The Eat: The most outrageous Brookie pancakes.
The Place: Morning Rose Cafe in Bellmore.
The Story: Six years. It took this writer six whole years before trying any of the fluffy, expansive pancakes at this always-packed, New-England-bed-and-breakfast-style bruncherie opened by Rose Tzanetos in 2013.
I would say to myself during the 40-minute drive to Bellmore from western Suffolk, then again during the 40-minute (and worth it!) wait for a table that this, today, would be the day I finally ordered their raved-about golden stacks of pancakes spotted with poppy seeds and smothered in their signature house-made berry compote—or one of their more seasonal piles of pancakes, laden with things like caramelized apples and cider syrup; candied walnuts on house-pureed local pumpkin; raspberries drenched in homemade fudge; or crushed Girl Scout cookies with peanut butter sauce.
And every time, I was thwarted.
It was hard to order pancakes when garden hashes with a cornucopia of vegetables and overstuffed savory omelets were presented with renewed spins every season. Or when the stalwart, perfectly executed chicken and waffles offers such comfort. Or when I fell in love with fall’s Breakfast Gnocchi, a joyous cream-and-country gravy innovation of pillowy, house-made pasta nestled in wilted spinach, further enriched by chunks of breakfast sausage, bacon, and a fried egg with grated cheese atop it all.
But with this winter’s new menu, I finally did it … and in rather spectacular fashion, with their Brookie pancakes, a special that sold out so often that it’s now a part of the regular offerings (… at least until May 2020!).
In this rendition, sweet buttermilk pancakes are studded with chocolate chip cookie dough, all of which envelops fudge-y, half-baked brownie batter in a near obscene level of swirled decadence. Topped with whipped cream and served with a side of breakfast syrup, this is the mash-up of an American baked goods classicist’s dream, bringing to the forefront all the feel-good nostalgia of simple childhood treats.
Some bites taste like hot chocolate sipped with a warm gooey brownie. Others like chocolate chip cookies, half-baked and with a glass of milk. Or fudge cake snuck late at night. Or just fluffy buttermilk pancakes on a cold winter’s morning.
But every bite, without fail, tastes like a childhood memory: a decadent materialization of a calories-don’t-count, it’s-the-holidays-after-all, let-kids-be-kids shrug, with your favorite homey dessert classics all rolled into one hot plate.