Not only is Gram Cafe & Pancakes an "Only in San Francisco" phenomenon, but it is the only location of this popular Japanese café in all of the United States!
Gram opened in the Stonestown Galleria shopping center in San Francisco a few months ago, to wildly popular reviews.
It's concept intrigued me so much that, today, I drove over an hour to the far west part of San Francisco to sample their "signature" Premium Pancakes. While the café serves other pancake dishes, it is the Premium Pancakes that are causing all the commotion.
They are souffléd pancakes, served as a stack of three with whipped cream, butter, and a tiny pitcher of warm maple syrup.
Serving times for the Premium Pancakes are each day at 11 a.m., 3 p.m., and 6 p.m. Only 30 orders are prepared at each serving and the staff gives out tickets for each serving time. Each order is prepared to order at the rate of 10 servings each half hour.
The Premium Pancakes are very delicate and customers are not offered a take-home box for them. These pancakes are fragile and will lose their "pouf" after awhile.
Customers are not required to order the Premium Pancakes. There are several other menu items from which to choose and you can just drop by anytime to enjoy those.
I met Harriet at Gram at 10 a.m. this morning and we settled into the line of numbered seats.
At 10:30, a staff member handed us our numbers.
While we were waiting, another staff member offered us cups of coffee and water. Then, she further psyched us up by coming around with a stuffed-toy version of the Premium Pancakes. She offered, and we accepted her offer, to take pictures of us with these toy pancakes.
Promptly at 11 a.m., we were seated in the dining room.
Several customers at tables near us decided to share just one order among their party and to order other pancake creations as well.
Harriet and I each wanted our own order.
And, we had a great time and loved the Premium Pancakes.
At $16 an order, the Premium Pancakes are a bit of a splurge, but well worth the experience. Several staff members came to our table to talk about the pancakes and make sure that we were enjoying our meals. It was a leisurely experience; we were not at all rushed.
I say that the Premium Pancake is well worth the advance planning and worth the excursion.
And, the Stonestown Galleria is a very nice shopping mall, so, for us, this was an excellent way to spend a day together...eating and shopping!!!