jelly pancake house

This is the pancake sampler at Jelly Pancake House in Dyer, Ind.

Saturday morning. The sun is shining. The grass freshly mowed, house cleaned and nothing else on the schedule. A great morning to head out to the Kankakee Farmers’ Market.

We have one of the best farmers’ markets around. Visitors can purchase fresh vegetables, plants, meats, cheese and baked goods. Enjoy a bag of fresh kettle corn, a smoothie, or indulge in one of several outstanding food vendors. Sometimes there are entertainers featured in the gazebo; the morning is an event.

I often frequent the market. Quietly walking and watching; taking it all in. I’m amazed at how much it has grown over the years and the increased number of visitors. The long lines at the food vendors indicate that they, like most of us, appreciate the fabulous fare that is freshly prepared.

The market wasn’t the only place there was a long line, but as I looked across the street, I noticed people waiting to enter Grapes & Hops on Schuyler Avenue. Wine? Bathroom? My curiosity won; I walked over. It wasn’t either of those; they were in line for tiny bundt cakes?

Nothing Bundt Cakes owners Beth and Bob Feldman hurriedly waited on customers who were ordering these beautiful cakes, each packaged individually. The tiny cake itself would serve one or two people. However, what was the draw to these tiny cakes?

Bob left his post for a minute offering samples of a chocolate chocolate chip cake with their signature cream cheese frosting. First bite, moist and so flavorful; the second bite, the frosting made with cream cheese and butter drizzled on top. They had me.

I chose four cakes which came with a small cooler to keep them fresh until I returned home. When I return, I’ll bring my container, buy four cakes, and get the fifth for free.

The classic flavors are chocolate chocolate chip, classic vanilla, white chocolate raspberry, red velvet, confetti, carrot, lemon, marble and pecan praline. The carrot cake was unbelievable with tiny pieces of pineapple and oh so good.

They offer the small bundt cakes at the market, but guests can visit one of their stores and purchase either an 8-inch or 10-inch cake, a tiered cake or bundtlets. They come with the signature frosting or a drizzle frosting, even decorated if you’d like.

If you haven’t tried one, do so before the end of the Farmers Market. I guarantee you will love them.

Nothing Bundt Cakes stores are at 11225 W. Lincoln Highway, Mokena, 815-642-5754; or 14360 S. LaGrange Road, Unit A, Orland Park, 708-949-8885. You can also order online at NothingBundtCakes.com.

It’s time for my summer on the road again adventures.

My daughter, Kelly Markland, of Lowell, Ind., recommended a whimsical little restaurant for breakfast and lunch — Jelly Pancake House, Dyer, Ind. About an hour from Kankakee, it’s a beautiful drive. Take in the peaceful wooded farmland.

Jelly Pancake House has a variety of the usual breakfast items, but several unique items, too. If you’re like me, I’m overwhelmed by a large menu, I want to try everything, but that is impossible.

So, indulge in the waffle flight with four mini waffles — pecan, bacon, chocolate chip and chicken. Hearty appetites will like their specialty skirt steak and egg breakfast burrito – steak, scrambled eggs, onion, peppers, Swiss cheese and steak sauce.

There is also a nice variety of skillets, omelets and, of course, biscuits and gravy. Dan Henrickson, Bourbonnais, is the biscuits and gravy guru, so I highly recommend him making a trip to try these.

They do have some unique items like their spicy PB and J burger; pork Chilaquiles, Creole crab skillet and banana cream pie French toast, just to name a few. I sampled quite a few items from our table; the pancakes were my second favorite food.

My first — their homemade jelly. I stuffed as many little packets in my purse as I could. I would have purchased a few jars, but the line was much too long to wait. I’ll be back.

The coffee is excellent, and if you prefer a breakfast cocktail, they have several to choose from. For instance, design-it-your way Bloody Mary. Excellent. Early birds will like their weekday special from 7-8:30 a.m.; a big selection of breakfast foods for only $4.95. Although they do serve a nice lunch, I prefer their breakfast.

Get in the car and head to Dyer for the morning. There are some nice shops nearby and a few flea markets if you’re into that. There is another location in Merrillville as well.

Jelly Pancake House is at 936 Joliet St., Dyer, Ind. Call 219-865-3200. They are open daily from 6 a.m. until 3 p.m. The Merrillville house is at 399 E. 81st Ave., Merrillville, Ind. Call 219-736-0100. They’re open daily from 7 a.m. until 3 p.m.

Time for me to hit the road.

Tinker Parker can be reached at 815-802-5101, at bestbites@daily-journal.com, or follow her at Facebook.com/ TDJBestBites.

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