The Rivals: 5 Spot, 1502 Queen Anne Ave. N., 285-7768. Kathryn's Grand Slam ($9.50) consists of buttermilk pancakes, two strips of bacon, and two eggs cooked to order. It's named after erstwhile Seattle Weekly food critic Kathryn Robinson, who, in the words of 5 Spot owner Peter Levy, "fucking skewered and roasted us" back in 2001."I won't bore you with the content of the review," says Levy, "but my initial response was to take the ferry over to Vashon and smoke dope all day."Specifically, Robinson compared the 5 Spot to Denny's. "I thought it would be fitting to have a menu item with the classic ingredient list from Denny's original Grand Slam breakfast in honor of K.R.'s grand slam of our joint, only with delicious cakes and real maple syrup (which right about now is more expensive than a shot of J.W. Red Label). It was meant to happen, and the item lives on."Denny's has nothing on the 5 Spot's Grand Slam. Its over-easy eggs, velvety pancakes, and crispy bacon were a deeply agreeable combination of sweet and savory. We aren't huge pancake fans, but something about these (excuse the pun) totally hit the spot.Table 219, 219 Broadway Ave. E., 328-4604. The Seattle Slam ($9.50) is a lot like Kathryn's Slam, but the pancakes change flavor every day, and you get a choice of Bavarian Meats bacon or chicken sausage. The day we went, they were out of bacon, so we were left to order the chicken sausage. We're glad we did. The links were juicy, filled with spices, and cooked to perfection. It reminded us of biting into a really great hot dog, fresh off the grill. The eggs were also good, but the pancakes are the real story. We were expecting buttermilk, but were served ginger pancakes with spiced butter instead—light, fluffy, and delicately flavored. Granted, they were quite a bit smaller than the 5 Spot's, but when you also have two eggs and two sausage links staring up at you from a plate, size doesn't matter so much.The Champ: Most of the time, we create a mental picture of what we're going to eat way before we place our order. We whet our appetite imagining what our food will look and taste like when finally served. When those expectations are not met, we are disappointed. That was the case with Table 219. We were expecting regular pancakes in our traditional Grand Slam, but instead were given cakes with a spicy flair. Which were great; we'd totally order them again on their own. But as a Grand Slam component, they did not mesh. In our opinion, the spice of the sausage and the heaviness of the egg yolks called for pancakes with a more neutral flavor. Hence, the 5 Spot Grand Slam hit it out of the park on this challenge.jperry@seattleweekly.com

 
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