Favorite

Belly Up 

Beer with your pancakes? It's just like breakfast in heaven.

Seems like you can't swing an Aunt Jemima bottle these days without smacking up against a name-brand pancake house, but there are certain distinguishing characteristics. For instance, the Oregon-based Original Pancake House in Woodmere is famous for its puffy apple pancakes, and the area's numerous IHOPs (California) for their 24/7 schedule.

But Le Peep, part of a Denver-based chain that's settled into Independence (6080 Brecksville Road, 216-642-4341), appears to be the region's lone breakfast spot with a full bar. That's right: You can wash down your Belgian waffles with a Bud, even first thing in the morning.

"We're trying to take it a little upscale," says Le Peep boss Mike Simon, who also owns Simon's Restaurant & Deli in Brecksville. "We want to be the kind of place where you can bring guests and enjoy some vodka in your fresh-squeezed orange juice, along with your meal."

Le Peep staffers also do a predictably good job with the eats, dishing up tender pancakes (try the pecan 'cakes, served with real maple syrup), fluffy omelets, and signature items like Peasant Potatoes (freshly diced redskins, adroitly pan-fried with onions and savory seasonings) and Mom's Sassy Apples, sautéed with cinnamon, butter, and sugar. Salads, soups, burgers, and subs round out the offerings. Raise a glass -- or not -- from 6:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily.

New Vue . . . When Hudson's glamorpuss Vue (49 Village Way; 330-650-1883) reopened last Monday following a two-week hiatus, it was with a new executive chef (Robert Ledzianowski), a new GM (former sommelier Mike Tomaselli), and a new, lower-priced menu. Ledzianowski, most recently chef de cuisine at downtown Cleveland's One Walnut, says he'll offer contemporary seasonal fare with Spanish and Italian overtones. "Plus, because in the past the restaurant was perceived as overpriced, I want our guests to really see they are getting value for their dining dollar." Ledzianowski replaces former exec chef and partner Gregg Korney.

No soup for you . . . Chef Moha Orchid pulled the plug on his Galleria lunch stop, Soup & Stew, citing disagreements with management. "Sales weren't all we had hoped for," offers a Galleria spokesman. Orchid hopes to land space for a full-service spot around East Sixth and St. Clair.

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