A dad and his daughters, loving life in New York City

Friday, April 20

Birdbath

New from City Bakery magnate Maury Rubin comes this second "sustainable, renewable, biodegradable, recycled, recyclable" baked goods shop. The first branch, on First Avenue right below 14th Street, now seems to be officially called Build a Green Bakery, though for a time it was known as Birdbath; this new outpost, on 7th Avenue South at Charles Street, has no sign outside, but also appears to be starting life as "Birdbath," though I've also heard it referred to as "Sparrow." Sort of annoying, no?

Anyway, here you'll find servers in hemp uniforms working behind a counter made from "Paperstone" (100% recycled paper; solid as a rock), supported by the packing crates in which were shipped the wall display, which is partially composed of banana-tree fiber and is hanging from a wall made from wheatboard which is made from, yes, wheat. This is all totally admirable—who can complain about someone trying to do the right thing?—but there's also a bit of a self-congratulatory atmosphere about the whole enterprise, especially when Rubin is standing up front giving his spiel, which he was on the day Debbie and I walked in to buy some...

...seriously delicious goodies. Sorry, I almost forgot about the food part of our visit. Because no matter what you think of Rubin the man, he and his bakers definitely know how to crank out some of the city's best treats, starting, of course, with those big, gooey, crunchy Chocolate Chip and Oatmeal Raisin Cookies, the same ones that made City Bakery famous (with me). Also excellent at Birdbath, though definitely a bit grainy/birdseedy, is the Sesame Banana Cake with Agave—a sweet, dense and intensely flavored muffin-sized cylinder that I put in my bag and picked at all day—and the rich, buttery "Carbon Footprint" shortbread cookies. Less exciting was the "Green Energy" cookie, which you can see has candied jalapeños embedded into the top, as advertised, but neither Debbie nor I could taste anything of the sort. The one real sour note was the iced coffee, unbearably burnt and bitter, but when I went back to return it Rubin was holding court with some big tour group and I didn't have the heart to interrupt. Maybe the organic teas are more the thing to get here...

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2 Comments:

Anonymous laura said...

Thanks Scott. Q and I will definately hit this place after we see Laurie Anderson at the new High Line performance space just around the corner in a couple of weeks. Poutine sounds like pure comfort.

8:10 PM, April 23, 2007

 
Anonymous CheapStud said...

Thanks for the post.

9:28 PM, August 19, 2007

 

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