There are two types of people in this world: those who like waffles and those who like pancakes. Comedian Rob Riggle is definitely a pancake person. I know this because he showed up at our office on a Thursday afternoon at the helm of the Pancake Selfie Express, a giant blue truck from Holiday Inn Express that looks and basically works like an ice cream truck except it serves pancakes on-demand instead of popsicles, and also, you can get a selfie laser-printed on your pancake so you can eat a pancake with a picture of your face etched into it. (This isn't a joke, I swear.)
But Riggle, who was there as the hotel chain's creative director, doesn’t need pancakes to have his face on them to enjoy them. The comedian and actor, who was a correspondent on The Daily Show and has appeared in dozens of movies, has always been a breakfast person and was happy to share his thoughts on what makes pancakes better than waffles, how to best tackle a hotel buffet, and why Marines eat all of the breakfast all of the time.
Extra Crispy: What is your go-to breakfast on-the-go?
Rob Riggle: On-the-go?
Or in general.
Well, I mean, given a choice? Pancakes. For sure. But on-the-go? Probably one of those little breakfast bars, you know? Probably a chocolate chip breakfast bar. That’s on-the-go.
Solid. But when you can sit down, you like pancakes.
I like pancakes or a good cereal, every now and again.
Why pancakes and not waffles?
Pancakes are better. You can make them quicker you can make more of them. It’s Pepsi or Coke. It comes down to what you like more, what you like, what you prefer. But I think these particular pancakes, these are good because you can make them rapidly. You can make them easy. Put some syrup on them, and you’re golden.
Do you like your pancakes with just syrup?
It depends. I can do butter, I can do syrup, I can do whipped cream. I can do it all. But nine times out of ten, I’m dipping them in syrup.
What’s the most pancakes you’ve eaten in one sitting?
You really have to think about this one?
I do. Because I’m trying to think. Did I make double digit? I don’t know if I did. I think it was probably about eight.
You tapped out at eight?
I think I did. I think … I wanted more. But I think good judgement stepped in and said stop.
You were in the Marines for 23 years. What do Marines have for breakfast?
As we say in the Marines, breakfast is continuous. Anytime you get a chance to eat, eat, so it didn’t matter what time of day it was. If you had a chance to eat, you ate.
Were you eating MREs [Meal, Ready-to-Eat]?
MREs, if you’re out in the field. But a lot of times, you get hot food. There’d be eggs, pancakes, bacon, that kind of stuff.
So have you always been a breakfast guy?
Yeah, I love breakfast. It’s the most important meal of the day. It’s the smart choice. If you can only have one, you might as well make it breakfast.
I mean, you’re talking to someone who works for a breakfast site.
Exactly, I don’t have to sell it.
What makes a good pancake selfie, in your opinion?
The joy. You want to have a lot of joy on your face when you take the picture, because that joy’s going to be laser printed onto your food, and you want to see yourself super happy, right before you eat yourself. I think that’s a good policy.
When you go to a hotel breakfast buffet, how do you put together your plate?
This is important. I generally, especially at Holiday Inn Express, I like to start with biscuits. Good bread to start it out. I like to get the meat, the gravy. I skip the eggs these days. Skipping those, probably shouldn’t, but I do. And then I have some sort of yogurt or fruit, just so my wife gets off my case. If she’s not there, biscuits and gravy, sausage and bacon. Forget it, I’m done. O.J., I’m out. But if she’s there, I’ve got to have some fruit so she doesn’t get too mad.
Do you cook that at home?
Biscuits and gravy, yes.
What makes good biscuits and gravy?
The gravy. And, I mean, biscuits, there’s all kinds of variety on that. But a good sausage country gravy. Got to take your time, put a little pepper in there, and it’s gonna be good.