06 October 2011

worth the wait & well-deserved

I love pancakes.  I think that pancakes are breakfast magic, warm and comforting early in the morning and filling enough to get you through the entire day.  Now, not to toot my own horn, but I firmly believe that I make the best pancakes in the world.  Using a very basic recipe that I jazz up with fresh spices and other warm and enticing flavors, I have developed my own personal secret recipe.  Since this recipe is so secret and special, I don't make my pancakes too often; in fact, my pancakes have to be earned.  There are more than a few ways that this breakfast treat can be earned, but it doesn't happen too often.  And since I don't make pancakes for other people very frequently, I don't get to eat pancakes all that often either because if I made myself pancakes every time I wanted them or felt I deserved them I'd probably be as big as a house... a literal international house of pancakes, perhaps? haha I set myself up for that.

But since today is the second day of my birthday week and I survived my first of many strenuous physical therapy sessions, I felt that it was definitely a pancakes kind of day even if it wasn't the morning anymore.  Everyone knows that breakfast is better when served in the afternoon anyway, that's why brunch is so awesome!  But since I'm not staying at my own apartment where I have all my pancake making supplies and instead staying on the Lower East Side where the so-called "best pancakes in NYC" are served, I thought I'd find give someone else's pancakes a shot this time around.  So I hobbled on over to the Clinton Street Baking Company, a mythical restaurant that I've never been able to eat at because their weekend brunch lines loop around the corner and can last upwards of two hours.  I am not a patient gal when it comes to boozy breakfasts so I've always thought 'pshaw, there are plenty of other great brunch spots down here' and I end up ordering eggs benedict someplace else.  Well today is a Thursday and it was the afternoon so I figured it would be the perfect time to grab a table without the wait.  I was wrong.  Apparently the food here is so phenomenal that even a solo diner like myself who shows up on a lazy Thursday afternoon in Autumn has to wait for 20 minutes.  But since these days I got loads of spare time, I waited and waited and chatted with a surgeon who happened to also be waiting and he told me to make sure I move my ankle around as much as I can so that it's not too stiff when I can walk on it again but all that's besides the point.  The restaurant is much smaller than I expected making it kind of a cozy spot and bustling diner combo joint.

Thinking that I already knew exactly what I wanted to order, I kind of scoffed at the menu; until I took a few glances around and saw the plates in front of all the other patrons.  I suddenly had to decide between three different types of pancakes (Wild Maine Blueberry, Banana Walnut, and Chocolate Chunk) and two kinds of bacon (Sugar Cured or Double Smoked.)  How was I to decide?!  I decided to just go with whatever order came out of my mouth first when the waitress came by and ended up with this amazing meal -

a perfect birthday breakfast...
even if it isn't my birthday anymore.  and it's not breakfast time.
And I nearly devoured every last bite of my blueberry pancakes with warm maple butter, double smoked bacon, fresh squeezed oj and Earl Gray tea.  It was amazeballs.  Certainly worth the 20 minute wait I had to endure but also worth all the hype and the various awards bestowed upon the pancakes and the restaurant.  Unlike most dense and heavy pancakes, these were light and cakey with an airiness that lasted from fork to bite to belly.  And they weren't too jam packed with blueberries so no bite was ever sticky or bitter from burnt fruit juices.  In fact, every bite had the perfect amount of semi-sweetness, just a little kiss of sugar and natural fruitiness.  Normally I'm not too fond of maple syrup because I find too sappy and sweet, but the ratio of syrup and melted butter was so perfect that I sopped up every last drop.  It was like gourmet Mrs. Butterworth!  The bacon was perfectly crisped and piled high.  The tea was just the right temperature and orange juice was so fresh and pulpy that I felt like I was biting into wedges.  It was the perfect meal for my brisk Autumn afternoon!

But my pancakes are still better.  Clinton Street Baking Company can take the title of the best pancakes in Manhattan, but I've at least got Brooklyn!  If I can make it through the throngs of brunchers, I'll definitely come back... maybe they should just hire the bouncer from IHOP to help them out when it starts getting too busy.  Or me because this gal will work for pancakes... at least that way I'll know I earned them!

1 comment:

  1. Pancakes with coffee is a magical breakfast for me, I an suggest some toasts with coffee if you are out time, there's a 90% they will taste the same and still depends in your mood.