If we mourn when good restaurants close, can we also celebrate when bad ones do?
For over a decade Bread & Pastry Cafe stood at the corner of Christopher and Bleecker, a beacon for the gullible. The window was filled with pies and other pastries that, at first glance, appeared delectable — pecan pies, apple turnovers, chocolate cakes. There were loaves of bread, too.
But a second glance made you not so sure, and if you happened to buy one of the products, it practically turned to sawdust in your mouth. For the neighborhood, it became a sort of foodie test.
“What do you think of those pies?” I heard a guy ask his friend as they gazed down at a latticed cherry pie.
After a brief scrutiny, the guy replied, “There’s something wrong. Why is the crust glistening so much. What have they put on it?”
The pies had been trucked in from somewhere else, and the somewhere else had covered them in a thick glaze, which maintained the appearance of freshness weeks after the pie had been made. But even when fresh, these pies didn’t taste like much. The place made sandwiches and breakfasts, too, but all of the food had a kind of fake quality.
As a matter of fact, there are plenty of good places to eat in the neighborhood, and Bread & Pastry Cafe was not one of them. This anchor location on a quintessential West Village corner is now available. Will a real pie shop now please move in?