Dairy Restaurants in the East Village


Dairy restaurants, which use to number in the 100’s, are now few and far between. They originally were established to confirm with Kosher laws and customs specifically the prohibition against mixing milk and meat products.  One of the few left is the B&H Restaurant in the East Village (or what was originally part of the Lower East Side.) Here is a great article about it. I have been there a number of times and you always get a great and simple meal (what we now call comfort food) for reasonable prices. And oh that piece of challah you get with each meal!!!

In Praise of Dairy Restaurants

A visit to B&H Restaurant on Second Avenue brings back memories of milchig establishments of yore.

B&H Restaurant in Manhattan’s East Village was once part of a neighborhood that vibrated with Jewishness. Yiddish theaters peppered the area. Ratner’s was down the street, and the 2nd Avenue Deli was just across the way. Opened in 1942, the dairy-only B&H has outlasted most of these joints—sure, the 2nd Avenue Deli remains but in a new location and not even on 2nd Avenue—with its blintz and pierogi offerings gobbled up by hungry customers in a classic, narrow diner space brightened by lime green walls.

Little has changed on B&H’s menu. So says Eve Jochnowitz, a lifelong Greenwich Village resident, Yiddish scholar, and Jewish culinary ethnographer, who has just finished translating and editing a 1930 Yiddish cookbook by Vilna restaurateur Fania Lewando. In anticipation of Shavuot, for which many of us indulge incheesecake and other dairy delights, Jochnowitz joined Vox Tablet host Sara Ivry for a visit to B&H to talk about the history of dairy restaurants, their forgotten cousin the “appetizing store,” and the unexpected pleasure of a soup made with pickles. Jochnowitz also offers her favorite vegan alternative to the cheesecake.

From Tablet Magazine.

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