It’s not on the laminated paper menus at Julio Cuellar Jimenez and Enriqueta Pastor Martinez’s hole-in-the-wall taqueria, Newyorktitlan, a quiet block away from the Myrtle-Wyckoff promenade. And you haven’t really lived until you’ve sat down at one of their scattered three or four tables, and waited for a server to come to you, ask if you want to hear the specials they have today, consent to this, and then, finally, you will be asked if you would like their rotating menu of pancakes. Whether it’s tres leches, beet or carrot cake, you’ll be in for a delightful surprise.
The pancakes are a speciality here, a secret passed on by a collective of enthusiastic Yelp-reviewing patrons. “The rum sauce that just made breakfast taste like high tea time in luxury,” one raves.
Not many know that the chef and owner Jimenez was inspired by Chef Wiley Dufresne, the gastronomy wizard behind WD-50 and Alder, and now Du’s Donuts. Jimenez has been in the culinary industry for 12 years and started at the very bottom taking out the trash, “People like me, who dream and work hard will keep pushing up. Having a restaurant was always my dream, I never thought it would be like this, but this is just the beginning of it.”
Working for the Lower East Side gems with Chef Dufresne, Jimenez understood, that cooking is his passion, “This is when everything in my life changed, when I knew what I wanted to do.”
Jimenez is playful with his flavors, heavily influences by his childhood back in Mexico, “Every time I have an idea I feel so free to create. In Mexico I’d go to the carnival and get fried plantains with sour cream and marmalade, and the shop next to it used to have pancakes, so I married those together into our ‘Carnival Pancakes.’” Newyorktitlan gives pancakes a magnificent return for a blighted standard. Something truly worth the wait on a busy Saturday afternoon.
Stacked tightly together like layers of cake, they look so ornate that it feels cruel to slice into them. If you came by during the tres leches pancakes, this effect is dilated further by the separate additions of a vanilla glaze sauce, contained inside a pewter tin. The server will pour it over with great dramatic effect, which is followed by ample amounts of white powdered sugar. These pancakes are worth the $12.
There are other things one can order as well: the sopes are particularly good. The thick corn patty is incredibly satisfying, married with salsa verde, fresh cheese and crema. The runny yolk of the sunny side up egg brings all the flavors and textures together. Their regular menu specializes in egg and breakfast dishes, all paired well with their Mexican hot chocolate or signature cinnamon cold brew.
But back to the pancakes. Jimenez likes to experiment and create bold new flavors, like his beets and cream cheese pancakes, topped with beet chips and a beet reduction, “It took me three days to make the beet pancakes. It makes me feel really good that the people notice and enjoy the little things.”
We should all be so adventurous. Routine is the real clutter of our lives, and for just a few moments, if we’re still paying attention to the end of a specials menu without trailing off, Newyorktitlan beckons a small trip into the unexpected, a combination not yet heard of. And it’s delicious.
Cover photo and other photography courtesy of Newyorktitlan.
Mexican inspired fair with secret rotating brunch pancakes.
1525 Gates Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11237 (off the Myrtle-Wyckoff L/M trains)
Mon-Fri: 7 a.m. – 4 p.m., Sun-Sat: 11 a.m – 6 p.m.
+1 347 715-5387