In a nutritional about-face from a prior concession, Books of Wonder has recruited City Bakery’s Maury Rubin, who’s opening a pop-up Birdbath in the space once occupied by Cupcake Café. For the next three months, Rubin will operate the takeout counter as a “green burger joint,” feeding juvenile bibliophiles vegan burgers and quasi-healthy desserts, before converting the space into a permanent Birdbath branch this spring. Rubin pulls no punches with his BBvDBB (pictured), short for “Birdbath version of Daniel Boulud Burger,” a black-bean-and-red-pepper burger stuffed inside a falafel burger. (It’s his answer to the Frenchman’s foie-gras-and-truffle claim to patty fame.) Other options include a freekeh burger with Fuji apple and shiro miso sauce, and a bulgur-pumpkin-seed burger tucked into a m’smen, Hot Bread Kitchen’s Moroccan flatbread. For dessert, a trio of ice-cream splits includes one made with grilled pineapple, coconut gelato, and hibiscus syrup.
Birdbath, 18 W. 18th St., nr. Fifth Ave.; no phone yet.
*This article originally appeared in the January 14, 2013 issue of New York Magazine.