Sunday, January 15, 2006


I love going to B&H Dairy, on 2nd Avenue right off St. Mark's Place, for my Sunday meal. It's my local, old-fashioned luncheonette, and even though I basically love ANY old-fashioned luncheonette, this one is my favorite 'cause it's cheap, friendly, and I can always get a seat at the counter. I love sitting at counters! That's the kind of personal detail that demonstrates how fascinating I am!

Like the name implies, B&H Dairy is strictly dairy, so you won't be able to get a burger or turkey club here, but no matter, because you will be able to get peirogis, blintzes, tuna-melts, smoked fish sandwiches, potato pancakes, omelettes, and the kind of hearty homemade soup and challah bread that often trumps meat-based dishes.

There are about six different soups at any given time: usually mushroom barley, lentil, matzoh ball, cabbage, hot borscht, and vegetable. I'm a fan of the latter two; bright magenta and filled with big potato chunks and just the right amount of dill, the borscht is best consumed after a funeral, as you won't want to be wearing anything other than basic black. Today I had the vegetable soup, which could actually qualify as stew: it was so thick I hardly had any broth to soak up with my challah, so I made a mash of the potatoes, green beans, carrots, and cabbage and just smeared it on my bread. This resulted in something highly delicious.

Now about this challah bread: it's awesome!

Super-thick, super-fresh, perfectly crusty on the outside and light and fluffy on the inside, B&H serves their challah free with most dishes, and they don't scimp on the portions, either -- you get four thick slices, and nobody flinches whenever I ask for more, and I always ask for more. Because it's SO GOOD! I get mine buttered, even though the generosity of their buttering borders on the obscene; I mean, NOBODY needs to consume that much butter. But when the butter melts from the heat of the soup into the sweetness of the challah, which becomes soft from the veggie liquid -- that is my definition of synergy.
I love their challah so much that I dip it into my coffee: another fascinating personal detail!

Honestly, I'm pretty sure that there isn't a liquid on Earth that wouldn't taste good after a proper sponging from B&H's challah. Maple syrup? Turkey gravy? Soy sauce? Congee? Mulligatawny soup? Gasoline? I think I'm right about this. If you can prove me wrong I will simultaneously admire you and wonder why you have to be so competitive.

B&H, 2nd Avenue, just south of St. Mark's Place, in the East Village. If you go, sit at the counter, and prepare to be social with the'll enjoy yourself more if you are.


Blogger Michelle said...

Sigh. I've been going here for years and years. If I go here much, though, my fat ass will no longer fit between counter and tables.

Another place with counter is Gena's, the cubano place up First Avenue. Check it!

3:11 PM  
Blogger Keir said...

Great start. Keep it up!

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