The Lower East Side’s Clinton Street Baking Co. isn’t exactly a well-kept secret. Lauded for its baked goods—the buttermilk biscuits are particularly renowned—and notoriously popular brunch, I’d recommended it to visiting friends who had weekday mornings free for leisurely breakfasts; they always reported back in the positive, but then, the lines are shorter Monday to Friday, and I’d always been too put off by the crazy weekend waits to give the place a shot myself.
A few weeks ago, though, some friends and I found ourselves with a Sunday at our disposal. One got there early and put our name on the list; the rest of us met her at the café across the street, settled in with our iced coffees and commenced with the waiting. As a reward for surviving the epic lines, we were served, as promised, “no-fuss-just-plain good food.”
We chose three dishes to share between us; first up, the Belgian waffle special.
Our next pick was the fried-chicken sandwich, with hand-cut potato chips and a sour pickle on the side. The meat, though a thinner portion than I expected, was beautifully salty, crunchy and juicy; the chips were addictively good.
Finally, a New York classic: bacon, egg, and cheddar cheese, elevated beyond the bodega by swapping one of those famous biscuits for the usual roll and tomato jam for the ketchup. The accompanying hash browns were underwhelming, which just made it easier to focus on the good stuff.
Though I can’t definitively say that our time wouldn’t have been better spent elsewhere—it’s hard to justify a three-hour wait for eggs—we walked away from our meal fully satisfied, and coddled, too. I mean, c’mon. Our entire day revolved around brunch. That’s a lazy Sunday well-spent, if you ask me.
Clinton Street Baking Co.
4 Clinton Street
New York, NY