New York City
Even on a weekday afternoon in the middle of an NYC summer heatwave, people line up along Clinton St for the privilege of digging a fork into the fluffy heart of their not-at-all-short stacks. Should you happen in during February, they flip up Pancake Month specials like Japanese pumpkin or Swedish apple, but the year-round offerings are special enough on their own to regularly earn "best in the city" accolades. The wild Maine blueberry is a fail-safe pick, topped with a crown of pureed fruit whose sweetness is amplified even further when combined with a pour of just-warm-enough maple syrup.
Note: This entry was written by special guest pancake journalist David Carlisle, the father of our Editorial Director’s girlfriend.
I had my first Roadside pancake about 11 years ago, and remember it as if it were a long lost brother. The Roadside is a halfway house for folks with mental illness run by Gould Farm, a magical organization. There was a crude sign on the wall illustrating the different pancake sizes, which confuses most people, since it relates to circumference, not stack height. The waitress tried to talk us out of the large, warning that it was a lot of pancake, but met with no success.
A long time passed -- the wait at the Roadside, and the service, are iconic for those of us who live nearby. When it came, it was seriously about the size of a large pizza. They give each pancake a small reservoir of maple syrup that should suffice for an average human being; I poured on all of mine, then grabbed my wife’s and poured that on as well. All that covered only a quarter of my massive pancake, so that’s all I ate, and still became senselessly stuffed.