Posted by JBH, a resident of another community, on May 9, 2007 at 11:57 am
I remember Ken's.
It was a great place to get great pancakes with all the trimmings, served on platters, a simple plate wouldn't work. You would always see the same waitresses year after year there which I always thought spoke well of the company. Always the same consistent food and service. Maybe it wasn't the latest or the hot-spot in the area but Ken's you knew that you would get lots of good food for a fair price.
Posted by Reba, a resident of another community, on May 17, 2007 at 2:21 pm
Ken's was the first restaurant my family and I ate at when we moved to Menlo Park in 1980. Our kitchen wasn't unpacked and we didn't have a lot of options. But to a hungry seven-year-old kid, a plate of pancakes was just about the best option around.
Later, Ken's became a regular favorite for us whenever the grandparents were in town.
Posted by Andrew L. Freedman, a resident of another community, on May 21, 2007 at 3:53 pm
I was about 11 years old and my older brother was a year older. We had just ordered lunch and my parents went to another table to briefly visit some friends. Before they returned to the table, the waitress delivered our lunches. My older brother was trying to kick me from under the table. He was sitting opposite of me. Just as my parents were returning to the table, my brother went to kick me again, but instead he kicked the pole or leg that supported our table. All the dishes quickly tumbled to the floor along with the table. I think our parents were a little more embarrassed than we were. I remember my mother with a look of horror on her face when she saw and heard what happened.
Posted by Jim M, a resident of the Menlo Park: University Heights neighborhood, on Jun 18, 2007 at 10:13 pm
I remember when Ken was in both Menlo and Mountain View, and when I asked about the "Kens of Hawaii" menu (framed on the wall), I was told that a former employee of Ken's had opened a pancake house in Hilo with permission to use his name. I decided to make a trip to the Big Island and drove across a really very big island through several micro-climates to actually find "Ken's". My large stack with coconut syrup was excellent and worth the trip!
Posted by Patrick Gardner, a resident of another community, on Jan 11, 2008 at 8:49 pm
I used to go to Ken's in Mountain View. There was a bartender there that called everyone a rabbit. After many years there was even a painting of him as a rabbit. I first met him in 1964. I cannot remember is real name, but I can sure remember the face. Is there anyone out there that remembers him as well? Also, is Ken's in Mountain View still in operation?
Posted by Don Frances, a resident of another community, on Jan 17, 2008 at 11:54 am
The Ken's House of Pancakes in Mountain View is long closed. In fact, we called the Ken's in Hawaii (I edit the Mountain View Voice) and found that it's the last remaining of the chain. Read more about it here:
I hadn't heard what Jim M posted above -- "a former employee of Ken's had opened a pancake house in Hilo with permission to use his name" -- but if that's true the Hawaii restaurant wasn't exactly part of Ken Pruitt's chain anyway.
Posted by Abe, a resident of another community, on Oct 26, 2011 at 8:19 pm
When I first moved to Silicon Valley I was put up at the motel next door and ate at Ken's then and many times between 1985 and 1987. Sometimes we would get partially full at Ken's and then go to Toshi's Sushiya on University Ave in Palo Alto -- Toshi had a couple of places after that, last being Kaygetsu which I think is just closing. Things change, huh?
(But I first ate at the Ken's in Hilo which was I think 24 Hour and a big place for the locals -- this was 1984 or so when I visited during a volcanic eruption -- very excellent memories of nice island and people.)
Posted by old timer, a resident of the Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park neighborhood, on Oct 26, 2011 at 10:59 pm
We went to Ken's for years. The Apple pancake was our and our kids favorite. We would also many times order it to go.
However, we had a very bad incident with a snotty waitress one Sunday, and even after writing our complaint, never heard back. We never went back after that. It wasn't too long later that it closed.
After a number of un-successful restaurants in that spot, a real winner has been found in Jeffry's, which if not the most successful eatery in MP is certainly very near the top, even after being open for only a short time period.
Posted by Hmmm, a resident of another community, on Oct 27, 2011 at 11:58 am
Old Timer - that must've been the same waitress who was nasty to me re my cappuccino. The last time I ordered one, when I said I'd been given a latte by mistake, she breathed fire into my face and tried to convince me that I was wrong. They closed not long after that.
I'm glad that the Jeffrey's is there - it's The O for kids & families ;-) My spouse digs the milkshakes. But the chain curtain in back is a little SM/dungeony, imo - makes MP a tad racy ;-)
Posted by Cass, a resident of the Portola Valley: Ladera neighborhood, on Oct 27, 2011 at 12:52 pm
Remember those golden coffee jugs they'd leave at each table? Once, close to when they closed, we got a really old one with a Giants logo and the GG bridge in the background. I bought it for $20, mostly to have a Ken's relic. Shoulda eBayed it when they won the Series.
