On a trip to Marrakech last fall, the Smile chef Melia Marden began each morning with pancakes for breakfast. But Moroccan pancakes, or beghrir, aren’t your everyday flapjacks. The semolina batter is yeasted and cooked on only one side, allowing the other to develop the countless tiny “eyes” that give the dish its nickname, thousand-hole pancake. In Morocco, they were made ahead of time and served at room temperature with honey and a soft spreadable cheese; in the new Smile to Go canteen at the Freehand Hotel in Gramercy, Marden cooks them in batches and reheats them in the oven, then tops them with seasonal-fruit compote, housemade ricotta, and pistachio honey. Maple syrup seems positively jejune by comparison.
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On the breakfast menu at Smile to Go; $9; 23 Lexington Ave., at 24th St.; 212-529-1580.
*This article appears in the June 25, 2018, issue of New York Magazine. Subscribe Now!