Off the Griddle with Ihopapotamus at…3 Guys Restaurant

Effortless Pancaking. After a long Saturday night in New York City, one should not expect to accomplish anything of remote importance on Sunday. The first – and perhaps only – task should be engorging a carb-loaded meal.

(photo from This Week in New York)

On a recent Sunday morning I didn’t find pancakes. Pancakes found me. There would be no valiant march downtown to a Michelin-star brunch. There could only be the all-American concept of delivery breakfast. And the purveyor of flapjacks was 3 Guys at 96th Street and Madison Avenue in the Upper East Side.

map1

(map from google maps!)

The pancakes at Three Guys are typical diner fare.  I ordered a stack of regular pancakes, without the frills of strawberries or chocolate chips, which come three to a stack. At first glance the pancakes looked undercooked. There was very little darkness to the surface or edge of each flapjack. But they were actually light and fluffy, without any of the runniness that condemns an undercooked pancake. The accouterments of Aunt Jemima syrup and Land-O-Lakes butter, coupled with a side of bacon, satisfied expectations.

syrup and butter

The pancakes at Three Guys hold up well in a metal and plastic delivery tin. They arrived warm and ready to be transferred directly into my stomach. Be sure to request any syrup or butter, as the food arrived without any condiments. A side order of some kind is recommended as well, as the ‘cakes are not very large. Perhaps five inches in diameter. That’s a circumference of 5π for any math wizards out there.

pancakes

Prices are in step with the neighborhood. An order of three regular pancakes will run about nine dollars. A side of bacon costs another five. It is the right amount of food to cradle me into a late morning nap.

Required: Internet, bank account, couch.

3 out of 5 Paul Bunyans: Untitled1Untitled1Untitled1

Advertisements

Off the Griddle with Ihopapotamus at…Eatery (sort of)

Oh the weather outside is frightful on the Upper West Side!  What’s a girl to do when the streets of Manhattan are a slushy, cold mess?  Clearly, there is only one answer:  Pancake delivery!  I was curious (and somewhat skeptical) about how door-to-door pancakes would turn out, but my roommate and I put Eatery’s promise of delicious pancake delivery to the test. 

798 9th Ave, New York, NY 10019

(image from google maps!)

Eatery is located at 798 Ninth Avenue (53rd St. & 9th Avenue), New York, NY 10019.  Their number is 
(212) 765-7080, although my roommate and I placed our order through Seamless.  After considering numerous options, we were drawn in by Eatery’s assortment of interesting pancakes.  I ordered the “House Pumpkin Buttermilk Pancakes,” and my roommate went for the “Belgian Chocolate Buttermilk Pancakes,”  which were served with strawberry butter.

 We placed our order late Saturday morning – nothing like starting the weekend off with home-delivered brunch! – and it arrived at our apartment about fifty minutes later. 

The pancakes were delivered in individualized tupperware and topped with strawberries and blueberries.  Butter and syrup was provided. (Extra syrup was available for an additional $0.50 cost.)  We were disappointed with the butter – particularly my roommate’s so-called strawberry butter – because it was largely melted by the time our delivery arrived, which gave it a weird, unsettling consistency.  The pancakes were served with some sort of mini-pastries, too, which were freshly baked, topped with sugar, and tasted like warm cookie dough in the middle, a pleasant surprise.  

 

[Buttermilk Pumpkin Pancakes on Top Left; Belgian Chocolate Pancakes on the Bottom Right]

[Buttermilk Pumpkin Pancake]

[Belgian Chocolate Buttermilk Pancake]

[Melted Strawberry Butter on the Left; Syrup on the Right]

[Delicious Mystery Pastry]

[Buttermilk Pumpkin Pancakes]

As for the pancakes themselves – they were excellent.  My buttermilk pumpkin pancakes were sweet, with just a slight hint of pumpkin.  They were still warm upon delivery, and they had a fluffy, fresh-off-the-griddle consistency.  (The consistency had been my biggest concern about delivery.)  My roommate’s chocolate buttermilk pancakes were also loaded with chocolate chips – but not to the point that the chocolate was overwhelming – and had the same sweet taste and consistency that my pancakes did.  Although the pancakes were small in size, they were extremely filling.  Each order contained four pancakes, and I only managed to finish two, and my roommate finished about 1½.  I’m not complaining though; obviously the only thing better than one delicious pancake meal is another!  (And, for the record, the panckaes reheated quite well.) 

