Friends, we are here today to talk to you about Polly’s Pancake Parlor, a magical restaurant in Sugar Hill, NH. Frankly, the name of the town says it all.
Let’s journey back, shall we? I, Meghan, was first introduced to Polly’s Pancake Parlor in May 2019 by all of my best friends at once (literally–it was during my bachelorette party because duh, where else would one want to spend a bachelorette party?)
I don’t know if it’s the memory of spending a weekend with all of my best friends simultaneously, the pancakes themselves, or some combination, but I think Polly’s cast a magical spell on me. Since then I have OBVIOUSLY taken Neal there as well as various of Neal’s family members and friends. Every trip to Polly’s has been a sheer delight, and every person we’ve brought there has fallen in love.
One thing that makes Polly’s so special is (spoiler alert!!) the pancakes, naturally. They have 6 batters and 4 toppings you can choose from, and you can mix and match for each individual pancake!! Plus daily special flavors!! (Plus a lot of other delicious food, but no one came to this post to read about that, did you?) In case anyone was curious, we do in fact have all the regular batter and topping choices memorized. They are as follows, in any combination:
Note: I feel great about my decision to lay out all these options in a table for you
Anyways, just in case I haven’t gotten the message across yet, we cannot recommend Polly’s highly enough. Run, don’t walk, to Polly’s next time you’re anywhere near the area. Or ski 😉
Friends, it’s time for us to talk about bibimbap. Neal discovered this delicious dish while living in Korea, and Meghan discovered it while dating Neal in Boston 😉
Here’s how it all went down (for Meghan at least). While Meal was in grad school, they would typically do homework at Meghan’s school library in Harvard Square. Inevitably, they would decide they “deserved a treat” merely for doing homework, and would go sample a Harvard Square restaurant for dinner. One fine night in February 2017, we traipsed off to a restaurant that VERY SADLY HAS SINCE CLOSED DOWN, Kaju Tofu House. We’re still sad about it, but thankfully they do have another location in MA, it’s just much less convenient to where we live. Anyways, here’s what we ate on that night in 2017:
Allegedly, “bibim” means mixing various ingredients, and “bap” means rice. So bibimbap is a mixture of meat, and/or vegetables, and/or an egg over rice, topped with sesame seeds and gochujang sauce and served in a hot bowl. (At least that’s what Neal tells me, so if it’s way off please direct all complaints straight to him). To reuse my own joke, it was love at first bite.
After that night, Meal realized they could probably recreate this magic, minus the hot clay bowl part. We have had various attempts over the years since then, and have ultimately figured out a recipe that meets our personal preferences. It looks like this:
And it tastes like this (4 servings):
1 cup jasmine rice
5-6 oz spinach
2 tsp toasted sesame oil
1 lb ground beef
4 tbsp chili garlic sauce
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 large carrot (or 2 small), grated
1 cucumber, sliced
Sesame seeds for topping
Gochujang sauce for topping
Cook the rice.
Grate the carrot and slice the cucumber. Put aside.
Sauté spinach. Drizzle sesame oil over it and season with salt. Put cooked spinach aside in a bowl.
Add ground beef to the same skilled. Cook until meat is done, then drain fat if necessary.
Add chili garlic sauce, soy sauce, and brown sugar to the skillet with the cooked beef. Stir and cook for another 1-2 minutes.
Fry eggs for however many bowls you’re making.
Make bowls by adding 1/4 of the cooked rice, beef, spinach, carrots, and cucumber, and top with 1 egg per bowl. Sprinkle sesame seeds over top and serve with gochujang.
If you don’t like it too spicy, use about half of the garlic chili paste. We are spicy people 😉
Same idea with gochujang sauce – a little goes a long way if you’re not as spicy as us.
This recipe is very customizable based on meat, vegetable, etc. preferences. Choose your own adventure.