Pancakes at your beck and call

Kaelia Neal, Editor-in-chief

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It’s Saturday night, prime time for friends to go dancing and barhopping on Third Street. But when the night is over, stomachs are growling, the mission becomes finding something to eat.

The lines at Muchas Gracias are too long and Subway is too far. That makes delivery a good choice, particularly when you can get breakfast for dinner.

And with German pancakes rolled like burritos, budding DJ and cook Julius Northington is aiming to make this possible. “It’s the definition of mouth-watering,” he boasts.

His business, Juice’s Pancake Lounge, is currently sharing the kitchen at the 411 Eatery and Lounge on Third Street. That limits operating hours to 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday through Monday.

But he’s looking for a permanent home to make his nighttime pancake dream come true.

Eggier than a regular pancake, but thinner and butterier, the centerpiece of his menu features an exterior that puffs up and an interior that remains nice and gooey. And he offers gluten- and dairy-free batter on request.

One option is a German pancake with caramelized banana and Nutella — a Northington favorite.

“I want to cry when I roll that,” he said, laughing at the thought. “That’s the way to go.”

Northington said another favorite is his French-toast pancake burrito with fruit, which is enjoying growing popularity.

Delivery can be arranged by calling or texting 503-714-5034. The menu can be explored ahead of time by visiting www.juicespancakelounge.com.

Northington was introduced to German pancakes at Elmer’s Restaurant. When he moved to Southern California, Elmer’s was no longer an option, so he learned to make them on his own.

Even though he doesn’t consider himself a chef — after all, he’s trying to carve out a career as a DJ — German pancakes became a breakfast staple for him. “It’s like my cereal,” he said.

Northington played with the recipe. Eventually, he decided to roll his pancakes like burritos, rather than fold them.

As the years passed, Northington expanded his menu by adding various toppings and fillings. Soon, friends began encouraging him to share his love for German pancakes with a wider audience.

He tried to get a start in Seattle. When that fell through, he moved back to an old haunt — McMinnville.

He soon became a regular at the 411 Lounge, and one thing led to another. Eventually, the owner offered him use of the kitchen, and he established Juice’s Pancake Lounge.

Over the intervening eight months, he has managed to quadruple his customer base. “It’s all kind of coming together by itself,” he said.

His ultimate goal is combining his musical and culinary passions by opening a night club that sells German pancakes on the side. After all, “It’s always been about people having a good time,” he said.