The young couple across the table from us anxiously waited for their breakfast to be served.The woman said, "My dad used to take us here for breakfast
almost every month when we were growing up." We were in the makeshift cafeteria of Normanna Lodge #3 on
My wife and I had heard of these great breakfasts which are served at the Lodge on the second Saturday morning of each month (except for June, July and August) from 7:30am to noon, and we decided that the most recent rainy Saturday would be the perfect time to give it a try. For eight dollars per person you get as many Swedish pancakes as you can eat, along with a slice of ham, coffee and juice. Pancake toppings include strawberries and syrup.
And those pancakes sure were delicious. In my younger days, "all you can eat" were magic words. I had no problem consuming numbers of tacos that tallied into double digits in one sitting, for example. Not so much anymore. Cooked thin on the griddle and rolled up tightly, it would appear that eating a half-dozen would be a piece of cake (so to speak). As much as I wanted to do that, four was the most I could manage.
Leona Olson is the chairperson for the breakfast events. Her responsibilities include buying all of the breakfast ingredients and coordinating the volunteer effort. "On any given Saturday we could have anywhere between 30 and 45 volunteer members showing up to help with breakfast", she said. "There are several snowbirds so the number is closer to 30 during winter months. We have people cooking, waiting tables, seating customers, busing tables and so on."
I asked how many people are served and how many pancakes are made during the morning. She said, "Around 650 guests usually come for breakfast, although we've had 1,000 on three occasions." Let's see, if I do the math and conservatively assume that each attendee has three pancakes it pencils out to an impressive 2,000 or so pancakes.
Around the perimeter of the dining hall there are many Scandinavia-centric items for sale.From there you can select from a collection of diverse items such as cookbooks, dishcloths and bumper stickers. Our favorite, which we just had to buy, was the package of Ole & Lena Fortune Cookies. Inside the cookies are not fortunes but rather some very clean jokes. For example: The eye doctor asked Ole, "Have your eyes been checked?" "No," said Ole, "they've always been blue."
On the way out the door, you'll find one last chance to buy and take home some Scandinavian goodness at a table selling lefse (a traditional soft Norwegian flatbread made primarily from potatoes) and pickled herring.
There may be a long line at this very popular breakfast event, but it does move fast and you're guaranteed to leave with a satisfied appetite and a great experience.
Normanna Lodge #3 is at