New York City Restaurants – Dish Buzz: Clinton Street Baking Company

Clinton Street Baking Company, Lower East Side
Clinton Street Baking Company, Lower East Side

Most people probably know Clinton Street Baking Company for their breakfast. Stop by on the weekends and you’ll find a line well out the door and people even sitting along the sidewalk in front of the restaurant waiting to be called. They don’t take reservations – only persistent patrons.

I prefer dinners here though. One of their most popular breakfast items, their fluffy blueberry pancakes, can be eaten in the evening as well. Thanks to that, I choose to pass on the wait. February is also pancake month at Clinton Street Baking Company, featuring an additional specialty pancake offering.

Fried Green Tomatoes, Clinton Street
Fried Green Tomatoes, Clinton Street Baking Company

They have a nice variety of appetizers to start. They do some fine fried green tomatoes. The slices are fairly thick and it’s served with a jalapeno sour cream. (If only they sold this in the grocery store.)  I’m always intrigued by their chilled gazpacho. (Perhaps next time.) They also bring out a plate of small fresh buttermilk biscuits, which shouldn’t be missed.

My favorite dinner item is their fried chicken. A Southern food aficionado, I’m always on the hunt for good Southern fare. Usually it’s decent, but not impressive. Clinton Street, on the other hand, has it right. I’ve taken guests from Alabama and Georgia with me and they would agree with that assessment.
Fried Chicken, Clinton Street Baking Company
Fried Chicken, Clinton Street Baking Company

The chicken is  lightly breaded, so it’s subtle and not overly done. It comes with a cup of slightly spicy honey tabasco sauce for dipping. They also give you a rectangular slice of jalapeño cornbread which has just enough heat to offset the chicken but not enough to overpower. I’ve even paid a little extra sometimes to substitute cheese grits for the slaw that accompanies the chicken. Their cheese grits are very good and they give you enough for three people,  so your accompanying guests will thank you.

I’ve actually never made it to dessert after sampling too many options from the appetizers and entrees. (Perhaps someday.) They also have a couple of specials to note. Nightly from 6-8pm, you can get a beer and a burger for only $12. Oenophiles take note of Tuesday, which features half-price bottles of wine.




Don’t miss the white paper bags as you exit over by the hostess stand.
Yes, the ones that favor your lunch bag from your elementary school days. They always have some leftover complimentary scones from the day (usually one sweet and one savory). They’re good. They’re free. You won’t want to pass these up.

4 Clinton Street (between Stanton St and Houston St) – 646.602.6263

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