Maury Rubin has more on his mind than pretzel croissants. The chef-owner of bi-coastal branches of the City Bakery has become consumed of late with food miles, volatile organic compounds, and wax-lined coffee cups, those pernicious symbols of our disposable (but non-biodegradable) society. He has just opened the second outpost of Birdbath (code name: Sparrow), his pastry-shop side project that originated as a way to generate cash flow out of the front of his East Village commercial kitchen and has become, according to Rubin, “the greenest food business in the country.”
In design and operation, the wind-powered Birdbath makes an appetizing argument for reuse, recycling, energy conservation, and organic ingredients, which appear in new eco-themed products like the (save the polar) bear claw, with stewed apricots, and (what’s your carbon footprint?) cookies. Buyer beware: Thanks to the un-waxed bags Rubin uses, “you’re gonna get butter stains,” he says, and after you read the “napkin math” on his forthcoming Website, he hopes you won’t be so quick to reach for extras. “We’re gonna force a lot of stuff on people that’s new behavior,” says Rubin, who serves cream-tinged farmer’s lemonade and organic coffee (grounds to be composted, naturally), but no bottled water — “an environmental catastrophe” in Rubin’s book. Here’s a virtual tour, and Rubin’s pointers on how to build a green bakery.— Rob Patronite and Robin Raisfeld
145 Seventh Ave. S., at Charles St.; 646-722-6570.