Overall, I consider my first venture into the world of pancake delivery a resounding success, and one that I would definitely repeat.  To Eatery, I tip my hat, and award four Paul Bunyans for warm, fresh pancakes delivered straight to my door that brightened a cold winter day.  

4 out of 5 Paul Bunyans:

Off the Griddle with Ihopapotamus at…Maialino!

Maialino’s head chef, Nick Anderer, serves gourmet Roman fare backed by years of culinary experience at places like Babbo and Gramercy Tavern. So he thinks he can pancake? This Ihopapotamus investigates.

(photo from google maps!)

I walk into Maialino and feel like an underdressed tourist in a fancy hotel. The Gramercy Park Hotel, to be specific. The entrance is pretty ritzy looking – two double glass doors with wrought iron handles, upscale lighting, and a wine room. In contrast, my friend and I have just come off the street, freshly sweaty from the 94 degree heat, in shorts and t-shirts (no fanny packs, though).  But after a few more steps in the door, I see rustic wood chairs, a coffee bar, and blue checkered tablecloths. My apprehension abates. Nobody is wearing ballgowns here.

(photo from Maialino)

The hostess leads us to our seats. The restaurant is bigger than it first appears and has a lovely decor which balances swanky and cozy. We’re seated at a little booth by the window looking out onto Gramercy Park.

The menu has many intriguing dishes like the olive oil muffin, the porchetta sandwich, and the fried artichokes in anchovy sauce. But my mission here is pancakes. And since there is only one on the menu, my choice is easy. (We also order a side of bacon and a side of potatoes; that’s an easy choice too.)

Two large ricotta pancakes arrive on a plate of their own. Then comes a plate with the Toppings (and yes, a capital T is appropriate here). Fresh strawberries, blueberries, and blackberries nearly overflow their ramekin. Real maple syrup scent wafts over the table. And there’s a ramekin of fresh ricotta that several people mistake for whipped cream.

First I take a picture.

My dining companion shows remarkable restraint as she waits for me to finish taking pictures to start her meal (also the ricotta pancakes). I’m not sure that I would have been so polite were our positions reversed…

I take a bite of the pancake by itself. It’s flavorful and moist and tastes like there’s some lemon involved, which gives it lightness and freshness. The ricotta in the batter gives the pancake a softness that’s not too wet or soggy, although the pancakes are not as quite as crispy on the outside as they could be. One small section of my bottom pancake has a crispy edge, which is fantastic. If the pancakes had that crispy edge all around, I think it would add some much needed crunch and be a really nice counterbalance to the smooth and creamy ricotta. (However, after reading several ricotta pancake recipes, notes, blogs, etc. it seems that most people don’t share my desire for crispy on the outside when it comes to ricotta pancakes. So this is just a personal preference.)

Now it’s Topping time! I use all the berries, all the ricotta, and most of the syrup. And I forget to take a picture. What can I say? I was a little distracted. I take a bite of this brunchy beauty, and experience a soft, rich, fluffy pancake with different textures and dimensions of flavor that’s not too sweet. The mild creaminess of the fresh ricotta is lovely with the juicy tang of the fresh berries. The slight lemon flavor in the pancake keeps it from feeling too heavy. And although our sides of roasted potatoes (delicious!) and the pancetta bacon (too fatty and overpriced for me) may have an effect, I don’t feel any kind of palate fatigue. The flavors continue to be scrumptious the whole way through.

I clean my plate (of course), but my friend has to raise the white flag (although she ate valiantly). The bill comes to about $20 per person (before tip), with a side dish each. I find the price point a little on the high side for pancakes (the ricotta pancakes are $15), but it seems like Maialino uses good ingredients and I did thoroughly enjoy my brunch experience there.

(pic from Be Still a Minute…)

Overall, the ricotta pancakes were very good. I left the restaurant happy and full. However, I don’t think this place warrants any kind of pancake pilgrimage. So if you’re not nearby, don’t knock yourself out to get here. If you happen to be in the general vicinity and you like ricotta pancakes (and amazing toppings), then try it out. Just make sure to leave your fanny pack at home.

4 out of 5 Paul Bunyans: