Michigan’s Best Local Eats: Family recipe guides Nick’s Original House of Pancakes’ from-scratch meals

ANN ARBOR, MI — Nick Panos takes pride in his “from-scratch kitchen.”

“We crack our own eggs,” said Panos, owner of Nick’s Original House of Pancakes in Ann Arbor. “We make our own batter.”

The batter recipe, a close-kept secret, was created by his aunt, also a local restaurant owner.

Nick’s Original House of Pancakes, 3030 Lohr Circle, celebrates its 13th anniversary in December, Panos said. The restaurant focuses on breakfast food, serving up omelets, biscuits and gravy and, of course, pancakes.

“Obviously, pancakes are the highlight,” Panos said.

Panos serves the classics — including chocolate chip, banana and strawberry

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Smoked food is everywhere this season, and North Fork chefs told us how to do it at home

A selection of smoked meats from 8 Hands Farm and smoked fish from Hook & Net. (Photo Credit: David Benthal: Food Styling: Alice Falcone)

I feel in control in my kitchen, but the grill has always intimidated me a little. High heat? Low heat? How do I know when something is done? Turns out, all I needed to learn was how to turn my grill into a smoker. It’s easy, hard to mess up and there’s plenty of control. Once you get it down, you can smoke just about anything you can eat. And chefs on the North Fork do.

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