I went to Quantum Leap for a pancake brunch somewhat at the last minute. I was originally planning to go with a friend but she felt under the weather so I figured I'd forego the pancake adventure. But...was that necessary? I can eat out by myself (hell, I do it all the time) and I decided if I went I'd be testing the waters for us possibly pancaking next weekend.
I decided to go to Quantum Leap after passing it once while walking home and picking up a menu. It took me about 40 minutes to walk there from my dorm; perhaps I was walking more slowly than usual? Well, I hope that burned some calories. Thankfully the restaurant had room (I was getting worried because loads of restaurants on the way up there were crowded with lazy brunch-going people, like me). Most of the people inside were in pairs but later there were some loners like me. ;)
There are quite a few pancake choices along with specials (which I wish I had ordered but I was kind of slow noticing the specials board). Still in strawberry mode from last Friday, I ordered the strawberry stack, a 2-pancake stack with stawberry slices on top and in between the pancakes along with a few slices of banana and a dollop of cream. It was beaaauuutiful! And then I ate it. I finished the whole thing. Thank god I had to use a knife and a fork to eat it or I may have finished it even more quickly. I don't like pouring maple syrup on top of my pancakes but I make a huge pool of it and dip my pancake into the pool. I guess that's not very different but it gives me more control over where the maple syrup goes. It was a good portion of food as it left me feeling satisfied but not over-stuffed. Then again, I'm a 5 foot tall girl...but you know me: I can pack it away.
So far, those were the best pancakes I've had over the course of my pancaking journeys in NYC. Then again, the only places I've been going to have been diners, so...yeah. But they were really good pancakes and I'd recommend that you go to the restaurant if you like pancakes. The decor is simple and earth-toned (it's a natural healthy food type restaurant, although if you ask me, real meat sausages are more natural than soy links) and the space is not too big or small. The service was a bit strange as one waitress seemed less personable than a robot while the other (the one who served me most of the time) was very nice and looked happy. I'm going to assume that the other person wasn't in a very good mood at the time. The happy waitress left an impression on me. :)
Overall the cost of my brunch with tip was about $11. I spent less than $2 on my dinner in Chinatown but it was an indulgence because as you know, $2 will buy you too much stuff in a Chinatown bakery if you play your cards right (and if you're a pig like me). Even though I haven't had many taro buns in my life, I had the best one EVER at Nice One Bakery on Bayard Street. IT HAD TARO CHUNKS! Don't they usually just have smooth paste? It wasn't loaded with chunks but it was nice. Mmmm. I also had a pork bun from there because I wanted to find out why so many people are mad about pork buns. Maybe I don't get it because I'm not very into savory foods to begin with (and I'm not a meat lover) but it was a nice bun. The bread was soft as a baby's bottom (how do they do that?) and the marriage of sweet bread with salty pork wasn't like anything else I've tasted. ...besides other pork buns. I guess that's what they're like. I wanted to get one from Mei Lai Wah Coffeeshop but it was ridiculously crowded. Maybe it's better on the weekdays--I'll have to scope it out.
I ended my bakery hopping with a fried sesame rice ball with black bean paste from Lung Moon Bakery on Mulberry Street, which I ate at the conveniently located playground nearby. I really like that bakery, partially because their stuff is cheap ($0.50 for the rice ball) and also because it's small and the people who run it seem nice. There's no madness like at Fay Da Bakery, which I went to on Saturday night and was pretty crowded. I love the non-crowded bakeries! Fay Da is more expensive than most places as well. Maybe they use better ingredients but...I can't tell. I go there with other people or because nothing else is open (it's open later than most bakeries). It's not a baked bakery by any means, but there are so many others to choose from. It's a matter of competition. I wish other bakeries would open later. :|