Explore a New Way to Eat Pancakes at JP’s Pancake Company
The story behind JP’s Pancake Company is one of hard work, dedication to constant creativity, and complete conviction in the belief that good food and good vibes are what bring together a community. Founded and run by JP Udenenwu, the sky-blue trailer of Austin’s first ever pancake food truck has quickly carved a name for itself since setting up in West Campus in early 2020.
I originally made plans to stop by the truck for breakfast but was surprised when I learned it more suited to an evening or late-night snack. Nestled in the Rancho Rio Eatery in West Campus, JP’s serves their signature short stacks Mondays to Saturdays between 5 PM and 11 PM. Their custom pancake bowls are particularly great at scratching the itch of those seeking to fall into a sugar coma after a hard day at work or class.
Creativity at its best
The big theme to be found at JP’s Pancake Company’s is that of creativity, or the encouragement of it. While customers can choose to use a plain pancake base, it is explicitly discouraged on the menu with the words, “Be adventurous!”. Customers can choose between preset bowl recipes created by JP himself or create their own with a selection of different pancake bases, syrups, fresh fruits, spreads, and even the option to include bacon to create that perfect stack.
This creative process is what sets the small pancake company apart from other trucks’ offerings – its menu is constantly updating to include some new and exciting pancake of the month while also providing customers with the opportunity to make exactly what they want. Visitors in February would have been able to experience The Cheat Day, one of JP’s homemade recipes consisting of golden Oreo pancakes topped with cookie butter, cake icing, marshmallows, chocolate sprinkles, and syrup.
My first visit to JP’s truck was packed with several large groups of students all queued up to create their favorite bowl – not an uncommon sight, especially for a Friday night. While I missed JP himself by a few minutes, the employees working at the time were extremely polite and had no issues with showing me the ropes of the menu and providing their own recommendations.
I hope I’m not being melodramatic when I say that my introduction to JP’s was life changing in some way – at least with how I think of pancakes. Not familiar with the menu, I stayed on the safe side and ordered what is dubbed The Classic: a stack of white chocolate chip pancakes smothered with raspberry syrup and piled high with even more raspberries and whipped cream.
I am ashamed of the speed at which I scarfed down the contents of that cup. I stopped myself from ordering another (despite being stuffed from the first one) and resigned to leave when I read four words on the truck’s chalkboard that stopped me dead in my tracks: “Red Velvet Cheesecake Pancakes”. I resolved to come back as soon as I could.
My decision to return at 5:30 PM the next day, much closer to opening, seemed to be the correct one as there were far less people crowded about. More importantly, I was able to get my hands on the limited time Red Velvet Cheesecake pancakes courtesy of none other than JP himself.
The combination of red velvet short stacks with cream cheese icing, white chocolate syrup, and 3 types of berry was almost overwhelming in its sweetness, and about as delicious as you would expect. Although seemingly even larger than the Classic I had tried before, I had zero difficulty in devouring the entire thing.
JP’s Pancake Company recognizes its role as more than a truck, but a venue for people to socialize and share a sense of community. From fundraisers for local schools to giving out free coffee and pancakes during the recent ice storm, the company continues to find ways to give back to those who have helped it continue to grow.
When asked if he had any plans to expand his operations to a brick-and-mortar establishment, like many other food trucks in Austin, JP stated his desire to keep things on the road. “We’re sticking to the trucks. When we decide to open up at a new location, wherever that’s gonna be, it’ll be a truck similar to this one.”
If you have a major craving for sweets and are wanting to change your entire opinion of pancakes then JP’s Pancake Company is waiting for you, 6 days a week. An important piece of advice I can offer for first time guests, however: be adventurous!