Cafe uses cupcake flavors as inspiration for pancakes

Liberty Salonga loves two things: breakfast and being her own boss.

In October, she combined both of them into Babycakes Cafe, 2400 N. Buffalo Drive, Suite 145, serving up hotcakes and lunch fare while answering to no one but herself and business partner and sister, Evangeline.

The restaurant has a homey feel to it and seats 53, Salonga says. A variety of breakfast items is offered, all made using Salonga's recipes. There are pancakes, omelets, sandwiches, salads and even some Filipino and Hawaiian-inspired dishes.

The idea was several years in the making for Salonga, 26, who has worked for several years at local breakfast-centric restaurants. Pancakes were a must for the menu, she says. In addition to regular pancakes, the menu features red velvet pancakes with cream cheese syrup, chocolate chip pancakes and blueberry pancakes.

"I came up with the concept of using cupcake flavors and turning them into pancakes," she says. "Because cupcakes are fun, right?"

The concept is working. Even though she knew it was a gamble to open a restaurant right now, business has been great, she says.

"I didn't anticipate it being this busy at this point, especially with the holidays coming up," Salonga says. "Our numbers have exceeded my expectations."

No reservations are accepted as seating is on a first come, first served basis. Hours are from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays.

Specialties: Kalua pig Benedict, $9.75; red velvet pancakes with cream cheese syrup, $7.95 full stack, $5.25 short stack; Rick's adobo fried rice, $8.50

Salads: Tuna salad, $8.75; chicken Caesar salad, $8.75; house salad, $5.50

Sandwiches: Cheeseburger with choice of potatoes, $7.95; turkey avocado sandwich, $8.95; patty melt, $9.25

Pancakes: Blueberry, $7.75 full stack, $4.95 short stack; carrot cake, $7.95 full stack, $5.25 short stack; s'more, $7.95 full stack, $5.25 short stack

Breakfasts: Ranchero omelet, $9.25; Spam scramble, $7.95; Nutella crepes, $8.25 plain, $9.25 with strawberries

Information: 541-6708.