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First Impressions: Babycakes Cafe

If I were to pick one food category that Las Vegas sucked at, I would say it’s breakfast.  We have a whole lot of bad breakfast places, a gaggle of mediocre breakfast places, barely a handful of good breakfast places and two great breakfast places.  I’d put the red hot Babycakes Cafe in the northwest part of town solidly in the mediocre category, and it’s certainly not for lack of original ideas.  When you look at the menu it gives you hope for the future of America.  Unfortunately when it comes down to the execution, you’re reminded that you’re in yet another strip mall breakfast joint in Las Vegas.

Babycakes Cafe

Babycakes Cafe

Everything about Babycakes Cafe makes me think that there are some good minds behind it trying to make the most with zero budget.  For instance, half the seating is on high top tables.  Why the hell would a breakfast and lunch joint have uncomfortable high top tables other than capitalizing off the misfortune of some poor, now defunct bar type place?  The food itself also lends me to believe they’re trying to stretch things a bit, but more about that in a minute.

First I need to say a word about the wait staff,which was spotty at best.  First off, when we arrived, the hostess told us that there was going to be a 35-40 minute wait.  Looking at the 3 or so parties ahead of us, I thought to myself there’s no way in hell we’ll be waiting more than 15 minutes…and I was right.  Unfortunately for them, not all potential customers had my vision, as several parties took flight toward other establishments.  I don’t think we waited 10 minutes before we were seated.  Granted it’s better to over estimate a bit when telling people about the wait time, but mercy.

Not to pile on the lovely young hostess, but also surveying awkward seating situation (obviously not her fault) upon our arrival, I told her that we’d wait for a low top table, but when we were seated we were still brought to a high top.   Keep in mind this is all on only one visit and price point and location of the place doesn’t really deem Michelin-star service.  No excuse for screwing up, but it’s not like the place should be avoided because of it.

Babycakes Cafe features an innovative breakfast menu with a bit of Hawaiian flavor mixed in.  On our only visit to the place, we got the Kahlua Pig Benedict, Loco Moco, Red Velvet Pancakes and Peanut Butter and Banana Pancakes.  See what I mean by an innovative breakfast menu?  Unfortunately the choice of ingredients and the execution doesn’t let the quirky menu turn Babycakes Cafe into a destination restaurant.

Kahlua Pig Benedict from Babycakes Cafe

Kahlua Pig Benedict from Babycakes Cafe

The Kahlua Pig Benedict ($9.75) takes the Hawaiian favorite of slow-roasted pork and cabbage and puts it between the poached egg and English muffin. What ruined the benedict was the hollandaise.  If the hollandaise wasn’t canned, it sure did taste like it. Thick and flavorless.  Also disappointing were the home fries which were basically Big Brown Bag frozen potato chunks deep fried and sprinkled with a little seasoned salt.  Meh.

Loco Moco from Babycakes Cafe

Loco Moco from Babycakes Cafe

The Wife got the Loco Moco ($7.75) which I saw sit at the heated pass for a long while as the kitchen got the rest of our breakfast together.  This long wait didn’t help the undercooked rice one bit as the ok beef patty with ok gravy was placed atop hard, crunchy rice pellets.  Other than the inedible rice, there really isn’t much to talk about the Loco Moco…but then again, how much can you really say about Loco Moco? Meh.

PB and Banana Pancakes (short stack) from Babycakes Cafe

PB and Banana Pancakes (short stack) from Babycakes Cafe

The pancakes may be the highlight category of the menu, although once again they fall victim to execution.  The Peanut Butter and Banana Pancakes ($7.75 tall / $4.95 short) can be gotten as either PB and Banana, Chocolate or Jelly.  They certainly weren’t lacking in the peanut butter department, but the result was this gloppy, cloying texture that filled your mouth as if you were sucking on a spoonful of peanut butter.  It would take a better chef than I to figure out how to harness that same flavor into a lighter, easier to swallow pancake, but it can be done.

Red Velvet Pancakes from Babycakes Cafe

Red Velvet Pancakes from Babycakes Cafe

A signature item on the menu are the Red Velvet Pancakes ($7.95 full / $5.25 short) with Cream Cheese Syrup.  They were red, and I suppose in the ball park of Red Velvet, so I guess they’re successful.  The Cream Cheese icing element would probably be better served in a different format than the smegma-resembling syrup.  My oh my. If man seed only tasted like cream cheese, right ladies?  But I digress.  The Red Velvet Pancakes were by far the best part of the outing, although nothing to make a special trip for.

And this is my judgement after this one and only trip to Babycakes Cafe.  I can’t really say it’s worth a trip of any measurable distance, but it’s certainly good for the neighborhood.  I was seated right in front of the pass, so I got to see each dish as it went out.  Whether it was one of the omelets, crepes or sandwiches, nothing stood out as an item I need to return for.  I can’t bitch too much because the price points certainly match what you’re given.  My problem is that when I finally see something intriguing on a breakfast menu, I hope for that extra mile to be taken to put out a quality plate of food.   If only the ingredients and execution lived up to the concept on the menu, then Babycakes Cafe would really be something to talk about.


Babycakes Cafe

2400 N. Buffalo Dr. #145
Las Vegas, NV 89128

(702) 541-6708

Follow Babycakes Cafe on Twitter at @BabycakesCafeLV

Mike Dobranski is a professional musician, amateur blogger, eater of good food, poker junkie, master of the inappropriate comment and bad husband to a wonderful wife.

Follow Mike and Tasting Las Vegas on Twitter at @TastingLasVegas

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6 comments to First Impressions: Babycakes Cafe

  • Donna Wilburn

    Dang it! Another example of champagne ideas on a beer budget..ugh! So where do you suggest we go for a nondisappointing breakfast that isn’t in a casino? Been to Egg Works (and it’s sister properties), Hash House a Go Go, Original Pancake house, Sunrise Cafe (or whatever it’s called near LVAC), Mimi’s, and I’m sure others. Looking for creative menu items executed with attention to flavor and presentation…ok..GO!

  • The Wife

    The Wife disagrees! The red velvet pancakes & cream cheese syrup were mighty tasty. I would definitely go back for them.

  • firefly guy

    I agree. Just another cheap-ass strip-mall breakfast joint serving sysco special potatoes and sausage.

    Although they seem to specialize in pancakes, the ones I had tasted like powdered mix.

    The red velvet pancakes are not an original idea either. I know that the Buttermilk Foodtruck in L.A. has been serving them for some time, as have numerous other places since the cupcake craze hit a few years ago.

  • The Wife has spoken! And once again, I must be wrong. It’s not that they were bad, I wouldn’t do the 30 minute drive to eat them again. You can always drive, right honey? That’s what I thought….

    John….now if only I knew a guy that wanted to start a decent breakfast place…. ;-)

  • I would settle for decent breakfast tacos

  • Seriously. Is there anything in the world better than a good Mexican breakfast? A rare find indeed.

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