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  • Lisa Paradise: Whether you prefer them thin and tangy

  • or you lean towards sweet and savory

  • topped with crispy fried chicken,

  • you can't go wrong with a stack of pancakes.

  • And these pancakes are so popular

  • people are willing to wait hours to get a bite.

  • Customer: I'm originally from the Midwest,

  • and you know those home-cooked meals

  • that really hit you deep down in your soul?

  • They bring that here to New York.

  • You can come in and see a celebrity.

  • You come in and get a great meal.

  • It's the entire experience.

  • Lisa: Weekend brunch in New York

  • is honestly its own institution.

  • It is hard to find a restaurant here

  • that doesn't have a brunch menu,

  • and Bubby's has been doing up brunch for decades.

  • And today I am eating the very best

  • that brunch has to offer, fried chicken and pancakes.

  • Walking into a restaurant named for Jewish grandmothers,

  • one could only expect a homey vibe

  • and hearty, well-cooked food.

  • And Bubby's doesn't disappoint on either end.

  • Customer: You know, you feel like you're coming home

  • and you're getting a great meal every time you come.

  • Customer: My typical order, I always get a side pancake.

  • Lisa: You get a side of pancakes?

  • Customer: Just one pancake.

  • Lisa: Every time you come here?

  • Customer: Every single time. [laughs]

  • Customer: Oh, man, I don't even....

  • Customer: Yes! They're so good. You can't miss them.

  • Ron Silver: I eat at Bubby's every day.

  • Lisa: That's Ron Silver.

  • And after 30 years of owning and operating Bubby's,

  • even he can't get enough.

  • Ron: Brunch is a great thing.

  • A long, drawn-out meal.

  • And eating all these sort of sweet, savory foods together,

  • it sort of reminds you of the day after Christmas.

  • [festive music]

  • [record scratching]

  • Ron: That is just an impossible

  • amount of pancakes to figure out.

  • Lisa: There are two kinds of pancakes on Bubby's menu:

  • a plate of wafer-thin, super tangy

  • sourdough pancakes that are served plain,

  • or the more classic, fluffy, slightly sweet

  • James Beard variety, which derive both

  • their name and recipe from the culinary legend,

  • of whom Ron is a massive fan.

  • Ron: These pancakes,

  • the recipe is James Beard's recipe,

  • and I swapped out some of the milk for sour cream.

  • And I think I was pretty young when I made those

  • the first time, maybe, like, 24,

  • so I was maybe more cocky at that time.

  • Willing to play with his recipes.

  • Lisa: The James Beard pancakes at Bubby's

  • begin by whisking together eggs, sour cream,

  • sugar, and a little melted butter.

  • Then it's time for the dry ingredients,

  • flour, baking soda, and salt,

  • followed by a splash of milk.

  • The batter is poured onto a piping hot griddle

  • that's been doused in melted butter.

  • Then it's left to sizzle and bubble

  • before each pancake is flipped just once.

  • Then it's doused once more in butter

  • to ensure a perfectly crispy, buttery exterior.

  • Customer: The fluffiness of it. And it's like,

  • it almost dissolves as I put it in my mouth.

  • It's very easy to eat.

  • This is kind of of our third date.

  • She told me about it.

  • And so we decided to come here for our third date.

  • So that's how I heard about it.

  • Customer: Thank you. [laughs]

  • Lisa: Bubby's sourdough stack begins with this:

  • a sourdough starter from 1890.

  • Eggs, sour cream, sugar, salt,

  • and melted butter are whisked together.

  • Then flour is mixed with the 130-year-old starter

  • and some buttermilk for a punch of tang.

  • Finally, the batter is left to sit

  • to ferment for 24 hours

  • to let the signature sour flavor really develop.

  • The thin batter is poured onto the grill

  • and, like its fluffy counterpart,

  • flipped only one time before serving.

  • Customer: The thing about these pancakes are,

  • breakfast, lunch, or dinner, they're always good.

