Off the Griddle with Ihopapotamus at…the Cinnamon Snail!

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.

cs truck

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.

 cinnamon-snail-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.

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-nuts

(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!

cinnamon snail

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!!!

bakery

3.75 out of 5 Paul Bunyans!!!:Untitled1Untitled1Untitled1PB .75

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These Are Healthy Because They’re Vegan…Right?

If you asked me what ingredients make a pancake delicious, I would definitely think of milk/buttermilk, eggs, and butter…so when a few of my vegan friends asked me to make vegan pancakes, I was concerned that I’d get some weird tofu/soy/flax patty of grossness…oh, how wrong I was!

I got this recipe from my friend, Kate, who referred me to Isa Chandler’s website which is a pretty excellent resource for lots of delicious-looking vegan recipes.  (You can see what I did and some more photos here).

One nice thing about this recipe is that there really aren’t any “exotic” ingredients, I actually had all the ingredients except the soy milk which is pretty easy to get.  I did have to grind the flax seeds I randomly have which was a bit of an ordeal.

(my fancy looking spice-grinder)

My spice grinder is sort of fickle and it took me awhile to grind enough flax, but I think it turned out fine in the end.  At one point I tried to use my mortar and pestle but that was a fail…oh well…the flax got ground in the end and that’s all that counts, right?

(some nice-looking batter)

The batter came out pretty firm, but jiggly, and the pancakes were super fluffy.  Actually, the original recipe says that the pancakes will be about 1 inch tall…mine weren’t quite there but they were definitely fluffy. FLUFFY.  I was really pretty pleased with this batter and I think it would be a good base batter for a lot of toppings (berries, chocolate, etc.).  It’s light and vanilla-y, but other than that, can probably handle its fair share of toppings.  

(looking thick – how’d that owl sneak in?)

With a sprinkling of powdered sugar, these pancakes were reminiscent of fried dough…and that’s always a good thing.  In fact, my only critique, and this is me being nit-picky, is that the pancakes were a teeny tiny on the gummy side – almost as if I’d used some rice flour (which I didn’t).  You all should definitely try this recipe out, I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised!

4 out of 5 stackies: