Tag Archives: pancakes

Essex Street Market


Finally, Spring has arrived! The upturn in the weather has created a perfect excuse to ditch that winter coat and to venture out into the streets once again. Today I went to the Essex Street Market, which was a quaint little old school market down in the Lower East Side. Although a little far from the Columbia area, it’s easily accessible once you get onto the F train from 14th Street. The distance put me off a little, especially on a lazy and rainy Friday like this, but boy was I glad I made the trip.

Essex Street Market may not seem particularly interesting on the surface, and certainly lacks the glamor and sparkle of more well-known markets like Chelsea or Smorgasburg. But that’s just how I like it. It’s small, cramped but not crowded. It has a certain old-school charm. There are, in addition to the fresh produce stalls (which are pretty inexpensive), other speciality shops that sell anything from cheese to baked goods and coffee. Artisan but unpretentious.


I walked one round around the small market before deciding to check out this little eatery at the far corner, called Shopsin’s General Store. It was nondescript and you would have pegged it for a normal market diner place that sells greasy bacon and limp fries, but what I got was probably the best thing I had in New York, ever! The place is tiny and the menu is intimidating with its lack of pictures and tiny words squeezed onto two sides of a laminated piece of paper. The waiters won’t recommend you anything and if you ask them to, they’d say “my friend, we don’t recommend here”. I decided to go for pancakes, because why not?



I had no idea what I was in for. The pancakes came in a large tin cup, leaving me with no idea how to eat them. But when you decide to just dig in, that’s where the fun starts. Underneath the topmost pancake lie four mind-smashing, gut-busting layers of culinary awesomeness. Like rummaging through a treasure chest, you will find delicately tangy ricotta cheese, creamy scrambled eggs, and a crispy bacon “marmalade”, all wedged in between four PEANUT BUTTER CHIP pancakes that were remarkably fluffy and slightly crisp at the edges. For condiments, your personal bottle of maple syrup, and six (!) types of hot sauce to choose from. Sweet, sticky, savoury, spicy, and downright sinful. As Meghan Trainor would say, every inch of it is perfect from the bottom to the top!

The best thing for me was that I completely stumbled upon it. Not knowing that Shopsin’s is somewhat of a Lower East Side institution, I was glad that my food radar led me to this great place that I can now recommend to my friends. It’s not your friendly mom and pop place. It’s an eatery with an attitude. They do not accept parties of more than four, nor do they offer takeout, according to a Yelp review. If you’re up for some banter, the chef will ask you from his tiny kitchen, and the owner of the place walks around chatting with his patrons.

The eatery is only open five days a week (Wed-Sun) and only open for 5 hours from Wednesday to Saturday, and 4 hours on Sunday. And although it wasn’t cheap (my order was $24, before tax and tip), it is something special and worth absolutely every cent.

After that wonderful meal, I couldn’t bring myself to buy anything else in the market, even though everything else looked fantastic. There were tantalising bagels and beautiful baguettes, shops selling speciality sauces, cheap produce and fresh seafood. I decided I might end off my visit with some coffee from the Porto Rico Importing Co., which according to the website, has been operating since 1907!


The bottom line, the Essex Street Market is not one of the top things on any tourist’s list of New York attractions, but is, in my opinion, a true New York gem. It harkens back to an earlier era when prices were cheaper and businesses competed on the quality of their food, and not how well they dress it up, or whether they have a 10% discount if you check in on instagram. It may be small and a little far for Columbia students living near campus, but it’s definitely worth the time and effort, and is an absolute must if you find yourself in the Lower East Side or near Greenwich Village.


Sweet Tooth Recipes: Dessert for Breakfast

We’ve all gone through it. One of the most difficult decisions we will make all weekend long: sweet or savory. Do we decide to have the eggs, toast and bacon for brunch or the french toast with berries and whipped cream? Honestly, you can’t go wrong here, so for this sweet tooth recipe, we are going sweet, naturally.

One of my favorite dessert for breakfast recipes is chocolate chip banana pancakes. These fluffy pancakes are perfect for any morning when the wait at Community or Kitchenette is too long or the thought of leaving your apartment is shattered when you see that the temperature has dropped below freezing. With a hearty glass of milk, whip up some delicious pancakes and enjoy this dessert for breakfast.



1 ½ cups Flour

3 tsp Baking Powder

1 tsp Salt

1 tbsp Sugar

1 ¼ cup Milk

1 egg

Butter for pan

1 Banana

½ cup Chocolate Chips



  1. In a large bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, milk and egg.
  2. Place pan over medium heat. Place butter in pan for non-stick effect.
  3. Using an ice cream scooper or spoon, pour batter onto heated pan to create pancakes approximately 3 inches in diameter.
  4. When bubbles in batter have formed, place banana slices and chocolate chips on batter.
  5. Flip pancake. Wait until both sides are golden brown.
  6. Pro Tip: The first batch of pancakes usually looks funny. Wait for the second batch of pancakes when serving them to friends and family.

