One of my favorite things about New York City is the parade of small food establishments that become somewhat of a craze. What starts out with a small faithful following, often turns into a full on foodie-fascination. The recipe is simply: unique trendy food, a distinctive atmosphere and a funny name. Pancakes are no exception.
I decided to put the pedal to the food truck metal and visited one of these food crazes, the Cinnamon Snail (told you it would have a funny name). The Cinnamon Snail is actually a roaming food truck that travels all around the NYC (and parts of NJ) serving breakfast and lunch to hundreds of hungry people each day. They serve a 100% vegan food menu, so their truck is filled with exciting options unlike most traditional restaurants (and food trucks). Not only do they provide a (relatively) healthy, environmentally friendly and animal rights approved menu, but their food is delicious, so that everyone, vegan or omnivore, will certainly enjoy. (Basically eating there is good for the world…)Of course, they prominently serve delicious pancakes on their menu.
(the menu changes seasonally – photo from streetgrubeveryday)
Knowing that the lunch line often has a 45(!) minute wait, I made sure to arrive twenty minutes before the Cinnamon Snail opened. Not completely to my surprise, there were already two Cinnamon Snailers on line. By the time 9:00 rolled around, there were 23 people anxiously waiting for their pancakes and other baked goods. After the first two customers ordered (pancakes), I placed my order! A couple minutes later, out came my fresh, warm Blue Corn Pancakes in … a brown box.
(sorry for the blurry picture – I was clearly jonesing for some pancakes!!)
Normally, when I order out for pancakes, I expect a carefully executed presentation by the chef, complete with white powdered sugar and cut-up strawberries. But at the Cinnamon Snail, these pancakes were more about the throw-back feel of a brown paper box and (importantly) the taste. Having never had a blue corn pancake, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I really enjoyed the traditional pancake flavor combined with the “earthy” taste of corn flour. Although I wish they were fluffier, the flavor more than made up for it.
(PINE NUTSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS – pic from Seed Guides)
The highlight of the Blue Corn Pancakes was that it was served with delicious pine nut butter. For those of you who have never had pine nut butter, I highly recommend it. I love pine nuts, and butterizing them was as good as it sounds! It was able to provide the extra flavor of butter, but with a little extra punch. What else would a pancake be if it was not topped off with a (quite large) serving of Vermont maple syrup. And of course, Cinnamon Snail gave me a generous sized helping, which is always a major plus!
Overall, the pancakes were above average, the pine nutter butter was great, and the overall experience of getting pancakes from a truck called the “Cinnamon Snail” was a real plus. Although I would classify the Cinnamon Snail as a food craze, the long long lines each day demonstrate that the people of NYC love its food.
*** For those of you still wondering, the Cinnamon Snail is the name of one of its dessert options, which is essentially a large gooey Cinnamon bun! So stop by for a pancake, but make sure not to leave without indulging in its bakery, including the donuts!!!