  • Man, it just, my mouth is already watering,

  • and I already ate that for lunch.

  • Lisa: Ron opened Bubby's on Thanksgiving Day in 1990,

  • when his friend, who rented the space,

  • took a three-week vacation.

  • Ron decided to cook first and ask permission later,

  • serving pies and Thanksgiving leftovers.

  • By the time his friend returned,

  • Bubby's was already a hit, and the restaurant

  • has been going strong in the same space ever since.

  • Ron: There was a place across the street

  • that was very busy, and it was a pancake house,

  • and they had a line around the corner.

  • And I sort of remember standing outside one day

  • saying, well, if I could just get that line

  • to come over here, then we would be really busy.

  • Lisa: And although Bubby's has kept the array of pies,

  • by developing a new menu based on American comfort foods,

  • it managed to get that line and then some.

  • Customer: It was about, like, 45, 50 minutes.

  • Customer: I wanna say, like, 35 minutes.

  • Customer: About an hour.

  • Lisa: An hour? Customer: Yeah.

  • Lisa: And was it worth, like, killing 45 minutes of time?

  • Customer: Oh, yeah. I love it here.

  • I just love the atmosphere.

  • It's always so energetic.

  • And it's just such a nice place to bring your friends.

  • Lisa: We're having kind of a crazy brunch.

  • We're doing two different kinds of pancakes.

  • On this side I have the James Beard pancakes.

  • Of course, they're topped with fried chicken.

  • You don't have to have them topped with fried chicken,

  • but in my opinion, what's the point of going to brunch

  • if you're not gonna get some sort of fried chicken?

  • And then on this side, I have the sourdough pancakes.

  • I've never had pancakes

  • that are this thin before in restaurants.

  • I've had them at home when I really mess up pancakes.

  • Let's do the sourdough.

  • Typically, if I was gonna eat pancakes,

  • I would, of course, put butter and syrup on them.

  • But I really wanna try them plain first,

  • 'cause I'm curious what the sourdough starter does to them.

  • That was too big.

  • They're really sour.

  • Like, they're really sour, and they're really sweet.

  • I mean, obviously you say sourdough,

  • you expect them to be sour,

  • but I'm surprised at the complexity of the flavor

  • and the way that it builds in your mouth.

  • Because when you first take a bite,

  • it does taste like a pancake,

  • and then the more you chew it the more it has

  • that, like, bready, pretzely, sourdough feeling to it.

  • They give you the thinnest pancake you've ever seen,

  • and they still squish in that really satisfying way.

  • I watched them make this, and I still have no idea

  • how you get that consistency with something so thin.

  • I'm here for the fried chicken.

  • You basically get half a fried chicken

  • on top of pancakes, which I am fully down for.

  • Oh, it's juicy!

  • Oh, this is juicy. This is crispy.

  • Don't look at me while I have this moment.

  • The chicken is brined for 24 hours.

  • And you can tell.

  • It is so incredibly juicy.

  • I think you can really taste, it's peppery, it's salty,

  • and then it pairs perfectly with the pancakes,

  • because the pancakes are sweet but not too sweet.

  • They have a little bit of syrup on top of them,

  • because why not?

  • With the crunchiness of the chicken

  • and the fluffiness of the pancake

  • makes for a perfectly textured bite of food

  • that is everything that you want from a Saturday brunch.

  • Be it sober, hungover, 10 mimosas in, it doesn't matter.

  • This is the ideal that you look for

  • when you look for a weekend brunch.

  • There is a crowd outside.

  • I'm nobody!

  • I'm gonna go up on all their blogs, like, "Who's this?"

  • And people are gonna be like, "Literally no one."

  • Yeah. [laughs]

Lisa Paradise: Whether you prefer them thin and tangy

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Bubby’s Pancakes Make It The Best Brunch In NYC | Superlatives

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    林宜悉 posted on 2020/10/23
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