FOOD: Bubby’s Diner | Blueberry Pancakes


All it took was one bite to yank me back into my childhood.

Bubby’s is corner of Hudson and North Moore in TriBeca. (Open 24 Hours by the way). Whomever is responsible for the harmony of graphic design and interior decoration deserves a tip of the hat. The decor doesn’t try overly hard to be deep-south in a town who’s city-wide pride is the Yankees.

I grew up on blueberry pancakes; my standards are rather high. While it’s difficult to mess up blueberry pancakes, it’s tough to nail them. And all it took was one bite to bring back a flood of childhood memories from my mom’s blueberry pancakes.

The inside is reminiscent of a country bed and breakfast with cheerful staff who know how to fill a city boy’s mug with black coffee.  In an economy of bad diners, skip the vinyl booths and have a good experience instead.

A good way to gauge how good your food will be is by their house coffee.  When drunk black and uninfluenced by the distraction of sugar, sweeteners or milk, coffee is the business card of a restaurant. Coffee is the little detail that can finish a good meal or be the missing piece that fettered a meal from being great. For those whom the craft of the bean is sacred ritual, I’ve found they generally put as much attention into the rest of the meal. Such was the  with Bubby’s with which we lay our scene.

These pancakes were soft and elegant, and deceivingly filling. Even on an empty stomach, they prove a formidable task to wipe out.  The pancake, emblem of the classic American breakfast, is sadly too dry to not drown in syrup. This assumption is why I was surprised with Bubby’s pancakes as the needed no maple accompaniment. Topped with tart and sweet blueberries, the fluffy quilts enveloped your tongue like a hug from an old friend.  This of course, didn’t stop me from tasting a few bites with real maple syrup (not the rude pancake “topping” most diners sympathetically supply knowing full well it is the only lubricant their pancakes will go down with).

There is a midnight brunch which I will definitely check out if I’m ever in the area at such an hour. I also made the terrible mistake of not ordering bacon, which, according to my friend, they cure themselves. Rookie mistake.

Bubby’s has been in New York since 1990, and many of the recipes have been passed down through the family. Sure tastes like it too. Also noteworthy is the Brooklyn location for Brooklynites close to Dumbo or willing to make the trek. There is an entire portion of their business devoted to pies, which warrants a trip on principal alone. If their pies are anything like their pancakes, they can take these broken wings and I can learn to fly again after years of bad diner pies.