“The tree which moves some to tears of joy is in the eyes of others only a green thing that stands in the way.” - William Blake
by Chason Gordon
- The Capitol Hill Times -
Since it’s quite painful to hold a marshmallow over a fire with your hands, we invented food on sticks. The form has seen a variety of pierced meals over the years, from hot dogs to popsicles to kebabs, all of which are wonderful to gesture with. Entering the fray is My Sweet Little Cakes, a new food cart at Melrose Avenue and Pine Street that dares to put hotcakes on a stick.
The tangerine orange trailer offers seven varieties of sweet, savory and specialty hotcakes, each paired with a custom dipping sauce. These include beer and hickory smoked bacon (savory), red velvet buttermilk with dark cherries and sweet cream cheese (sweet), and cornbread with cheddar, jalapeno and cilantro (specialty). You can wash them down (the food, not the sticks) with Sheena’s Hush-Hush Chai Tea. And if you want to tell your friends about the experience in a few days, they have postcards too.
I ordered the blueberry lemon ricotta with honey lemon syrup, and the free range chicken and waffle with maple butter. An immediate issue was finding a place to eat them. Stick food normally allows you to walk and eat at the same time, but since the hot cakes come with dipping sauces, that’s a little problematic. I am not secure enough a person to walk down the street with a hotcake in one hand and a dipping sauce in another. So I took them over to Bauhaus and ordered a drink to allay my guilt.
When I finally remembered which dipping sauce went with which hotcake, I dug in. The blueberry hotcake (it’s actually a waffle) was pleasantly sweet and delicious, and the accompanying honey lemon syrup a nice touch. Though the chicken and waffle hotcake bears little resemblance to its namesake, it’s a pretty good showing. Skillet has better chicken and waffles, but is it on a stick? I don’t think so.
There is a slight issue regarding the stick-to-food ratio. With corndogs and popsicles, the stick does not go all the way to the end of the food, so one may take the initial bite knowing they will not hit stick. The hotcake sticks go all the way to the end, but not through the other side like a skewer, which is a little confusing. Once you get past this slight miscommunication, you’ll realize that the hotcakes are to be eaten like corn on the cob or broken off manually with your hands. (My book on stick-to-food ratios will be available in the fall.)
My Sweet Little Cakes is run by Jesse and Sheena Lee, and the menu was developed with chef Nami Soto of Andaluca. Jesse and Sheena were both dressed like classic 1940s soda jerks (“soda jerks” is an actual term – I’m not calling the owners jerks). Their personas were ruined a little when Jesse asked me to like them on Facebook; I’m pretty sure Facebook didn’t exist in the 40s, but I could be wrong.
What’s important is that My Sweet Little Cakes has reimagined the possible in stick food production, so future generations can have more choice in eating and walking. If My Sweet Little Cakes becomes popular, you might say these hotcakes are selling like hotcakes, but you probably shouldn’t, because that phrase has no application to modern society.
My Sweet Little Cakes
1208 Pine Street
Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.