Joint Post by Caryn and Laura, Caryn’s Thoughts in Italics
After writing about the pancake special at Clinton St. Baking Company earlier this month, we clearly had to swing by to check the restaurant out. We headed over with a few of our friends on a Tuesday night. With a group of 5, we were unfortunately unable to get a reservation as the restaurant only takes reservations for groups of 6 or more. The restaurant also doesn’t put you on the list until your entire party is there – so if one of you shows up for your table of 5, you might as well not tell the hostess until everyone is there. Tables of two went in and out without a problem, but anything larger and you find yourself fighting other groups. In our case, Caryn, our friend Doug and I ended up sprinting two avenues in hopes to beat out another table of 5 as half our party was at the restaurant, but unfortunately, we lost. Throughout the night, the waiting area continued to be packed. Since the restaurant is fairly small (under 14 tables), I think the craziness of the crowd definitely made the restaurant seem a little bit more cramped and louder.
As we looked at the menu while we waited, we were pretty torn between what to get. As a result, several of us decided to pair up on our meals and split, trying to create a combination of savory and sweet. Caryn and her roommate decided to go with splitting pancakes and a burger, as did Doug and I.
Now you might have noticed that there were three deals we should have taken advantage of last night:
1) Burger and beer combo for $12 from 6-8 pm
2) February’s specially-flavored pancakes
3) Tuesday night’s special: half-off bottles of wine
Did we partake in any? No. Why? Well, we decided we wanted fries over splitting a beer (potato chips come with the burger and beer combo), we decided that traditional blueberry pancakes sounded better than the roasted apples & pears with cinnamon sour cream variety and I guess wine didn’t sound like the best complement to burgers and pancakes at the time.
On to the sweet…three large, fluffy pancakes were served with the most amazing sugary, maple, melted butter that I’ve ever tasted. I’m convinced it could make anything taste good. The pancakes themselves were delicious too – the batter was rich with a buttermilk flavor, and there were a ton of tart blueberries oozing out of the pancakes. My one gripe is that they seemed to be frozen or canned blueberries. They were pretty small, like the size of capers, not larger like fresh blueberries. But then again, they’re out of season.
We all left the restaurant stuffed – in fact, all of us couldn’t finish both our pancakes after eating half a burger. While we didn’t pick any specials, the night didn’t cause us to empty our wallets – it was only $18 a person with tax and tip for what felt like a lot of food – probably because we shared. I would definitely like to visit the restaurant again. Although a lot of their entrees were priced in the $15-20 price range, I watched a lot of people indulge on delicious pieces of cake as well as milkshakes. It seems like a great dessert type of place. However, the only thing stopping me is that the restaurant is all the way on Clinton and Houston on the Lower East Side, which is a bit of hike unless you plan on paying for a cab. And if you do decide to go, it’s cash only.The Basics Name: Clinton St. Bakery Location: 4 Clinton St Who to take: Date, Friends Price: 12 dollars for pancakes? $$. Overall: While a little pricey, it was delicious. 4 stars.