Each week I document another dish that impressed and satiated me on my culinary adventures in New York City.

Years ago my wife and I were obsessed with Ricotta Hotcakes, an amazing gluten-free pancake from Two Hands. I remember the day I had to tell him that it was no longer on their menu. And unfortunately, he has never returned since.

Well, a few weeks ago I discovered a very different pancake from rolls, but just as good. My wife was not with me, but I know she would find this to be a suitable replacement.

I had this experience at Xilonen, a new vegetarian Mexican restaurant on the trendy border of Greenpoint and Williamsburg. This restaurant comes from the team behind Oxomoco, where my wife and I have had a delicious (albeit a bit pricey) Oxacan dinner before.

It was at brunch that I tried Xilonen’s masa pancake. And I ordered it after getting a few of their other Mexican little plates. The tacos, which feature different types of vegan chorizos, were unique and satisfying. I especially liked the crispy taco with red chorizo, sharp cheddar and a spicy salsa. The black bean tostada was also excellent, topped with earthy beans and topped with crumbled cotija cheese.

But nothing prepared me for this masa pancake.

These are made from masa (nixtamalized corn) and had the characteristic smell of fresh tortillas when they arrived. They were piping hot and the salted butter melted quickly on the pancakes.

Soft, airy, buttery, crunchy, salty, sweet. These are just a few of the adjectives I can use to describe this masterpiece. Rich maple syrup and this salted butter were to die for.

And remember, they are gluten free. But just like the late Ricotta Hotcake, you’d never know something was missing. Because they don’t really lack anything.

Let’s just hope these never leave Xilonen’s menu. If they do, maybe I should give up pancakes for good. I cannot risk another heartbreak. Price: $ 13

905 Lorimer Street (at Bedford Avenue and Nassau Street),
Greenpoint, Brooklyn
(929) 272-0370


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