The Envelope Please….
Earlier this week, I wrote a post called “Reclaiming Maple,” about my love for/obsession with maple syrup. I told you about my telephone survey of about 50 Austin restaurants to learn about their syrup offerings. Since then, I’ve written two other posts — “The Rise and Fall of Maple” and “Maple Pride“.
I am saddened at how many people will tell you they serve maple when asked, “What kind of syrup do you serve with your pancakes/waffles?” By and large, these are good-hearted people who aren’t intentionally giving incorrect information.
I quickly learned that I needed to change how I asked the question. I found that the way to get the most accurate information was to follow up with, “Can you find out for me if it is real maple syrup or the corn syrup like Aunt Jemima?”
Some sample responses from places that clearly do not offer maple, or whom further investigation revealed do not have it included:
- “It’s just pancake syrup.”
- “It’s maple syrup. It’s Cisco brand. It says natural and artificial flavors.”
- “boysenberry, strawberry, blueberry, butter-pecan, diet, and old fashioned maple.”
- “It’s basic.”
- “It’s the cheap stuff. We have butter-flavored corn syrup.”
- “It’s standard, regular old syrup. No maple.”
- “Cisco company syrup.”
- “It’s the sugar maple syrup.”
- “Blackburns Waffle Syrup. It’s maple flavor.”
It was confusing! A typical interaction (this is a transcription of one of my actual conversations):
Me: “Do you serve maple syrup or the Aunt Jemima kind of syrup with your pancakes?”
Them: “It’s real maple syrup.”
Me: ”Are you sure its not corn syrup?”
Them: “Yes, we get it at the store.”
Me: “Can you ask the Chef?”
Them: “Hold on a sec….Sorry, we don’t have real maple.”
Clearly, you can’t always believe what the host or waiter tells you they serve, or even what the menu says. Remember my first post in this series when I told you about the restaurant that proudly lists “Hudson Valley Maple Syrup” on their menu even though it’s the fake stuff?
I’m excited to unveil a resource that will be regularly updated with the latest in maple syrup availability at Austin restaurants. Since I can’t visit every restaurant in town on a regular basis, please let me know if any of the information is incorrect or needs updating.
At the time this post is written, 25 of the 49 restaurants listed serve maple syrup, 7 offer both, 4 of those charge extra, and 24 do not carry it at all. The list can be sorted by restaurant, maple syrup availability, or notes.
Update (2/1/11): 25 of the 53 restaurants listed serve maple syrup (47%), and 5 of those for an extra charge. Twenty eight (53%) of the restaurants do not have a maple option.
Without further ado, I’m proud to unveil the Austin Maple Syrup Guide, a permanent Tasty Touring community resource that currently includes maple syrup availability at 49 Austin restaurants. You can always find it on the right sidebar as well.Tags: maple syrup