Keto Cakes: Birch Benders Keto Pancake Mix

These are not ideal for travel. My pancake nearly fell apart when I tried to take a photo of it next to my face.

Keto is IN and carbs are OUT. At least that’s the message I get from the Keto Corner at Erewhon in Venice, CA. Keto muffins! Keto cookies! Keto bread! All the delicious carbs you want to eat but can’t but now you CAN. Including, you guessed it, pancakes!

I am not a nutritionist (obviously) and I don’t understand how food high in fat and cholesterol is better for you than food high in delicious carbs. But in the name of keto pancake research, I tried Birch Benders Keto Pancake mix. I chose Birch Benders because they have very fucking tasty pancake mixes that have never led me astray. 

Mix, water, skillet, heat, and bam! Keto pancakes!

The first thing I noticed was a salty flavor, which was confusing. Perhaps this is to make up for the taste that went missing when the carbs took a hike. These weren’t as fluffy as full on carb pancakes either. They didn’t have that decadent buttermilk flavor that almost melts in your mouth. 

The second thing I noticed was that this was a flimsy flapjack. These are not ideal for travel. My pancake nearly fell apart when I tried to take a photo of it next to my face. This did not substantially impact my rating, but I do appreciate a sturdy stack with some heft. 

Overall these weren’t bad, and are probably a decent choice if you’re riding the keto wave, but I recommend adding chocolate chips. In the future, I don’t know that I’d choose the 11 grams of fat and 40% of my daily cholesterol intake over the 26 grams of carbs in my regular Birch Benders Protein Mix.


Overall Taste: Not bad, not great. Almost pleasant.

Mouthfeel:  Slightly salty, light, and delicate. Like a cloud.

Protein per serving:  9g per 1/2 cup.

Price:  $5.99 – $8.99 for 16 oz.

Available at: So many places! Also Amazon.

Ted’s Bulletin: Summer Stacks

The clump of berries and chocolate tasted like a clump of berries and chocolate.

Ted’s Bulletin in Washington D.C. boasts about their homemade Pop-Tarts, “Ted’s Tarts”, but because I am a rebel I ordered the pancakes. The pancakes come with eggs, hash browns, and a choice of meat. You can add blueberries, strawberries, or chocolate chips. If you’re into decadence like I am, you can choose a combination. I went with both chocolate chips and strawberries.

The pancakes arrived in a solid stack of three. For a moment I was concerned they had forgotten the semi-critical chocolate chip strawberry components. A quick check of the underside revealed they had not. It also revealed a messy clump of berries and chocolate. I did not find it aesthetically pleasing, so there’s no picture of this jumble.

The pancakes were good, but not great. The clump of berries and chocolate tasted like a clump of berries and chocolate. Not necessarily a bad thing, but not outstanding. I have had chocolate chip strawberry pancakes done right. It’s tricky but not THAT tricky. The strawberries could have been cut into smaller pieces and spread out more. The batter could have been a little less chewy and a little more on the melt-in-your-mouth side.

Overall, this is a fun breakfast place. I’d come back, but probably to try “Ted’s Tarts”. I can also recommend following it up with truffle popcorn and frosé at Commissary, but you have to watch out for that one creep who interrupts your afternoon with your friend and nearly reaches his hand into your popcorn bowl.


Overall Taste: A solid “good,” but I didn’t swoon over these.

Mouthfeel: A little on the chewy side. Not the good kind of chewy.

Size: Adequately sized especially since they were served with several other breakfast items.

Presentation: Messy on the underside, pristine on the top.

Price: $10.95 – $13.95

Location: 1818 14th St NW, Washington, DC 20009

Tallyrand: The Valley Redeems Itself

…like biting into a cloud, or what I imagine biting into a cloud would be like if it wasn’t just water and air.

After my disastrous pancake experience in Sherman Oaks, I wasn’t in a rush to head back to the Valley for pancakes, but the Valley is vast, and there are better options out there. The Tallyrand in Burbank is known for having great pancakes, and has been around since 1959 so they must be doing something right. Sometimes it’s better to have two pancake opinions instead of one, so I took a friend with me to confirm.

The Tallyrand offers a couple simple pancake options, including a whipped cream option, but that risks overshadowing the natural integrity of the pancake. I ordered the Strawberry Short Stack (four pancakes topped with strawberries) and my friend ordered the Tall Stack (six pancakes).

The pancakes were excellent. Slightly sweet and fluffy, but not excessively so. They were soft too, like biting into a cloud, or what I imagine biting into a cloud would be like if it wasn’t just water and air. My friend was impressed his stack stayed together throughout, and had “good adhesive quality.” This means you can visually enjoy the pancake layers while eating, which is an experience people aren’t talking enough about.

The strawberries on top were just sweet enough and complemented the pancakes perfectly. My only complaint was that there weren’t enough of them, which slightly affected my rating. I told my friend I wanted to bring my own strawberries next time (BYOS) but he said that was probably frowned upon. Actually the words he used were more like “not allowed,” which is understandable, and did not impact my rating.

We both agreed the amount of pancake was satisfying without leaving an overstuffed feeling. In fact, these are a perfect pre-hike snack and sustain well for at least 9.5 miles. No protein pancakes needed, just Valley buttermilk bliss.

Just the Stacks – 9/10

Overall Taste: Absolutely delightful.

Mouthfeel: Soft and luscious, these had that coveted melt-in-your-mouth quality.

Size: Whether you go with a stack of four or six these are just the right size.

Presentation: The pancake layers were quite visually pleasing. The strawberry topping looked a little haphazard.

Price: $8.75 – $11.45

Location: 1700 W Olive Ave, Burbank, CA 91506