“The next time you are in NYC, we have to go to the Clinton Street Bakery & Restaurant for breakfast,” said my son D. “They have the absolute best-ever pancakes.”
“I can’t wait,” I replied, “I’ll be in NYC this week for a conference and am going to stay until Saturday. Let’s go!”
“It’s time to get up mom,” said my daughter A, bright and early on Saturday morning. “We have to meet D and get in line for the best-ever pancakes. I took a shower, washed and dried my hair, put on my jeans, my long-sleeve black tee and my warm winter coat and was out the door before 9:00 a.m., on a morning when I normally like to relax in bed till noon. However, I love pancakes and the thought of warm fluffy pancakes made my mouth water and my body move quickly into a cab and straight downtown to the lower east side of the city.
When we arrived at the restaurant at 9:10 a.m. (yes, only 10 minutes after it opened) there was already a crowd gathering on the curbside. It is a teeny-tiny place and it seemed that many others wanted their morning pancakes too. “It will be about a 90 minute wait,” said the host. Ooh, ahh. Ooh, ahh. It was really cold outside, almost felt like the freezing mark. Ooh, ahh. Ooh, ahh. Those pancakes look and smell soooooo good.
“Okay,” I said to A and D, as I tapped my boots to keep my feet from icing up. “I’m game. Let’s wait. I do hope I will make it back uptown in time for my bus home by 12:45 p.m.” We stood outside the teeny tiny restaurant as each name was called. And then, and then, and then, the clock struck 10:15 a.m. and it was finally time for our breakfast.
“What would you like to order?” said the nice waitress.
“I want the blueberry pancakes with warm maple butter,” I said. D ordered eggs benedict and A got the farmer’s breakfast with soft scrambled eggs, farmhouse cheese, herb roasted tomatoes and sourdough toast. “Should we get a side order of pancakes too?” said A and D. “No, no, no,” I said. “I will not eat all my pancakes. You can definitely have some of my pancakes. I will share them with you.”
We drank our hot coffee while breakfast was prepared. And then our food arrived. The waitress brought our plates to the table.
Ooh, ahh. Ooh, ahh. I thought I had been transported to pancake heaven. They were light. They were fluffy. They were three large, perfectly round pancakes. They were perfectly placed one on top of the other. Wild Maine blueberries were dripping over the stack and a sprinkling of powdered sugar topped off the plate. Next to the pancakes was a small bowl of warm maple butter. (Yes, it was warm maple butter, not maple syrup. I think that is one of the things that makes these pancakes taste extra special.)
“Pour the maple butter over the pancakes,” said D. I did exactly as D directed and then I sliced the mound of cakes and put each bite in my mouth until they were all gone. (I did share a few fork-fulls with A and D, like a good mom. I also tried a few bites of D’s delicious homemade biscuit and poached eggs with hollandaise and I sampled a teaspoon of scrumptious homemade raspberry jam on a piece of A’s sourdough toast.)
“I can’t believe I ate all those pancakes,” I said as I wiped my face clean. “They were so good…surely the best-ever pancakes I will consume during my life after 50”
We were finished with breakfast by 11:30 a.m. and promptly on our way back to A’s apartment so I could catch my bus home.
I would definitely do an early morning wake-up call for Clinton Street Bakery pancakes anytime and I highly recommend you do the same when visiting NYC. In fact, I may have to schedule a trip to NYC in February, for National Pancake Month. I read that the restaurant features a different pancake flavor every Monday thru Friday, well into the night. Just remember to bring cash, as no credit cards are accepted. Or if you don’t get to NYC anytime soon, you can always buy The Clinton St. Baking Company cookbook and make your own pancakes.
P.S. – As part of the BlogHer community of bloggers who are helping to get the word out about a special campaign that kicked off on November 1st, I encourage you to stop by your local Starbucks to make a $5 or more donation to the “Let’s Create Jobs for USA” initiative. 100% of your donation goes to the Opportunity Finance Network to create and sustain jobs in communities across America.