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

Lisa Paradise: Whether youprefer them thin and tangy or you lean towards sweet and savory topped with crispy fried chicken, you can't go wrong witha stack of pancakes.

And these pancakes are so popular people are willing towait hours to get a bite.

Customer: I'm originally from the Midwest, and you know those home-cooked meals that really hit youdeep 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 doingup brunch for decades.

And today I am eating the very best that brunch has to offer, fried chicken and pancakes.

Walking into a restaurantnamed for Jewish grandmothers, one could only expect a homey vibe and hearty, well-cooked food.

And Bubby's doesn'tdisappoint on either end.

Customer: You know, youfeel like you're coming home and you're getting a greatmeal 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 sogood.

You can't miss them.

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

Lisa: That's Ron Silver.

And after 30 years of owningand 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 ofsweet, savory foods together, it sort of reminds you ofthe day after Christmas.

[festive music] [record scratching] Ron: That is just an impossible amount of pancakes to figure out.

Lisa: There are two kindsof 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 recipefrom 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 ofthe milk for sour cream.

And I think I was prettyyoung 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 whiskingtogether 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 pouredonto 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 perfectlycrispy, buttery exterior.

Customer: The fluffinessof it.

And it's like, it almost dissolves asI 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 comehere for our third date.

So that's how I heard about it.

Customer: Thank you.

[laughs] Lisa: Bubby's sourdoughstack begins with this: a sourdough starter from 1890.

Eggs, sour cream, sugar, salt, and melted butter are whisked together.

Then flour is mixed withthe 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 sourflavor really develop.

The thin batter is poured onto the grill and, like its fluffy counterpart, flipped only one time before serving.

Customer: The thingabout these pancakes are, breakfast, lunch, ordinner, they're always good.

Man, it just, my mouthis already watering, and I already ate that for lunch.

Lisa: Ron opened Bubby's onThanksgiving Day in 1990, when his friend, who rented the space, took a three-week vacation.

Ron decided to cook firstand ask permission later, serving pies and Thanksgiving leftovers.

By the time his friend returned, Bubby's was already ahit, and the restaurant has been going strong inthe same space ever since.

Ron: There was a place across the street that was very busy, andit was a pancake house, and they had a line around the corner.

And I sort of rememberstanding outside one day saying, well, if Icould just get that line to come over here, thenwe would be really busy.

Lisa: And although Bubby'shas kept the array of pies, by developing a new menu basedon 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 niceplace to bring your friends.

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

We're doing two differentkinds of pancakes.

On this side I have theJames Beard pancakes.

Of course, they're toppedwith fried chicken.

You don't have to have themtopped with fried chicken, but in my opinion, what'sthe point of going to brunch if you're not gonna getsome sort of fried chicken? And then on this side, Ihave the sourdough pancakes.

I've never had pancakes that are this thin before in restaurants.

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

Let's do the sourdough.

Typically, if I was gonna eat pancakes, I would, of course, putbutter and syrup on them.

But I really wanna try them plain first, 'cause I'm curious what thesourdough 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 thecomplexity 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 youchew it the more it has that, like, bready, pretzely, sourdough feeling to it.

They give you the thinnestpancake you've ever seen, and they still squish inthat really satisfying way.

I watched them make this, and I still have no idea how you get that consistencywith something so thin.

I'm here for the fried chicken.

You basically get half a fried chicken on top of pancakes, whichI 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 perfectlywith the pancakes, because the pancakes aresweet but not too sweet.

They have a little bitof syrup on top of them, because why not? With the crunchiness of the chicken and the fluffiness of the pancake makes for a perfectlytextured bite of food that is everything that youwant from a Saturday brunch.

Be it sober, hungover, 10mimosas 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 theirblogs, like, “Who's this?” And people are gonna belike, “Literally no one.

” Yeah.


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