Posted by chrissie, a resident of the Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park neighborhood, on Oct 27, 2011 at 2:27 pm
I remember that as a high schooler in the mid-late 70's we would 'kidnap' our friends on their birthdays by waking them up and dragging them in pajamas to Ken's for breakfast (either before school or early on a weekend). As it was not trendy in those days to go out in your pj's, this would cause quite a scene and was lots of fun! Ken's was a great neighborhood pancake house!
Posted by B, a resident of the Atherton: Lindenwood neighborhood, on Oct 27, 2011 at 2:52 pm
Boysenberry syrup! When I was a kid in the 1970s I remember the boysenberry syrup for pancakes. It was a great treat to have something other than maple syrup.
By the late 1970s I remember cutting second period at M-A and going to Ken's with my friends for breakfast.
By the late 1980s Ken's wasn't so good any more. Either the quality had gone way downhill, or I raised the bar and wanted something better, healthier maybe.
I also remember going to Ken's in Mountain View and Millbrae. At some point Ken sold the Millbrae eatery and the new owner changed the name to "Ben's House of Pancakes." It made for a cheap change to the old Ken's sign.
For that old-school pancake house experience, the Millbrae House of Pancakes is still there and is exactly as it was 25 years ago.
Posted by Menlo resident, a resident of the Menlo Park: Belle Haven neighborhood, on Oct 27, 2011 at 2:54 pm
Loved Ken's. It was a wonderful family restaurant and a great place that parents did not mind their middle school and high school kids to go without supervison. Loved the spaghetti and garlic bread and my parents loved the pork chops. Ken's was a great place and is still missed.
Posted by JT, a resident of the Menlo Park: other neighborhood, on Oct 27, 2011 at 4:11 pm
Ken's! I still miss it. As students at M-A in the '60s, my friends and I used to meet at Ken's before school for a huge pancake breakfast and that bottomless carafe of coffee. The old-time waitresses were kindly tolerant of our caffeinated exuberance. Thanks for the memories, Ken!
Posted by Barbie, a resident of the Atherton: West Atherton neighborhood, on Oct 27, 2011 at 7:33 pm
From early time, my family would go to Ken's after church. Actually I remember leaving church early so we could get a seat . I loved the apple pancakes. The waitresses were great and always friendly. Such a family tradition for me and always will be remembered. Also a great social event as we always met someone that we knew. Good times not forgotten.
Posted by Tricia Young, a resident of the Atherton: West Atherton neighborhood, on Oct 29, 2011 at 12:01 pm
I entered Ken's as a small child holding my Dad's hand in 1960 and remember the door had a decal on it saying Diners Club. That was the first time I ever saw any reference to a "credit card" and even my Dad had no idea what Diners Club decal meant. I remember the tall "world" atop the building spinning around perhaps??? Was there a top hat too? The building was very distinctive and once inside I remember the biggest pancake I had ever seen go by. Very busy place. Smells of butter and sweets. We went there often as a family after that. Many years. Growing up here since 1955 Ken's House of Pancakes, Johnny's Smoke Shop, Foster's Freeze, Joe Prein's Record Shop, and the original Round Table Pizza Parlor. God bless you Mr. Ken!
Posted by Day Trader, a resident of the Menlo Park: other neighborhood, on Dec 31, 2011 at 10:25 pm
Remember with fond memories eating at Ken's at all of the locations like Mountain View on the El Camino! The dinner salads and German baby pancake were awesome! I still taste those salads, burgers and fries. I also remember eating and running at Ken's! lol!
Posted by LocalGuy, a resident of the Menlo Park: Sharon Heights neighborhood, on Apr 21, 2012 at 8:40 pm
Great place for basic coffee shop foods here in California and Hawaii. The one in Hilo Hawaii did not please me when I was all of ten years old and they served still frozen strawberries on my now soggy waffle. The picture in the menu showed fresh strawberries and having just moved from California to Hilo I thought they had fresh strawberries. WRONG! Lesson learned. But if you are in the way to or from the Hilo airport it couldn't hurt to check Ken's out. The yelp reviews look good, but I wouldn't bet on getting fresh strawberries there anytime soon. LOL.
Posted by Jim K, a resident of another community, on Jul 8, 2012 at 8:07 am
Loved Ken's. Ate at Ken's, MP, all the time. After they closed I started eating at Ken's, Mountain View until the day I was served the specialty of the house, Blueberry Pancakes with hidden cigarette butt. Never went back.