Community Food & Juice: The healthy UWS Clinton St. Baking Co. needs to find its groove

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Community Food & Juice is the healthy, organic Morningside Heights sister of the LES’s Clinton Street Baking Company, home of what the NYC Food Guy considers the best pancakes in New York.

While Community needs time to find its groove, the Brioche French Toast with caramelized bananas, roasted pecans & warm maple butter ($12) was dead on.

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Take a look at this pure, unadulterated deliciousness:

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Cinnamon and sugar on airy, steaming hot, grilled Brioche that’s soft and sumptuous and possesses a subtle tang that bewilders the taste buds. Is the tang from the bananas? No. Is it from the pecans? Of course not. It’s definitely not from the warm, rich maple butter.

The secret is in the French Toast batter:

Eggs, cinnamon, sugar, half and half, and now here’s the crux of it all: Vanilla & Orange flavor.

I know it sounds different if not downright weird, but it’s such a subtle orange flavor that you’re not even sure if you’re tasting it, but you’re mouth is happy it’s there.

The only thing you need to know is that every bite is like an orgy of cinnamon, sugar, banana, crunchy pecan, and warm, maple buttery goodness.

I also ordered a nice big mug of Cafe con Leche (coffee with steamed milk), which was a strong, solid accompaniment to the sweetness of the French Toast.

The Classic Double Grilled Cheese ($8), consisting of fontina and white cheddar on sourdough toast, was the choice of Mark Lewis, chicken club expert.

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The sourdough bread was excellent; crunchy and good flavor. But the sandwich suffered because the cheese wasn’t melted as much as it should have been, lending an air of thrown-together-ness to the whole thing. Disappointing, look:

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Equally disappointing was the side of French fries ($4). We asked for well done but they were undercooked, old, and just tasted off.

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The place was a nice sight on the Upper West Side. Unlike its LES sister restaurant, Community was spacious and open.

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One reason to go back is the “Juice” aspect of the restaurant’s. When I ate there, the Juice bar wasn’t open yet but it should be now. They’ll be serving shakes such as the Nutter Butter, which despite its name sounds pretty good: Soy Milk, almond butter, peanut butter, cashew butter, and ice chips. I’ll be heading back for one of those.

All in all, it’s definitely worth going back, just to have the Blueberry pancakes and warm maple butter, served through brunch. Issues still loom especially when you’re messing up grilled cheese and French fries. I love Clinton Street Baking Company and I’ve only been there once, I hope Community irons out the wrinkles and becomes as much of a landmark as its sister.

Community Food and Juice

2893 Broadway, New York, NY 10025
nr. 112th St. (Map)

212-665-2800

 

 

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8 Responses to “Community Food & Juice: The healthy UWS Clinton St. Baking Co. needs to find its groove”

  1. Community Food & Juice Misses the Mark Again « NYC Food Guy Says:

    […] Community, the UWS healthy/organic sister of Clinton Street Baking Company, serves the same legendary pancakes and French Toast as its sibling, the latter of which I enjoyed a few months back. […]

  2. Karen Says:

    I went to Community for the first time today and, despite your post, I was so drawn to the notion of the grilled cheese sammich (I got it with bacon), that I decided to order it regardless.

    It was TRANSCENDANT. Gooey to the max, with crusty, formerly gooey blotches adhering to the bread. I would eat one of those EVERY DAY if I could.

    Seems to me you went on an off-day. Which means they have a problem with consistency–which isn’t inconsequential–but which is easier to fix than a bad kitchen overall…

  3. The NYC Food Guy Says:

    Karen-

    First off, thanks for the comment. I’m glad to hear you had a better experience than I did. It’s funny because you’re exactly right, it’s definitely a lack of consistency as opposed to a damaged kitchen. I had the grilled cheese a few weeks after the opening so it’s understandable that it missed the mark, they were still trying to find their grove which I noted. The second time I went for the french toast it wasn’t as good but it was amazing the first time.

    So yes, consistency is an issue but after encountering it twice I’m a lot less inclined to go here for a third time.

    Thanks again.

  4. Penelope: Pass on Breakfast & Go For Lunch « NYC Food Guy Says:

    […] It was tasty but that’s fully a credit to the Nutella. It was nothing compared to Community Food & Juice’s Brioche French Toast. […]

  5. casadelun Says:

    Ohhhh…that french toast looks so delicious.

  6. The NYC Food Guy Says:

    Casadelum,

    As delicious as the photo looks, it’s even better in person. And it’s even better at Clinton Street Baking company, the unhealthy big sister restaurant of Community.

  7. Healthy Juices Says:

    Juices Drinks
    Vegetable Juices are critical to good health because it is an important source of raw food. Each of us needs raw foods every day, and Vegetable Juices (Healthy Beverages) are an excellent way to make certain you receive large quantities of such raw foods.

  8. The NYC Food Guy Says:

    Healthy,
    Have you had any juice drinks at Community? If so what’s the best?

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