With every person who approached the register Macy Lee, co-owner of the new Thirty-Six Cafe warned that the soufflé pancakes could require a considerable wait. After she and her sister-in-law opened the cafe, word spread quickly about the beautiful room and those thick, soft, and wiggly pancakes. The dish has already taken the coasts by storm, and the Twin Cities’ first spot daring to serve them, has been a little over-whelmed by the response. Good thing that’s not the only thing on the menu.
Lee was inspired to open the cafe after a trip through Thailand, where she fell in love with the sweets there, particularly the honey toast. At Thirty-Six cafe, that means thick cut white bread is scored and toasted, before being topped with plenty of floral-sweet honey, two scoops of vanilla ice cream, and a few slices of strawberries. Most of the dishes on the menu are sweet and breakfast ready. There are savory salmon and avocado toasts, smoothie bowls, coffee drinks, and those pancakes.
While Lee handles the front of house, her sister-in-law Soua is busy in the kitchen, cooking the food as fast as the tiny kitchen allows. The soufflé pancakes require whipped egg whites up into stiff peaks and carefully folding them into batter to maintain the height and gentle wiggle the dish demands. Several varieties are served with toppings, include a classic with sweetened, condensed milk, whipped cream, and strawberries and a bananas foster flavor with banana slices, caramel, and chocolate sauce.
Because the pancakes can only be prepared two at a time, the wait times can grow a bit untenable during busy hours. On our visit, it was two hours until they were ready. However, most diners were happy to pass the time with other snacks, and large mugs of espresso drinks.
As the cafe settles into whatever the new normal will be, the hours may change. For now, it opens at 7 a.m. and closes at 5 p.m.