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Best pancakes in Manhattan?

ClarisaDoval Nov 17, 2012 01:13 PM

Hello everyone!

I am visiting with my husband next month and we would like to get some good buttermilk pancakes while we are there, since we cannot eat them in Spain.

Any advice? :)

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  1. k
    kathryn RE: ClarisaDoval Nov 17, 2012 07:13 PM

    For excellent blueberry pancakes, served with maple butter, try Clinton St Baking Co. Go on a weekday or face 2+ hour lines.


    4 Replies
    1. re: kathryn
      allenbank RE: kathryn Nov 18, 2012 11:50 AM

      Waiting for even 1/2 the 2 hours makes "anything" that "might" be considered "the best" or even excellent > crap! Said more sedately > a joke. In my opinion; if you will permit me.

      If one is forced to eat the best quality, most well prepared, intelligent, foods with the highest quality spices; served on beautiful plates; artistically arranged > blindfolded with one arm tied behind their back, how great is that really? Would not one prefer a just OK simple well seasoned hamburger with a thin slice of red onion and a slice of honest American Cheese for example, served on an ordinary white plate, without having to stand on a sidewalk for an hour? Has our collective time become so irrelevant? Has our desire to be part of the "In" crowd; to be in the know, trend-following; a need that supersedes reason? I personally do feel what much of that is about. Media and peer induced and enhanced of course.

      Understand, I'm not saying Clinton St.s flapjacks are bad > I just think the experience must be looked-on as a whole. As a matter of fact I've had their pancakes twice, both times without waiting and they were OK > just OK. The revered "syrup", the maple syrup with a bit of butter incorporated into it < that's all I believe it to be, is also OK; very good > but they do not give you enough and will charged you additionally for a second thimble full. An absolute insult when they charge what they do. And when you "politely" voice this to a manager you get no more then an inarticulate grunt and a shoulder shrug. Food and customers should ALWAYS be treated with respect.

      We must take the initiative and search-out; we must Chowhound the true food treasures wherever the road takes us. Chowhounding is not always as easy as punching a few keys at a keyboard...

      ...So in the vain of the above:

      A practical suggestion to temper my personal contempt of all those which attempt to "put one over on us"... $6 for a slice of crumby L&B pizza... all that reeks of The Emperor's New Clothes is > *jump on the train or better still; walk the Brooklyn Bridge (much better time spent then waiting...) and go to Smith Street > Cafe Luluc and order-up a stack of the best pancakes in NY with Fresh Fruit and unlimited good quality maple syrup at half the price of Clinton St. pancakes without the wait.

      Also superior to Clinton Sts. pancakes, and at a lesser price, without the Clinton St. wait, I believe are, also to be found in Brooklyn; are those which were prior to Sandy, served at Kevin's on Van Brunt St. in Red Hook. Presently still closed; if they are able to, which I for one hope they are, claw their way back from the tragedy; they should be on your list. They, and all Red Hook business and eateries could use our support.


      1. re: kathryn
        mla19 RE: kathryn Nov 19, 2012 04:54 PM

        The OP could also try Community Food + Juice near Columbia. Same owners/chef as Clinton St Baking and same delicious pancakes but all without the wait and cramped dining conditions.


        1. re: mla19
          ClarisaDoval RE: mla19 Nov 19, 2012 11:48 PM

          We are going to be there for a bit over a week, so we might try to go to Clinton on a weekday (we are closer to it) and if cramped, then try Community Food.

          1. re: ClarisaDoval
            Motosport RE: ClarisaDoval Nov 20, 2012 07:51 AM

            I have gone to Clinton on weekdays 8-9 AM and have not had much f a wait if any.

      2. Motosport RE: ClarisaDoval Nov 18, 2012 02:23 PM

        No buttermilk pancakes in Spain?? Are they illegal?

        2 Replies
        1. re: Motosport
          kathryn RE: Motosport Nov 18, 2012 06:41 PM

          Big American style breakfasts are not common in Spain, at least not where I visited. They're more likely to have espresso and a small pastry or sandwich standing up, and then save the big meal for later on the day.

          Also the Spanish have amazing french toast (torrija)!

          1. re: Motosport
            ClarisaDoval RE: Motosport Nov 19, 2012 11:47 PM

            We do have pancakes, but they are really not the same; no flavor, no fluffiness, no buttermilk.

