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Monday, November 26, 2012

NYC Vegan Tour: B&H Dairy

Woohoo my own personal MoFo! This means I win all the giveaways, right?
Anyway, (re-)starting a vegan tour with an eatery with the word "Dairy" in its name might sound a little odd, but it seems the full name is B&H Dairy and Vegetarian Food. Vegetarian food I can get down with.


B&H is in the heart of the East Village on 2nd avenue just south of St. Marks Place (where I was born; holla!) and has been around since the late 1930s, so it has long served "alternatives" especially since the prices are pretty cheap. I won't give you a long history lesson about the place, though it is pretty interesting. Rather, I will direct you to this informative comic by Greg, and just show you some photos. He turned me on to this place and walked me through the vegan parts of the menu. They serve no meat in the restaurant, so the soups are safe, though a lot of the menu is definitely dairy-heavy.
Greg and I have been here a couple times. I've previously gotten the mushroom barley soup, lentil soup, and split pea soup. Tonight I took a walk on the wild side and ordered the borscht! I have never had borscht before, but I've been intrigued for a long time. Check out this color:


It was really delicious! I expected it to be sweeter, which is why I hadn't ordered it previously, but it was mostly vegetable soup with a slightly sweet beet flavor. I definitely want to try to make my own.
Greg also likes to walk on the wild side. He ordered half lentil soup, half split pea. The guy behind the counter asked, "You sure?" and then served it up:


We've also previously shared a plate of spinach pierogies. You can get them either boiled or fried - we got them boiled to be safe, but next time I might ask if they're fried in butter or oil. The place is very small and they cook everything right in front of you so I'd trust the preparation.
Interior shots:




This last photo cracks me up. I wonder if the mashrum knish is vegan?
I don't know how you guys feel about patronizing restaurants that aren't super vegan-friendly but I think this is an interesting diner, the vegan food they do have is cheap, tasty, and filling, and it seems like you could come here with an omni and they'd find something they'd like as well. It's a good drop-in place if you find yrself in the area, even if not on the must-hits list of a vegan destination vacation.

22 comments:

  1. You've never had borscht before?!?!?!? Oh my god, I think my brain just broke. We have such a big Ukrainian population in my province that borscht is just this commonplace thing, ha ha. I'll have to make some soon! Greg is a weirdo soup mixer! And I'm a big fan of going to places that aren't vegan or even vegetarian, as long as they have something good to offer me. I think it's just as important to go to those places, and make a statement with your dollahs. The statement being, "vegan food ftw!". :)

    Also! It's nice to see you blogging again!

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    1. Well, I'll be sure to make up for lost time, you can be sure of that! I guess it's a thing around here too but I was never sure if it was made with chicken stock or something.
      And thanks!

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  2. did you have any of their delicious bread? also, what should i read into the fact that you are using my full name now?

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  3. Wow, "mashrums" , knishes, borscht...sounds like a fun place! I love Greg's historical comic; what a great idea and a cool way to approach history.

    The soups sound good...even the half and half mixture. I don't mind going to places that aren't especially vegan friendly, so long as there are a few yummy things that are available for vegans. I think I've only ever eaten pierogies once in my life; I'd like to try them again sometime.

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    1. Yeah, I thought the comic was really well done and explained. Now that you've mastered ravioli, I'd love to see what you can do with pierogies!

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  4. I feel most comfortable in vegan restaurants because I don't have to ask a million questions and wonder if they're telling me the truth. But I go to "mixed" restaurants, too, because I want to encourage vegan friendliness. The more we request vegan food, perhaps the more will be available, and the more people will try it.

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    1. Agreed, I hardly even know what questions to ask and I hate doing it...that's why I'm glad Greg knew.

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  5. We go to non-vegan restaurants, mostly because Wisconsin doesn't have a single one (we do have a few vegetarian restaurants, at least). Like Andrea, we like to encourage them to be vegan friendly.

    Looks like a great little place and the borscht is so pretty. I've never had it before, either, but might remedy that at the co-op someday. They serve it from time to time.

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    1. Yeah, I loved yr vegan calling card idea - letting people know that vegans exist, show up, and patronize restaurants will raise awareness and at least create better options if not a completely new all-vegan restaurant.
      You should definitely pick up some borscht!

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  6. B&H Dairy looks kinda scary to me. I'd be afraid to walk in there. Everyone inside would stop what they're doing, turn and stare at me because they can tell I'm not one of them.

    Just like I'll never step foot in B&H Dairy, I can pretty much guarantee I would *gag* upon the first spoonful of 'Borscht'.

    I miss Greg.

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    1. I know the sentiment but most people are too crazy or hungry to really pay attention to you. most New Yorkers are their own distraction.
      Go comment on Greg's blog then why dontcha!

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  7. I'd like to extend my gratitude to Greg for the informative comic!

    I did try Borscht years ago, and didn't care for it. Perhaps I should try it again?

    I love all of the pics inside B&H!! More Maud MoFo!!

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    1. Not all borschts are created equal...maybe there's a good one out there somewhere for you!

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  8. I love your personal MoFo!! I want to do more recreation posts too since I was forced to give it up because I wasn't feeling great... and because I lost power for the end of October.

    This place looks like NY ;) I am already a fan of anything mashrums, ha! I doubt the knishes are vegan, boo! Oh man I want some pierogies , yum!

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    1. Yeah, what a weird month! I doubt the knishes are vegan too...now I want to look up recipes!

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  9. I prefer all-vegan restaurants, but they are a rarity, so vegan-friendly is good with me! :)

    Also-I nominated you for a Liebster award!: http://rebelgrrlkitchen.com/2012/11/28/wiaw-wednesday-1-day-liquid-cleanse-liebster-award/

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  10. Wait, is Greg 'G' and, if so, do we use his full name now? The world is turning upside down!!! ;)

    B&H Dairy sounds awesome--I love that there's somehow an old school diner that serves up vegan goodness--like vegan pierogies! Never seen those dairy-free before (other than in my own kitchen). nom. And half & half soup? That's just the best. I'm totally checking the diner our next time I'm in NYC!

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    1. You can call him whatever you want. Sometimes I call him Jeff.
      The place is sooo old school. It's a little claustrophobic but really interesting. I loovvve pierogies but I've never made my own.

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