O'Farrell Sisters master flapjacks in Iowa Great Lakes - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

O'Farrell Sisters master flapjacks in Iowa Great Lakes


KTIV's Riley O'Connor is on the hunt for good food and he's traveling across the region to sample some of Siouxland's finest.

This week he visited Okoboji for the first time in a Taste of Siouxland.

"Now when you think of the Iowa Great Lakes, there are several things that come to mind. Enjoying the outdoors, boating, catching some rays, but all these activities have got to make you hungry right? So I asked the locals where they like to eat after some fun in the sun and they sent me to the one and only O'Farrell Sisters in Okoboji, Iowa!" Riley said.

"I come to O'Farrell Sisters a couple times a week," Millisa Reynolds, an O'Farrell's customer said.

"They have really good pancakes here," added Jacobi Lange, another O'Farrell's customer.

Not only do tourists feel like they're home, but many locals call it the place where everybody knows your name.

"I have been coming here since I was fourteen," said O'Farrell's employee Dodie Colwell.

"The place started in 1947, my mom started it as a cafe and when Arlene and Edna Mae joined. That is when they changed the name to O'Farrell Sisters," commented Sharon London, the daughter of Founder Fern O'Farrell.

And current owner, Butch Parks, was proud to say that he has been a part of O'Farrell Sisters for years!

"Actually as a boy, I had worked at the original O'Farrell Sisters, so we added them to what we call now the Marine District," said Parks.

"I was just a young child when it opened down on the bridge back in '47 and I was an early morning dish washer," said Fern O'Farrell's daughter Linda Sealey.

"I started at the old place when I was about six and started making the pancakes when I was about 12," added London.

These sisters took their work seriously, but also knew how to have a little fun, of course.

"And if it got hot, we always had our swimsuits on under our clothes, so we would run down and get cooled off in the lake. There wasn't air back in the 40's, hahaha," London said sheepishly.

"So Sharon all the hype are the pancakes and everyone talks about them. I'm ready to dive in and figure these out. Tell me all about them. You have a lot of ingredients here," said Riley O'Connor, KTIV Meteorologist.

"We've been making these for over 65 years now," London said.

You start with a handful of eggs. Throw in some flour and baking powder.

"You have to add a little of this black stuff," London said.

"So I am thinking a little vanilla?" O'Connor asked.

"You got it," London said.

"See a little vanilla, I'm pretty good," commented O'Connor.

The next step is to take all the secret ingredients, throw them into a mixer and spread them out into a nice round even circle on a hot grill.

"Aunt Jemima has nothing on this one!" O'Connor exclaimed.

Now check these bad boys out! All nice and bubbly and little flip of the wrist, BAM!

"High Five," O'Connor said.

Now he adds his favorite toppings. Maple syrup and some real butter, and there is only one way I can describe it.

"It's like a party in my mouth," O'Connor said.

So the next time you are headed to Okoboji for a little "staycay" make sure you include O'Farrell Sisters in your itinerary.

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