Lingonberry Fields Forever

The beauty of the Swedish pancake breakfast is its simplicity.

What: Swedish Pancake BreakfastWhere: Swedish Cultural Center, 1920 Dexter Ave. N., 283-1090, WESTLAKETime of entry: 10:30 Sunday morning. The pancake breakfast is held the first Sunday of each month, 8 a.m.–1:30 p.m. (The next one will be June 7.)Level of hangover: None. If measured on a 1–10 scale, with 10 being a paralyzing head-thumper, mine would be a –2, having spent the previous night soaking up the pile of piss that is the new Iron Man movie. But, hey, I knew what I was getting myself into.Level of waitstaff hangover: Also none. Binge drinking and volunteering at a community center at 8 in the morning apparently don't mix. The waitstaff at the SCC understand this, though after serving around 500 people, their patience seems a little short.Prescriptions: The beauty of the Swedish pancake breakfast is its simplicity. A flat $7 gets you in the door, where the menu consists of one thing: rolled-up, crepe-style pancakes covered in lingonberry sauce and a blob of whipped cream, with a slice of honey-baked ham on the side. The pancakes appear tender and delicate, but few substances can soak up the indiscretions of the night before like dough. The atmosphere at the Swedish Cultural Center may not be as soothing. You'll be seated at a large table, amid a sea of other tables, and any throbbing in your head will keep time with the live polka band. If you're not hobbling back onto the wagon, the pancake breakfast can be fun: chatting with friendly old Swedes, spotting the lone table of punks in the room, and indulging in a traditional breakfast that doesn't try to be anything it's not.Hair of the dog: Coffee. The waitstaff constantly hits you up with refills as they rove around the room.Success of the soak: I left feeling content, if not a little stuffed. Payment for breakfast gets you two tickets—one for firsts and one for seconds. Given that Swedish pancakes seem to operate much like those expanding dish sponges, exercise caution when refilling your plate. ERIK NEUMANN

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