The building which houses “Polly’s Pancake Parlor” was built about 1830. It was originally used as a carriage shed and was later used for storage of firewood. During the depression of the thirties Polly and Wilfred (Sugar Bill) Dexter converted the building to a small, quaint tea room (capacity – 24 people). When they started serving in 1938 they offered pancakes, waffles and French toast – “All you can eat for 50¢.” The idea was to stimulate sales of their maple products.
Polly and Will’s daughter married Roger Aldrich in 1949 and in that year took over the management of “Polly’s Pancake Parlor.”
Wilfred Dexter passed away in 1960 and in 1964 Polly followed him. Since that time Nancy and Roger have gradually expanded the operation from three months to six months and the dining room size has been increased three times.
Nancy and Roger’s daughter, Kathie and her husband, Dennis Cote are now very actively assisting on a full-time basis with the management and production which assures our long list of friends that there will be family continuity for many years to come.
The antique tools and other items displayed here are mostly family relics found in the attic and sheds here on the farm. Some have come from relatives and a few have been purchased. Our home and farm has been continuously occupied by the same family (through marriage) since it was originally settled in 1819. Some of the ancestors portraits are hanging on the walls in the pancake parlor. There are Civil War relics along with the old tools. There are old “Trades Cards” advertising posters and sheet music covers. None of the antique articles displayed are for sale, but you’re sure to find them interesting.
The original menu has been greatly enlarged to include Buckwheat, Cornmeal, Oatmeal Buttermilk and Whole
Wheat pancakes and waffles which are varied by combining them with blueberries, walnuts,coconut, or chocolate chips, along daily pancake specials such as gingerbread! We serve country style patty sausage and smoked bacon and smoked ham made by our friends at North Country Smokehouse here in New Hampshire. Sandwiches made with our own homemade bread (white, whole wheat, dark rye or oatmeal) are available. We also serve English muffins, quiche, soups, baked beans and other items as specials, ALL HOMEMADE here!
We use no prepared mixes. Our pancake batters are prepared from the original recipes from the flour on up. We use the best ingredients obtainable in an effort to serve the lightest, fluffiest pancakes possible. Our whole Wheat, Buckwheat, Oatmeal Buttermilk and Cornmeal Pancakes and Breads are made with organically grown grains, which we stone-grind ourselves. The Whole Wheat is high protein, hard spring wheat. For dessert we serve choice fresh fruits in season, plus homemade pies, wondrous Maple Bavarian Cream, and Maple Hurricane Sundae. We serve fresh eggs, any style, and the best coffee you ever had, made with our pure fresh mountain water.
We invite comments in our guest register and while they are overwhelmingly favorable, we pay attention to the unfavorable ones in order to improve our service. Our all time favorite comment was left by a guest from England: “Polly’s Pancake Parlor is an oasis in the American food desert.”
Our syrup is personally selected for color and flavor and is hot packed here to insure perfection. The granulated maple sugar and maple spread which is served with our pancakes and waffles is homemade by us here at the farm using a process and some machinery invented by “Sugar Bill” Dexter. The process is slow and time-consuming and certainly not competitive but the flavor, light color and fine texture that we desire cannot be produced by any other method.
Where else can you buy granulated maple in bulk containers? Most places sell it in “plastic age” shakers “for your convenience.” These products are consumed by the hundreds of pounds at the “Pancake Parlor” and many people take some home with them for their own use or as gifts for friends. We also sell by mail and if you care to leave your address we will send you our gift list at Christmas.
Among our guests we have a high percentage of repeat customers, who, over the years, have become our very good friends. We hope to list you among them.
In ROADFOOD, the coast-to-coast guide to over 400 of America’s Regional Restaurants published by Random House, Jane and Michael Stern say, “We don’t know a better place to eat pancakes than Polly’s. The Parlor is in an 1830-vintage building on Hildex Farm. From your table you look over the New Hampshire countryside through the clear mountain air. The pancakes served here are made from light cornmeal, whole wheat, or buckwheat batter, filled with chopped nuts, blueberries, or coconut. And the star of the show is maple, brought to your table as maple sugar, maple syrup and maple spread.”