Skinny Pancake oozes flavor


Snow fills the air on Montpelier’s bustling Main Street. Many people, their faces pink and pinched from the wind, hurry into various shops in a race to get out of the cold. Up ahead is an inviting brick building with a rustic sign painted on it reading The Skinny Pancake.

Instantly after opening the door I’m welcomed by warm, sweet-smelling air and the sound of Mumford and Sons playing softly in the background. In the doorway, there is a chalk sign informing us to order our food before choosing a table. Next to it is a red velvet curtain separating the entryway from the restaurant’s main room.

Towards back of the restaurant is a café-like setup where the food is ordered. Behind it are three large chalkboards with the entire menu meticulously written on them. The first two rows of items are breakfast and panini options. After that, the restaurant’s most notable dishes are listed: their crepes. The Skinny Pancake offers 27 different crepe dishes, both sweet and savory, including vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free and all-local options.

I put in an order for a Cheesy Pesto crepe, which is made with a basil and sunflower seed pesto, Cabot cheddar cheese and fresh Vermont mozzarella. My friend orders the Choco Monkey—which is filled with Nutella, bananas and Cabot whipped cream—from the dessert menu. He and I also order a maple and chai latte, respectively.

This all comes to under $26 and after paying, we are able to choose our seat. The restaurant has seven wooden tables, all of which were different finishes and sizes. Once seated, I am able to really take in the space around me.

The Skinny Pancake oozes a minimalist feel and a hipster vibe. The light fixtures are industrial in appearance with exposed metal piping lining the walls. A few of them are made from repurposed mason jars and milk bottles. The cool-toned concrete floor offsets warm, crème colored walls and textured orange ceiling. On the walls hangs a series of beautifully painted landscape canvases depicting different seasons. Interrupting these paintings are large windows allowing me to watch the snow fall lazily outside.

Within 10 minutes, our food arrived. The dessert crepe has organic banana slices peeking out the folds and is topped with powdered sugar and a rosette of whipped cream on the side. The crepe I ordered exudes an almost intoxicating aroma of fresh basil and was garnished with a spinach salad. Our lattes, which were executed practically perfectly, came in clay mugs that looked as though they were handmade. Our silverware is also unique; the ends of the handles are welded into tight, coiled spirals.

To get a full taste of The Skinny Pancake, we split our dishes, and they are both amazing. The Choco Monkey is everything one would want from a sweet crepe. The Nutella melted so that it seeped into the dough of the crepe, and the bananas are ripe in taste and texture. The Cheesy Pesto crepe is slathered in a full-flavored pesto. The two cheeses had melded into one stringy, delicious mess. For me, it is the ultimate comfort food.

Not only did I have a good time, but I felt good about eating there. Painted on one of their walls is The Skinny Pancake’s mission statement which reads, “The Skinny Pancake is on a mission to change the world by building a healthier, safer and more delicious food shed while creating everyday enjoyment that is both fun and affordable.” The restaurant holds a VT Green Restaurant Certificate and also has an environmental policy statement where it pledges to do everything it can to reduce their impact on the environment and community.

One of the ways The Skinny Pancake does this is by having every one of the chain’s locations donate its used cooking oil to the Black Bear Biodiesel company for biodiesel production. Every restaurant also has a compost system for scraps to be sent to farms or larger compost facilities. Extra food is sent to local food banks.

The Skinny Pancake additionally emphasizes on eating local—meats as well as vegetables. The restaurant in Montpelier has partnered up with places such as Good Heart Farmstead, Jasper Hills and Cate Hill Orchard. Furthermore, the chain has dedicated 1 percent of its revenue to go to non-profit organizations that help improve the state’s food shed in a campaign they call 1% For the Planet.

The Skinny Pancake has five other locations in Vermont and one in New Hampshire.