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Voracious Vegan: Autumn Brunch: Spiced Apple Pancakes

Brunch is sacred. Yet at many restaurants, the vegan options for a solid brunch are lacking. Pancakes are one classic breakfast item that are so easy to veganize–you’ll never realize they’re dairy-free! Try out these fall-flavored spiced apple pancakes and I guarantee you’ll be craving them all season long.

Serves: 4

2 cups whole wheat flour

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

2 tbsp sugar

1/4 cup coconut oil

1 & 3/4 cups almond milk

1 tbsp vanilla

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp each nutmeg, cloves and allspice

1 apple, chopped finely

1/3 cup chopped almonds

Mix together flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt and assorted spices. Stir in coconut oil. Add milk and vanilla. Whisk together until consistent. Stir in chopped apple and almonds. Heat a nonstick skillet and pour batter in circles, depending on how large they are. Cook, flipping over until each side is lightly browned.



Breakfast all day, every day

If I had my way—and I’m pretty sure most people feel this way—I’d have breakfast or brunch for every meal. I mean, who’s going to go for a clam bake when there are pancakes and french toast to be eaten?

Especially when they’re the renowned Clinton Street Bakery blueberry pancakes and brioche french toast.

It took some walking from the subway station, but we finally found Clinton Street nestled in the middle of a rather quiet part of the Lower East Side beneath a cheery red awning.

We walked in and practically bowled over an enormous dessert case, with beer on tap behind it. And then walked straight back out.

Yep, there was a wait time of abou an hour, as the hostess graciously informed us. (An insider tip, while it’s probably the best idea to go for brunch or breakfast during the week, if you’re a true breakfast for dinner devotee, Clinton Street still serves up these goodies in the evening. And there’ll be little to no waiting time then.)

But the wait for this early afternoon brunch experience (At this point, I think it counts as second lunch.) was well worth it.

Banana Walnut French Toast with Maple Butter

The brioche is incredibly thick and tender, with the perfect amount of egg—no excess eggy bits dangling off, yet enough to cover the entire surface with a thin layer of crispiness. Sprinkled with fluffy caramelized bananas and crisp walnuts, and then dunked in the sweet creamy miracle of maple butter (A pot of melted butter-maple-syrupy joy.), each bite bursts with sensory contrasts.

Blueberry pancakes with maple butter

And then Clinton Street’s chef d’oeuvre: a triple stack of pillowy golden pancakes, sprinkled with a light fall of powdered sugar, and anointed with a generous dollop of blueberry sauce. Made extra puffy with Chef Neil Kleinberg’s secret tactic of whipping the egg whites separately and then folding it into the dough, without over mixing (Try this at home. It works like a dream.), the pancakes are incredibly light.

Having started off rather hungry after an hour’s wait, my friend and I devoured most of the two (Very laden.) plates between ourselves, in addition to mugs of hot buttered cider. (Which tastes just as amazing as it sounds. Think of a cross between maple butter and rich cider.) Satisfied, we waddled off into the sunset, and told ourselves that we would be back someday. But if we ever get a hankering for pancakes and cider in the mean time, there is always Community Food and Juice, also owned by Neil Kleinberg, and right in the neighborhood.

Postcards from… Amsterdam?

Yael and Kelcey, our two Study Abroad correspondents, have travelled to the Netherlands for the weekend and report from on the delicacy of Dutch Pancakes!  Yum!

Am I allowed to write a Postcard from Paris about something that isn’t in Paris? Well, I’m going to. We’ll worry about the consequences later.

The number one thing that makes me jealous of Europeans is that they can just go visit whatever European city they desire… for the weekend. I mean, how amazing is that? The most exciting place I could go for a weekend is probably Florida (not that I have anything against Florida). So one of my goals for my time abroad was to take advantage of being based in Paris not just to enjoy Paris, but also to travel to other cities in Europe, while it’s temporarily conceivable on my student’s budget. So when we had a 4-day holiday weekend here in Paris, Kelcey and I (and the rest of France, judging from all the French being spoken around us over the weekend) picked up and headed for the Netherlands.

I was psyched to go to Amsterdam, but it was even more amazing than I had anticipated. I could go on and on about the beautiful architecture and the great museums and the bicycles and canals and how friendly all the locals were, but this is a food blog, not a travel blog. So I will talk about food.

As much as I adore French food, Dutch cuisine was a welcome break for the weekend. Essentially, it’s comfort food. Frites, Dutch appeltaart, big plates of mashed potatoes with piles of sausages and bacon and meatballs and gravy (or grilled vegetables and melted cheese for non-pork-eating people like me)—it all felt like what your grandmother would cook you, all the while telling you that you’re too skinny… if your grandmother was Dutch, of course. One of the great comfort-food meals we had in our three days in Amsterdam consisted of Dutch pancakes at a place called, appropriately, “Pancakes!” Continue reading Postcards from… Amsterdam?