Maury Rubin of City Bakery already had two outposts of Birdbath: Build a Green Bakery in the East and West Villages. But just yesterday, he opened a third—on Prince Street in Soho, the former home of the ancient bakery Vesuvio, which had been baking since 1920. I was surprised not to find just the goods that I recognized from other Birdbaths, but a whole plethora of options.
Where to begin? Perhaps with a cup of the house-made Sangria ($3). Non-alcoholic, which may disappoint some, but plenty delicious with a hibiscus base brightened by pomegranate and black pepper.
Next up was the Chocolate-Zucchini Muffin ($4), so moist I couldn't stop recounting it to my co-workers. There's more chocolate than zucchini going on here, but pay attention and you'll find the occasional strand of grated zucchini. Intensely rich, though not overpowering. This is what I'll be eating when I'm looking for an excuse to eat cake for breakfast.
Maple-bacon biscuits, cakes, and so much more, after the jump.
The Maple Bacon Biscuit was a fun one—crisp bacon (and plenty of it) in crisp biscuit with maple essence seeping through. I warmed this one up a bit in the toaster over, smothered with butter, and proceeded to devour it whole in two minutes flat. Indulgent!
Only ginger lovers are advised to partake in the Rice Milk Muffin ($2.50), studded with red beans and ginger. Ginger was the dominant flavor, red bean making only an occasional appearance. A fun diversion from your typical muffin, but not my favorite.
What was my favorite? Perhaps the Applesauce Cake ($4), made plump and extra moist with bourbon soaked raisins. And I mean plenty of bourbon. (I can still feel it as I type.) Definitely an afternoon pick-me-up, perfect for sharing and making friends. Moist and tender, each bite feels wonderful on the tongue, the pleasant applesauce punctuated by pop-pops of booze-plumped raisins.
But the Pear Tart ($5.50) was equally beautiful, a puff pastry base brushed with sheeps' milk yogurt and halved pears. The pears must have been poached with a healthy hand of honey. This one was as tasty as it was beautiful.
On the savory side, you've got everything from grilled cheese and jam (tucked in an English muffin) to two types of pizza—one with tomato sauce, and the other, called the Green Pizza ($6.50). Leeks, scallions, and a bit of mint are smothered generously across the puff pastry-like base, and finished with a slice of New York sheeps' milk cheese. The bottom is lightly dusted in cornmeal; the whole thing is savory bliss. Pizzas are warmed up to order, ensuring a hot meal to go.
Vegans have plenty of options, including a Smoked Tofu Sandwich ($7.50) served on a hearty seeded bun, with sliced purple onions and Japanese hummus. The bun is too heavy for the sandwich, but the Japanese hummus, which includes edamame and black sesame seeds, highlighted an otherwise uneventful sandwich.
Last but not least, as a tribute to Vesuivio, sweet pine nut cookies, crisp from end to end.
Build a Green Bakery
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