I love walking through the Lower East Side. There are a million things to see. I wish I had more eyes, noses, ears, and stomachs so I could see, smell, hear and taste all the different things that the LES has to offer. Although it's becoming more gentrified now, there was a time not that long ago when mostly Eastern European immigrants inhabited the Lower East Side, giving rise to the stereotypical tenement houses of New York City at the turn of the century (19th to 20th, mind you). Thankfully living conditions aren't that terrible now, I think. The cool thing is that remnants from that time exist in the form of restaurants and stores: Katz's, Russ & Daughters, Yonah Schimmel's Knishes, Pomme Frites...wait, sorry that was just a shameless plug for my other post, hehe.
Up the block from Pomme Frites is a tiny diner called B&H Dairy. Alex and his dad were craving old-school Jewish diner food, so I tagged along for the adventure. B&H is, no joke, tiny. You have to squeeze past tables and the diner stools, grabbing your bags and sucking in your gut for fear of knocking over a salt shaker. We managed to ford our way to the back table finally.
The restaurant is certified kosher and only serves dairy. I am all too familiar with the rules of kashrut, and I joke that I keep kosher during the summers because at the hospital where I work, they strictly enforce kosher dietary restrictions in the cafeteria. I think at B&H, though, I wouldn't miss the meat!
We first sampled some blintzes. They were completely different from what I had expected, but in a good way. The hospital's blintzes were mushy and soft, but these were fried with a crispy exterior and creamy inside. One was plain cheese (a ricotta-like sweet cheese) and the other had a cherry filling. The cherry was tart and sweet and paired with the otherwise oily/cheesy blintz very well. I also liked the fried shell; it reminded me of a hearty egg roll.
Alex ordered the challah French toast with bananas. What he received was an enormous platter (that's one serving!?) of French toast with banana slices. The bread was fried golden brown (a bit more burnt in some places) and had a soft-as-a-cloud interior. The bananas were a good way to break up the overwhelming feeling of carbs and sugar.
I sadly didn't order any food of my own, but I watched jealously as they ate their long-craved-for Jewish diner food. Next time...