The City Bakery has always led a double life: decadent bakery in the front, health-conscious prepared food bar in the back. Chef-owner Maury Rubin’s newest venture just might bridge the gap between buttery pretzel croissants and kale salads: his new juicing station behind the bakery’s back counter features made-to-order drinks with a focus on flavor. No spirulina or protein powder in these beverages: the unique combinations of ingredients, sourced from the local greenmarket, will change with the seasons, and are treated individually to bring out the best flavor. Sweet potato is cold-pressed to reduce starchiness, then pulverized with orange and cilantro to create a drink as imaginative as the bakery’s infamous hot chocolate blends.
Other combinations include a citrusy kale juice countered with cucumber, apple, orange, lemon, and extra virgin olive oil (the sum of the ingredients takes the kale salad to new heights), a sweet boost of banana, cold-brewed coffee, and cocoa nibs, and a refreshing, well-balanced blend of pineapple, cucumber, and purslane. A fennel juice is made mild with the addition of Kirby cucumbers and cold-pressed sugar cane, while avocado lends a pleasant, creamy depth to the bite of grapefruit, orange, and vanilla. Rotating specials will keep things fresh: this month features a beat-the-heat mix of canary melon, Thai basil and lime.
The artisanal drinks cost $7.50 for a sixteen-ounce tumbler (or recyclable bottle, available this fall) — a nice contrast to the typical $10 being charged by other juice bars. As of now, juices are available at The City Bakery’s 18th street home base, but Rubin plans to stock his Birdbath locations with bottle of the good stuff soon.
If you’re still hungry after one of these remarkably filling glasses, you can always mosey over to the front of the store for a sweet treat.
The City Bakery, 3 W. 18th St. between Fifth and Sixth Aves., (212)366-1414
Image courtesy of The City Bakery.