          2. b
            Blumie RE: ClarisaDoval Nov 19, 2012 03:00 PM

            Not in Manhattan, but I do want to take this opportunity to report that the mcintosh apple buttermilk pancakes at Rose Water, in Park Slope (as easy walk from the R train), are among the best pancakes I've ever had anywhere. They certainly rival -- and could be better than -- the blueberry pancakes at Clinton Street Baking Company.


            6 Replies
            1. re: Blumie
              kathryn RE: Blumie Nov 19, 2012 04:57 PM

              Note to the OP: the R is currently not running between Manhattan and Brooklyn. They may have it up and running again soon, but who knows.

              1. re: kathryn
                SarachkaInBrooklyn RE: kathryn Nov 19, 2012 05:18 PM

                Just for reference, though, for anyone who does want to go to Rose Water from Manhattan, it would be very easy to take the D to Atlantic-Barclays, then switch to the R (since it is running within Brooklyn) and go one stop to Union St. It would likely be much faster, since the D runs express. The R and the D share the same platform, just different tracks, so it is merely a few steps to get to the R.

                1. re: kathryn
                  Blumie RE: kathryn Nov 19, 2012 05:41 PM

                  Thanks for the clarification on the R train. We actually drove, ran a couple laps of the park, and then settled in for the pancakes at Rose Water!

                  1. re: kathryn
                    ClarisaDoval RE: kathryn Nov 19, 2012 11:49 PM

                    Is this because of Sandy?

                    1. re: ClarisaDoval
                      kathryn RE: ClarisaDoval Nov 20, 2012 04:19 AM

                      Yes, exactly.

                      1. re: kathryn
                        ClarisaDoval RE: kathryn Nov 20, 2012 06:12 AM

                        Ouch. Hope you are all doing alright over there, even if the material losses are terrible.

                2. f
                  foodwhisperer RE: ClarisaDoval Nov 19, 2012 08:52 PM

                  Cafe Orlin ( East Village), 12 Chairs

                  1. j
                    j.jessica.lee RE: ClarisaDoval Nov 20, 2012 01:07 PM

                    I am a big fan of the Clinton Street pancakes, but rarely go as I live quite far from it and don't want to chance a wait most of the time. I had some really great pancakes at Untitled at the Whitney for brunch that are just as good, if not better, IMHO. People like different styles of pancakes, but these are in a similar vein to CSBC and come in a satisfying, gorgeous, and fluffy stack of three. They were gone in about thirty seconds. I got the special one with sauteed bananas on top.

                    1. c
                      crsin RE: ClarisaDoval Nov 20, 2012 01:42 PM

                      If you're not married to the idea that pancakes must be for breakfast, keep in mind that Clinton St. serves them all day and night, so it's not that difficult to avoid the wait.

                      Shopsin's serves some of the tastiest and most unusual pancakes--though not sure if they're buttermilk, and certainly not traditional if that's what you're looking for. Order some of the slutty cakes, or really any pancake dish that grabs you (the Mo'Jemima for example...bacon mixed into the batter, then topped and grilled with macaroni and cheese, a hole cut in the middle and filled with poached eggs, then coated in maple syrup and hot sauce...damn).

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: crsin
                        kathryn RE: crsin Nov 20, 2012 02:28 PM

                        Shopsin's pancakes are Aunt Jemima mix.

                        1. re: kathryn
                          crsin RE: kathryn Nov 20, 2012 03:17 PM

                          heh, well ultimately I see Shopsin's pancakes as a vehicle for creative combinations of toppings and mix-ins. Might mean it's not the most appropriate recommendation for the OP, but there's something very American about the portion sizes, mishmash of unabashedly unhealthy ingredients, and something very New York about the gruffness and overall approach of the place, so the suggestion stands for visitors into pancakes I'd think.

                      2. b
                        barberinibee RE: ClarisaDoval Nov 20, 2012 02:16 PM

                        Since you asked for "any advice? :)", I'd like to suggest that when you are back in Spain, you try your hand at making buttermilk pancakes, which really don't taste right unless you eat them in your pajamas on a Sunday morning with your husband

                        Here is how to make buttermilk


                        and of course there are a million recipes on line (here's just one



                        and here is where you can buy genuine maple syrup in Manhattan, but you can't put it in carry on luggage. You will need to check it.


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