In the vast universe of "National X Food" Days, some seem to stick more than others. The food itself probably has most to do with a food's popularity: pancakes > cold cuts, baked scallops, melba toast, and other foods allegedly celebrating holidays this month. But it also helps to have a major brand pushing the concept. (In fact, once I read that most of these days were actually made up by interest groups or corporations or smart PR firms, which makes total sense, like our nation's politicians are really going to concern themselves with National Chocolate-Covered Raisins Day, March 24, or National Turkey Neck Soup Day, March 30.)
Anyway, for National Pancake Day the corporate sponsor is IHOP, and if you go to an IHOP today before 10 p.m. you can get a free short stack of buttermilk pancakes. Last year the company gave away about 4.5 million pancakes, or a stack nearly 13 miles high, according to the press notes. It also raised nearly $3 million for children's charities -- when customers order a free short stack, they're encouraged to donate to the Children's Miracle Network Hospitals. There are plenty of IHOPs in the Bay Area for you to choose from.
Otherwise, embrace National Pancake Day on your own. When's the last time you had a perfect fluffy, cakey flapjack immersed in a small ocean of butter and syrup? And then there's a slice or three of bacon sitting next to the pancakes that gets the syrup all over it to create that perfect sweet/savory combo? Sounds pretty good, right? Pancakes are goddamn delicious. Let's all make breakfast for dinner tonight, or head to a diner like It's Tops or Orphan Andy's and gorge away.
Or we could all just get drunk for Mardi Gras.