Mickey Mouse Pancakes to Moussakka

The Family Tree Restaurant in Amherst, NY has been a staple in my family since before I was born.  My grandma took my mom here.  Now, my mom takes me here.  One day, I’ll take my cats here.  Once I was born, my parents would order me the free Mickey Mouse pancakes.  I’ve since upgraded from the Mickey Mouse pancakes after having tried my dad’s regular choice; a western omelet with feta cheese, and I’ve stuck to that ever since.  Until this blog changed my life.

Our server (I went with my mom,) Dena, had trouble answering my question of what the least ordered menu item was, so she had to call over another server, Joan, who had been working there for over 30 years, to help her decide.  Joan still had to think a little bit as to what the least ordered dish was, but eventually, Dena and Joan came to the consensus that the moussaka and the pastitsio were the least ordered dishes.    I chose the moussaka out of the two because Dena said it was the better of the two.  Remember, I’m not trying to find the most disgusting thing on the menu, so if both are equally unpopular, I’m still going to go with what might be better.

In my opinion, it’s a little weird that a Greek restaurant’s least ordered dishes were Greek dishes, but I guess a lot of the people here have their regular meals, like me, and don’t stray from that.  Or as Dena explained, “people are afraid to try something new.”  We both agreed that people know eggplant, a main ingredient in moussaka, from eggplant parmesan and that’s it, but people don’t really realize that Greece and Italy are both Mediterranean countries, so it’s not that far out of reach from what they’re used to.

Moussaka is a unique dish, if not a little confusing.  It is topped with béchamel, which is just butter, flour, and milk traditionally, but this version seemed like it had eggs in it due to it being very light and fluffy, like merengue.  That was probably my favorite aspect of the dish, but I mean who doesn’t like rich food?  The ground beef was seasoned interestingly, and I did not prefer to eat it unless it was in bites with the rest of the food.  Upon further research, my mom found out that it is typically seasoned with nutmeg (I thought it was cinnamon upon tasting,) which was why the flavor was so strong.  Unfortunately, the eggplant was mushy, which eggplant tends to become if you don’t salt and pat it dry first…or if you just overcook it.  Overall, the flavors all together complemented each other nicely, but if you’re not one for straying from the path for unique foods, you probably would think this is yucky.  Or if you want to take it from another angle, it’s an acquired taste, but I think that approach to anything is dumb.  Why would you keep eating or drinking (beer) something that you don’t like to try and force yourself to like it?  Anyway, I digress.

Moussaka with homefries


In another way, I think I have come full circle at The Family Tree.  The meal came with your choice of soup or salad and since my mom and I were splitting the meal, we were going to split the soup as well, but Dena gave us an extra cup of soup on the house.  Free Mickey Mouse pancakes for being a cute, adorable baby to free soup for being a super famous food blogger.

New England Clam Chowder
Proof that I was an adorable baby. Probably not eating pancakes at this age, though.

7 Comments Add yours

  1. I absolutely LOVE your blog! I am definitely hungry after reading this and looking at those yummy pictures of food. I think it’s great that you tried what was least popular on the menu, I would never have the guts to do that. I think that any type of food that is shaped in the form of Mickey Mouse or any type of adorable Disney character is going to taste much better than just a regular old pancake.


    1. Abby says:

      Mickey Mouse pancakes are the original pancake art 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Mary Gian says:

    I loved reading your posts! It’s interesting that you’re going and trying the least popular dishes at these restaurants! I also liked that you went to a restaurant that’s been a staple for you and your family! I know that there is a restaurant in my town that is a staple for my parents, my siblings, and myself. Some of the food can definitely have some little issues to it but it’s one of those restaurants we’ve been going to for so long that we overlook all of it!


    1. Abby says:

      That’s how I am with a handful of restaurants too


  3. hristine says:

    I love this idea of trying new things that most other people are not wanting to try! I used to be one of those people that always ordered the same old plain thing (grilled cheese, anyone?) until a few years ago when I decided to eat less processed and healthier food. So glad I did! It’s so fun to try new things (as long as it doesn’t involve seafood). I think this moussaka could be really good with a few little adjustments, but then again I usually always end up tweeking a recipe a bit. If you almost liked the moussaka, maybe try Shepard’s Pie. They seem like they’d be really similiar but Shepard’s Pie is really good.


    1. Abby says:

      I am definitely a fan of Shepard’s pie! But only if it’s made without corn. People give me crap for not liking corn; it’s probably unamerican or something. I would totally recommend trying out some seafood though. It’s not as scary as it seems. Start with scallops; those are my favorite. They’re expensive, but if fresh and cooked right, they are these yummy, buttery lumps that are probably a lot healthier than actual butter.


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