Eden, msn110, and I started the morning at the so-called Original Pancake House in Madison. I say so-called because a) it's not the original Original Pancake House -- they outgrew the original location -- and b) they offer no proof that they really are the original pancake house. I guess I'm just supposed to take their word for it. Yeah, right! Maybe that kind of attitude will play here in the sticks, but jaded East Coasters like me require proof!
It turns out that the original Original Pancake House opened in Portland, Oregon, in 1953. The web site doesn't say whether that first Original Pancake House was in fact the original pancake house, but it's plausible that as early as 1953 no one had thought of opening a restaurant specializing in pancakes. IHOP didn't open until 1958. Anyway, there are now 93 Original Pancake House franchises across the country, including three in the DC area. Which makes it kind of a deceptive name, if you ask me.