For me, breakfast isn’t just a meal but more of an obsession. It seems like I’m constantly challenging myself to see just how many times I can eat eggs and bacon in one week (answer: there appears to be no limit). Also, I feel no shame in admitting that I actually was a pancake last Halloween. And even though I try to make pancakes more of an occasional treat they definitely find a way to sneak into my breakfast food rotation on a semi-regular basis. So you can bet that when Holiday Inn Express invited me to come and meet Rob Riggle (you know, from Stepbrothers and The Hangover) and check out their mobile truck that puts YOUR FACE on a pancake, I was there faster than you can say “maple syrup.”
But before we get into that, let’s answer the question you’re probably wondering: What’s a busy dude like Rob Riggle doing hanging out at a pancake truck in San Francisco? Well, it turns out Riggle is not just a Hollywood actor and comedian, but also Holiday Inn Express’ creative director and breakfast excellence honcho (uh, how do I apply for that job?). To celebrate that complimentary breakfast we all love from the hotel chain, they’ve created a truck called “The Pancake Selfie Express,” which is currently touring around the US. So, what exactly do you do at this breakfast station on wheels? Why, you go and get your face lasered on a pancake, of course.
Yesterday, I went to meet up with Rob where we both got a behind-the-scenes look at how a selfie pancake is made. First, the nice folks from the Pancake Selfie Express handed us a special phone that Rob and I used to take a sun-soaked selfie together.
Then, that selfie is sent to a laptop where our faces are turned into a black-and-white threshold image. A pancake is then placed inside a laser etching machine. Once the tech savvy folks running the whole operation send our photo to the machine, it begins ever-so-subtly burning the face of the pancake to create our selfie on the breakfast food.
And then boy and girls, you have what I like to to call breakfast art.
Since Rob is now officially a “breakfast excellence honcho” and I’m pretty much the meal’s number one fan, I decided to take this opportunity to conduct a very serious Q&A with him about the most important meal of the day.
What’s your go-to pancake topping?
Rob Riggle: There’s two and they’re in a dead heat: syrup and whipped cream.
Do you ever think about doing both together?
Rob Riggle: I mean, you’re talking about really losing your mind. I don’t cross streams. But it really all depends on what I did the night before. If it was a big night – a celebration night – syrup the next morning. But if it’s just like a casual Monday it’s whipped cream. There’s a method to the madness.
What is something you’d never put on your pancake?
Rob Riggle: I would never put ketchup, mustard, any kind of condiment, really. We can get in a weird place too, boogers… It’s quite limitless really, when I think about what I wouldn’t put on a pancake.
Who do you think is the pancake’s BFF?
Rob Riggle: So tough. Besides its friend syrup and whipped cream?
Ya. I think those are like the pancake’s kids.
Rob Riggle: Right, they’re like the pancake’s maid of honor – there’s two of them. But then to fill out the rest of the wedding party would be the classics: bacon, eggs – wait, not eggs – and hash browns.
Now for a very important question: bacon or sausage?
Rob Riggle: For me? Probably bacon. Bacon is so good. You can do so much with it. That’s also when I’m at my lowest point in my life when I’m sopping up the syrup with my bacon because nothing tasted better, really. But I also don’t think anything is worse for you.
Finish this sentence: Syrup is to pancakes as Rob Riggle is to what?
Rob Riggle: Boy, that’s a good one. Fashion. Yup… I’m going to stick with that answer.
Fellow breakfast + selfie lovers, if you’re in SF and you want to get your own selfie pancake, head to Pier 41 Saturday and Sunday (10/3-4) to check out the breakfast madness!
Finish this sentence, B+C readers: syrup is to pancakes as you are to ____.