YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections


More Than the Mouse

Sure, visit Disneyland. But Anaheim also boasts restaurants, music clubs, an ice rink, great bargain shopping and a museum.


There is more to Anaheim than Disneyland. The rest of the world may not know that, but Orange Countians should.

Anaheim is one of the oldest settlements in the county, dating to 1857 when 50 German families invested $750 each to join the Los Angeles Vineyard Society. Today the vineyards are gone. But Disneyland, which opened 98 years after the settlers arrived, is still expanding, and predates the finest flapjack factory in Southern California by three years.

A Family Affair

Adam Vol recently found a 20-year-old pay stub bearing his name. A dishwasher at the time, Vol was working for his father, Ron, at the Original Pancake House (1418 E. Lincoln Ave. [714] 535-9815). The German breakfast restaurant opened in 1958, the third franchise of an Oregon-based chain.

Today Vol runs the restaurant with his mother, Nancy, and half-brother, Kevin Hill. His father oversees the operation of a second eatery in Yorba Linda now. Vol says he loves the schedule of the restaurant (open 6 a.m. to 2 p.m., Tuesday through Sunday) which leaves his afternoons and evenings free to spend with his 18-month-old daughter.

He also loves working in the kitchen. "One of my passions is cooking," Vol said. "I love to cook. I get a kick out of the challenge of cooking."

The challenge at the pancake house is to make breakfast pastries and fruit syrups from scratch . . . six days a week, in a too-small kitchen.

But judging by the hourlong wait each weekend (no reservations, first come-first served), it appears they're meeting the challenge with specialties such as the Dutch Baby, ($5.50 or a large for $6.50) an oven-baked pancake served with butter, sugar and lemon. Equally popular are the Swedish Pancakes ($5.65) with their delicious syrup made from imported lingonberries, applesauce and butter.

"And we don't skimp on anything," Vol says. "We use real butter and real cream. We're not the kind of place you want to go if you're on a diet."

Everyone Wins

The CHOC Thrift Store (1275 E. Lincoln Ave. [714] 774-0611), located across the street from the Original Pancake House, wasn't the flagship thrift store that opened on Euclid Street in 1965. That one relocated to a larger location a few blocks away at 845 N. Euclid St. a few years ago. Both bore the famous "Choco the Teddy Bear" logo and mascot . . . designed by Disney artists.

Still, the Lincoln store has been providing good deals for a good cause for 17 years.

What started as a fund-raising project for the hospital's women's auxiliary has since become a major source of income for the Children's Hospital of Orange County. All profits from the hospital's 11 stores, and new antique boutique in the Orange Circle, go to offset hospital losses and toward research.

The children win.

The hospital is one of the leading research organizations in pediatric leukemia and bone-marrow transplants.

The shoppers win.

Bargain-hunting at the thrift store is always a satisfying experience. The store has a huge selection of used clothing, miscellaneous household items, furniture and appliances.

"Our average price for a woman's dress is $4.95 and men can get a really nice suit for $19.95," says Julie Ledesma, store manager. "We always have 20% of our clothing at $2.65 and have a $1.25 section that gets new items almost every day."

The store is also a favorite haunt for antique hunters. "I remember one guy who bought these beautiful silver, Victorian candleholders," Ledesma recalled. "He got them for $25 each and he was literally shaking when the sale rang. He was so happy to have found them. I think he sold them for $1,200."

How do the stores stay so well stocked?

Easy--telemarketers make half-a-million phone calls each week soliciting donations, according to Jim Stoerzer, vice president of retail operations. He also says that they make 5,000 to 7,000 pickups each week. "And we get people calling us too, to donate items," Stoerzer says. "People are always trying to clean out their garages."

Everybody wins.

Free is Best

Compared to the $41 admission price now being charged for 10-year-olds at Disneyland, the Anaheim Museum (241 S. Anaheim Blvd. [714] 778-3301) seems like a great alternative.

It's free.

On any given Saturday from noon to 4 p.m., kids can visit the museum, which was originally a library built by Andrew Carnegie in 1908, and its three galleries and permanent history exhibit. The museum is also open Wednesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Executive Director Joyce Franklin says she takes extra time when selecting art exhibits, taking young visitors' interests into consideration. "I wouldn't want to put up an exhibit that terrifies or bores the kids," Franklin said.

The current display in the children's gallery is an interactive piece titled, "The History of Communications." Kids begin by crawling through caves to look at cave drawings, they learn about printing presses and vinyl records, and finally get to see how fiber optics work.

Los Angeles Times Articles