A Year In Food

From New York to Costa Rica to Europe to California: 365 Days of Dining Out

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Apr. 17.

Brunch -

Clinton St. Baking Company - 4 Clinton St., Lower East Side
Iced Peppermint Cocoa, Two eggs over easy, Seven-Grain toast, Banana Walnut pancakes, Wild Maine Blueberry pancakes

Brunch continues to confound me (see Jan. 15). It seems like the meal for masochists: if you stand outside for an hour or more, we’ll serve you breakfast food later and expect you to buy drinks too. Yet the masses come ever-eager, assembling at the door like Springsteen tickets are going on sale at midnight. Vince and I thought we finally had ‘em outsmarted this time. He put his name on the list on his way to my apartment and got an estimate of forty-five minutes. We walked down to Clinton St. forty minutes later but weren’t seated for another forty minutes on top of that. Damn, they foiled us again.

Luckily, the weather was fantastic and the tempting food smelled nearly as good. We both came to try the famous pancakes, which many claim are the best in the city, and ordered both kinds. Starving and thirsty, I also got eggs over easy, some seven-grain toast and a refreshingly cool iced peppermint cocoa. The meal might have been brunch, but I was going to chow down like it was breakfast.

The cocoa was very good albeit expensive at $4.95 and the eggs and toast were both above average. But all of these were precursors to the pancakes, which we were anxiously awaiting. The two impressive stacks arrived, the first loaded with wild Maine blueberries and the other topped of walnuts and bananas. In the interest of trying more, Vince and I agreed to split the stacks, but after trying the banana walnut ones, I considered welshing to keep them to myself. These were, hype aside, the best pancakes I’d ever had – soft, fluffy, flavorful, and packed with nuts and fruit.

Finally, I decided to be a good sport and pass the plate across the table. Thankfully, the blueberry ones I got in return were also delicious, the afternote of egg yolks integral in the batter. They weren’t quite as good though, the generous filling of berries unable to compete with the combo of bananas and walnuts. But anytime I wanted to make either stack even better, all I had to do was dip a piece of pancake into the melted maple butter. It was such an improvement over maple syrup that the two barely seem comparable.

Still, as good as the brunch was (and it did beat out my previous one at Prune), I still doubt that it’ll become a regular meal for me. Between Clinton St.’s no reservations policy, the cash only policy, the dirty silverware, and the crowd outside watching jealously as you eat, I think I’ll keep sleeping until lunch and just have dreams about the pancakes. 7/10


Zabb - 71-28 Roosevelt Ave., Jackson Heights, Queens
Moo Dad (fried pork), Chicken laab, Thai sausage, Seafood Green Curry, Drunken Noodles with Chicken, two orders of Jasmine rice, two Thai Iced Teas


Anonymous Roma said...

Oy Vay, I knew you would say you're handsome and modest and I'll let that go but I have two questions. Why do you call your blog Lonesome Hero and do you know how to cook? And while I'm at it how old are you and how long have you been writing about food and restaurants?
If you mind these questions then ignore them, I'll understand and keep reading your blog.

11:31 PM  
Blogger Lonesome Hero said...

Here are a few answers - I don't cook and I've been writing about food since I started this blog on Jan. 1. I'm 22 but feel 28. Lonesome Hero comes from a Leonard Cohen song called "A Bunch of Lonesome Heroes."

10:57 AM  

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