The Fall Harvest Series: It’s Like Biting Into an Apple Orchard – Apple Cinnamon Buckwheat Pancakes at Sadie’s Diner


It’s a crisp, sunny fall day.  You want a warm, healthy meal in a sunny atmosphere, and you feel bright-eyed, bushy-tailed and ready to take on the day.  Get pumped because we’re having breakfast at Sadie’s Diner!  As one of Toronto’s most beloved vegetarian and vegan all-day breakfast diners, Sadie’s serves up vegan French toast, breakfast burritos, omelettes, huevos rancheros (egg and tofu varieties!), pancakes, smoothies, fresh fruit juice, and plenty of lunch and dinner options for later on in the day. 

It’s been months since I’ve been back; my first visit was during this past April’s Veggielicious and I was so happy and excited to finally come back for seconds!  Choosing my next meal here was no easy feat.  Sadie’s serves up different veggie omelettes all throughout the week (they tweet their specials on Twitter!), the breakfast burrito on the menu was whistling at me, and part of me just wanted to go to town with the vegan huevos rancheros dish I had for Veggielicious.  That, and the tofu scramble.  When I skimmed the menu online though, I knew exactly what I wanted and knew how perfectly it would fit into the Fall Harvest series: apple cinnamon buckwheat pancakes!

When I came up with the idea to have a Fall Harvest series for the blog, I wanted to incorporate all the traditional fall foods that we know and love so much.  Things like apples, pumpkins, squash, maple, and comfort foods such as stews and chilis.  I started brainstorming and I started researching.  I wanted the series to be fun, and to include all different kinds of food and meals while at the same time keeping the posts creative in their content.  And talk about creative!  I hit pay dirt when I found out Avocado Sushi had Japanese pumpkin on their menu (read: yesterday’s post) and that really inspired me to find different things around the city that utilized these tradtional fall favourites in interesting and delicious ways.  Enter Sadie’s Diner and their apple cinnamon buckwheat pancakes.

This was the very first time I had buckwheat pancakes.  Although I’ve had buckwheat (soba) noodles numerous times, I was completely in the dark about buckwheat pancakes until these babies showed up at my neon aqua table nice and piping hot.  Contrary to its name, buckwheat actually does not have wheat in it; rather, it’s a fruit seed closely related to rhubarb, making it the perfect alternative to grains for those who have Celiac disease and gluten intolerance.  In other words, THIS MEAL IS GLUTEN-FREE AND AWESOME!  I know how difficult it can be for a lot of people to eat out and to find ways to make gluten-free meals for themselves at home without falling into a rut because I have friends who necessarily follow a gluten-free diet.  I’m definitely going to try extra hard to add to this category of gluten-free options, so for the time being, keep a mental sticky note that Sadie’s has buckwheat pancakes with different flavours and fillings.

This meal was so nice and warm and comforting.  It was so perfect for a sunny fall morning and you could really taste the freshness, juiciness, and moistness in every bite.  The apple cinnamon buckwheat pancakes comes with three large pancakes, thinly sliced apples, cinnamon, powdered sugar, and three veggie sausages.  The buckwheat pancakes are SO different from your traditional “cake” pancakes.  The flavour is much more savoury as opposed to sweet, with a slight tang and I know this might sound weird, but I actually really enjoyed these pancakes more as they got colder throughout the meal!  Warmth is obviously a good (and necessary!) aspect in a meal like this, but I felt the flavour was even more enhanced after they had cooled down in combination with the cinnamon, powdered sugar, syrup, and apples. 

Now, if you’re accustomed to eating the “cake batter” type of pancake, it’s a flavour that might take some getting used to just because it’s not sweet.  In my opinion though, it’s perfect for those who love the juxtaposition between sweet and savoury because the maple syrup, cinnamon, and powdered sugar totally kick the buckwheat pancakes in the pants and enhance the flavour SO much. 

You need to eat the pancakes with the apples and the sweet accents simaltaneously though if you want the best of all flavours.  If you eat the pancakes all on their own, the savoury tang might be too overwhelming for those who aren’t accustomed to buckwheat.  I have friends who aren’t into breakfast foods like waffles and pancakes because they’re just not into “sweet” breakfast food, but in this case, it’s the perfect balance, especially with the veggie sausage alongside it.  The pancakes are moist and juicy and incredibly easy to eat; it’s a hearty meal that doesn’t make you feel like you’ve eaten a house!

My absolute favourite part of the meal was the sliced apple.  Oh my gosh, the apple truly takes this meal to the next level.  It absolutely shines.  The thinly sliced gala apples were so bright, clean, and fresh in its flavour and so full of sweet juiciness.  The apples were baked into the buckwheat pancakes and on top of the pancakes, making them perfect for me to eat!  Hello, I’m allergic to the raw flesh of apples (among many other fruits) and need to have them baked and cooked in order for me to eat them and not swell up like a blowfish.  So hurray for baked juicy sliced apples on buckwheat pancakes!  I loved the apple so much and it made my day knowing I could still taste the natural sweetness of it without having it sacrificed in cooking.  When I was eating the apples with my pancakes, I felt like I had bitten into an apple orchard.  This is the fall harvest, on a warm breakfast plate, at its finest.


Sadie’s Diner is located at 504 Adelaide St. West and Portland Street, just east of Bathurst St.  They are open for business at 7:30am from Monday-Friday, and at 9am on weekends.  They are open until 10pm and they serve all-day breakfast along with lunch and dinner.  Sadie’s is vegetarian and vegan with a number of gluten-free options.