I wrote about the new Birdbath Bakery at the southwest corner of Church and Thomas right when it opened, but I waited to fully weigh in, because owner Maury Rubin had said that the full array of lunch offerings wouldn’t be ready for a few days. In the meantime, I popped in for a ginger cookie (the shop won’t be selling the coconut cookies, alas), a pretzel croissant (it went straight to New Favorite Thing status), and dog treats (not for me!). Of the few lunch options available—chicken strips, fried chicken—I bought a small tin of macaroni and cheese, which I was told to bake for a half hour at 350 degrees. I thought it was good, but I’m not really into the bland richness of mac and cheese; in fact, I scattered halved Sungold tomatoes over it (I should’ve baked the tomatoes at the same time as the pasta and then mixed them in). The tin, which I think was $15, was supposed to serve two, but I’m not positive it’d satisfy two adults—and certainly not two of me. A larger tin is also available.
Eventually, I got a look at the full lunch menu. I ran around picking things up, changing my mind, then picking up something else. There were plastic clamshell containers with a dark rice salad, kale salad, or Caesar salad; there were several types of sandwiches, both in plastic containers and over by the baked goods. I found it frustrating that I had to guess what was inside the containers, but someone on the staff—they’re unfailingly nice, by the way—said they’d be adding a chalkboard menu (and may have already). Items are expected to change daily. I ended up buying an “old-school” veggie sandwich (Brussels sprouts, carrots, and something else all chopped up), which the staff packaged with a side salad; a small pizzette made with pastry dough; and a tartine (a slice of bread dolloped with ricotta, drenched with caramel, and sprinkled with sesame seeds and quite a bit of black pepper—in the New Favorite Thing race, it’s No. 2 with a bullet).
The shop had a few cartons of Greenmarket items such as cherry tomatoes and concord grapes. To be honest, I’d probably just shop at the four weekly Tribeca farmer’s markets, but they do look nice. Also on offer: various items such made regionally by other companies, such as chocolate, potato chips, pickled vegetables, and yogurt. And if you’re the kind of person who celebrates Thanksgiving year round, you can also pick up a whole pumpkin pie. While Birdbath does have coffee (and Red Jacket Orchard juices), it doesn’t make espresso drinks.
The space is appealingly raw, but seeing as how there are only a couple of places to sit, you’re not likely to linger long enough to notice much about it.