Clinton Street Bakery

>> Monday, September 14, 2009

It's 2:30 on a Sunday and I am thinking to myself, the time has come; Clinton Street Bakery once and for all - you will MINE. This immensely popular bakery has been on my list for some time (I feel like I say that a lot, but sincerely you should see this list...) and when my best friend Jessica came in town it provided the perfect opportunity to head down to the Lower East side and see if we could grab a sear at this famous brunch spot. Despite the fact that it was 2:30 in the afternoon we still had to wait for a seat, but at that point I was just happy to know that temporary bliss was only thirty minutes away. 

Brunch is a hard thing to sell to people - I mean how different can pancakes, bacon and eggs really be? When I kept telling Jessica "It's ok, just a little while longer this place is suppose to be great...I know your tired, but I heard the pancakes are out of this world...I promise it's worth it!" It better be worth it. 

Walking in, you think you are in store for just another classic diner/bakery. There is a lot of hustle and bustle and beautiful glass cases displaying the different scones and muffins. Lucky for us we were sat near a window and were greeted quickly. 

Knowing that I would die if I did not get something immediately, Jessica and I quickly scanned the menu and decided that scones and biscuits were necessary ASAP. Our lovely se rver returned with a mixed berry scone, butter and raspberry jam. Unfortunately there are no pictures because it was inhaled. I am 99% sure there is crack mixed in with the dough. Salty and sweet with a nice a soft, flaky crust, this scone was made for eating. 

Quickly after that our main meal arrives...

  • Blueberry pancakes with warm maple butter
  • Sugar cured bacon
  • Cheese grits
Jessica got something else, but let's be honest, I was focused on me. Me, me, me. My grits must have been prepared by a Southern; creamy, fluffy and bursting with cheddar cheese. The trick with grits it that you have to find the right balance between stirring often enough and not over stirring to the point where they become gummy. These were pretty damn close to being perfect, they congealed a little quickly, but maybe I was just savoring Jessica's pancakes too much. I'm going to be honest, it's not that the pancakes themselves were that great, its that the warm maple butter is simply out of this world. This for sure has crack in it, because there was nothing left in that little ramekin by the time Jessica and I called it quits. 
The sugar cured bacon. Hmm. Here's the thing. I really wanted this to be good. Really, I did. I have a sick problem with the whole salty/sweet thing. Sometimes it works. Sometimes it doesn't. This time it didn't work for me. The sugar coating was so thick that it completely overwhelmed the saltiness of the bacon, which is the best part about the bacon. The sugar disabled the ability for the fat to melt in my mouth, which is the second reason that bacon rocks. I understand the notion behind it, but for me, I would rather just eat the regular bacon. Still points for originality.

Would I go there again and wait for 2 hours to eat? Probably not. However, I was more than happy waiting 30 minutes for a meal that I considered one of the better brunches in the city, if not just for that maple-butter-syrup-cracklaced-dipping sauce.  

4 Clinton Street
New York, NY 10002 


Rachel Upshaw September 15, 2009 at 12:25 PM  

I spent this past weekend being pampered by my mom's best friend in Dallas - she fed us the most amazing food, including her own crack-laced maple syrup. Her trick? Putting a handful of blueberries in the syrup and microwaving until hot. It was a-m-a-z-i-n-g.


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