CLINTON ST. BAKING CO. & RESTAURANT
4 Clinton St.
An anomaly among all those trendy little crudi huts, panini parlors, and nibble salons scattered along the Lower East Side's hippest restaurant row, the Clinton St. Baking Co.-a.k.a. the Sarabeth's of the trucker-hat set-makes the best pancakes in town. Like any self-respecting flapjack flipper, chef Neil Kleinberg ladles them out big, each one roughly the size of a whoopee cushion. Folding egg whites into the batter at the last minute, he says, accounts for their remarkable fluffiness. They're light and springy, redolent of fresh butter, and festooned with enough blueberries (in season, Kleinberg uses wild ones from Maine) to satisfy a mama bear and her cubs. Demand is such that Kleinberg doesn't dare take them off the menu, even at dinner. "We get a lot of people down here who wake up at four o'clock," he says, "At six, they come in, and they want pancakes."