Mon-Sat, 8am-10pm; Sun, 9am-9pm
L at First Ave.
Certain discriminating customers here first noticed a suspicious resemblance between the oversize cookies, the distinctive raspberry muffins, and the toothsome chocolate croissants and their identical counterparts at City Bakery, although inquiries about any affiliation were immediately, if frustratingly, rebuffed. “City who?” says the counter guy in the manner of a mob capo testifying before a jury. “Never heard of it.” What’s the deal? As it turns out, the bakery is not run by a team of squinty-eyed grifters, as some concerned citizens have postulated. The source of all this obfuscation (and all those cookies), we’ve learned, is Maury Rubin himself, owner of City Bakery and a bit of a prankster. His aim here is not to torment annoying, know-it-all chowhounds but to force them to focus on the space itself—what he believes is the first top-to-bottom green bakery. Rubin, it turns out, has always baked with organic ingredients and has now created a showcase for them from ecofriendly materials: The walls are made from wheat and sunflower seed; the floor from a cork by-product. The paint is milk-based, and its pigment derived from beets. Give a man a cookie, and he can eat dessert today; give him an environmentally sustainable bakery, and he can eat dessert forever.