The Brunch Dish: Potato and Celery Root Pancakes at Community Food and Juice
If you've ever trekked all the way downtown to the Clinton St. Baking Co. only to find a near-eternal wait for pancakes, you might try heading in the opposite direction next time. Community Food and Juice, the newly-reopened Morningside Heights brunch staple, is owned by the same folks, and their expanded dining quarters have tremendously reduced the wait to get in.
Like its big sister, Community boasts some pretty tasty pancakes, but the ones I'd recommend most strongly are on the savory side: they're made from potato and celery root. I tend to associate celery root with pickling (my mom's favorite preparation), but this is far different. It brings out the vegetable's subtler side, adding just a hint of complexity to a classic dish. Perhaps more importantly, the celery root lends a wonderfully smooth texture to the batter which doesn't compromise the outer crisp, making for a truly intriguing combo.
Though it's not normally a morning meal, the latkes' accompaniments are clever spin-offs of traditional accoutrements that make the dish more appropriate for brunch. Sour cream adds a cool touch while the "roasted" applesauce has a deeper flavor than the normal stuff, with a smoky sweetness that really works. And don't forget to order a Barnard Bear with that—it combines hot apple cider, a splash of lemonade, and mint, which makes for an addictingly delicious fall drink.