This is our adaptation of Crest Cafe's (San Diego, California) lemon-ricotta pancakes, which are served with fresh strawberries and bananas. Top the bananas with a sprinkling of grated lemon peel and offer warm maple syrup to drizzle over the fruit and cakes.

 

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James Carrier

From Crest Cafe, San Diego, Calif.

Peter Jensen

With hip, comfortable food and a retro diner look made slightly prim and proper by church pews enjoying their second life as cafe seating, Crest Cafe has been packing in Hillcrest-area habitués since 1982. Favorite menu items include a famous "onion loaf" (a deep-fried tangle of battered rings), grilled sandwiches, and honey-glazed pork chops.

On weekends, breakfast specials such as the divine lemon- or orange-ricotta buttermilk pancakes and blackberry-topped whole wheat-cottage cheese "power pancakes" raise pancake expertise to an art form.

Crest Cafe, 425 Robinson Ave., San Diego, CA;
(619) 295-2510.

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