No, I wouldn't go that far - but best pancakes on Smith Street, for sure. The Puffin just arrived from a 20hr Singapore to NY flight and a pancake breakfast at Cafe Luluc was near the top of her list. The conversation went like this: "Babe, I just flew half-way around the world, are you gonna make me pancakes?" Me (eyes rolling): "Yeah, I have to go buy ingredients, if you don't mind waiting." Her: "Never mind, we can go to Luluc." She brought me a present - a new camera. The kind that's not dummy-proof, so forgive me as I try to learn the right combination of aperture, focal length and ISO (and I'm not even sure those are the correct terms...)
I've been known to make a good pancake and I'd like to think mine are better but they may not be. What makes these so good is the hard-to-attain combination of fluffy light innards and crispy edges. A lot of places offer pancakes but they taste like box-mix cardboard frisbees. These are from scratch. The fresh fruit are a nice touch but not necessary - just butter and syrup. They're generous in size - as Dodo munched, I fiddled with camera buttons, took photos and waited for the remains. We both got full from this one plate and we didn't even finish.
Here's a really bad close-up using camera settings I don't understand. I may have to go buy a photography book - this blogging habit is leading me into learning and I am resistant to the tug. I felt like the dog who got dragged into the cafe by an owner eager for his morning's coffee. Yes, a dog in a cafe - did I forget to mention that this is a faux-French cafe? At least they got that detail right - I don't think I've seen a dog in a cafe in NY before.
I say faux-French because we're in NY. Every NY spot is really Mexican or Central American of some extraction, no matter the food being served. Bourdain was right - without Central Americans, there'd hardly be any chefs in NY. They may just be the best chefs in the world - at least the most adaptable. This place is an extreme example - the wait staff, chefs and maybe even the owners are from Mexico, I'm betting, though I don't know for sure.
214 Smith St