Food Hack: Pancake House TacosFebruary 26, 2019
- Katrina IriberriWords
I always order the same thing at Pancake House, the House Specials Set. The name says it all, it’s every Pancake House non-pancake specialty on one plate. You get one piece of Pan Chicken with gravy, a small serving of their strangely delicious spaghetti, and what they claim is the “Best Taco in Town.”
I won’t go so far as to agree with that boast, but I will say that the Pancake House taco is delicious. With flavorful beef, fresh (we hope) toppings and delicious, processed cheese, what’s not to love? All those elements are fairly easy to replicate at home. The toughest part will be getting the sweet, tangy, zingy dressing right, it’s what completes the dish and ties all the elements together. That clear, slightly greasy (but yummy) liquid that drips from your plate and makes your taco shell soggy is also the thing that makes the Pancake House Taco the Pancake House Taco.
As it turns out, the mystery sauce isn’t as mysterious at it initially seemed to be. With olive oil, vinegar, sugar, and some salt, you’ll get a pretty close replica of the Pancake House original, and the best part is you won’t have to pay PHP 107 for it.
Food Hack: Pancake House Taco
Total Time: 45 minutes | Yield: 10-12 tacos
Ingredients for the Beef
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1/4 onion, chopped
- 1/2 kg ground beef
- One pack of taco seasoning
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
Ingredients for the Dressing
- 2 tbsp regular (not extra virgin) olive oil
- 3 1/2 tbsp white vinegar
- 3/4 tbsp sugar
- pinch of salt
- Shredded lettuce
- Grated local cheddar cheese
- Diced tomatoes
- Chopped onions
- Taco shells
Procedure for the Beef
- In a pan, sauté the garlic and onions in oil until the onions are translucent.
- Add the beef and cook until browned. Throughout the cooking process, drain out as much liquid as you can from the pan and the beef with a large spoon or by gently tipping your pan over the sink.
- In a separate bowl, dissolve the taco seasoning in half a cup of water, per the instructions in the packet. Pour the liquid into the pan with the beef and add the tomato paste. You’ll know the beef is done once it has absorbed most of the seasoning liquid.
- Transfer the beef to a bowl to cool.
Procedure for the Dressing
- Mix the oil, vinegar and sugar together in small bowl with a fork.
- Add salt and/or more sugar to taste.
- While there are no rules to taco assembly, I find that layering the beef at the bottom works best since it minimizes the mess.
- I drizzle the dressing over my assembled taco with a spoon. Alternatively, you can toss your chopped tomatoes and onions into the dressing.