Attention East Village residents: Bobwhite Counter (the shortened version of it’s official name) is now your go-to spot for southern cooking. Let the fried chicken, macaroni and cheese, and black-eyed peas flow.
There was a time, and not so long ago, that unless you lived on Avenue C, or Avenue D, you wouldn’t ever go to Avenue C or D. And it was unlikely that you’d live there, unless you were a squatter (and there were plenty of those), because most of the buildings in this part of Alphabet City, on the easternmost East Village, were burnt-out, boarded-up, or used for services in which law-abiding citizens did not engage.
But no more. These days newly-constructed, even luxury, East Village rental apartments are attracting families and young professionals well into Avenue D territory, so even as the area does retain some of its gritty, edgy charm, at least your home feels clean and safe.
I lived in the East Village, just off Avenue A, for a little while in the early 1980s, and have fond memories of many things about the neighborhood at that time, but maybe most especially for all of the great, inexpensive restaurants and bars where we spent so many hours, day and night.
Bobwhite Lunch and Supper Counter, opened just this year on Avenue C, a tiny, somewhat raw (though always friendly) quick-bite and take-out spot specializing in southern comfort food, would have fit right in. The Bobwhite menu is short, focused, and, if you’re fan of this sort of thing, hugely appealing. I’ve been a couple of times now, and look forward to any excuse to get back over there.
Everyone will tell you that the Bobwhite Fried Chicken is the thing to get here, and they’re right. This is a terrific dish: moist and crispy, rich and flavorful, made with skill and love. Order the full Bobwhite Fried Chicken “supper”–only $11!–and enjoy the excellent accompanying buttermilk biscuit and bright, tangy salad as well.
This is plenty of food, but there’s no way I can resist any number of Bobwhite’s rotating, seasonal sides.Particularly good are the Black Eyed Peas, with or without rice, and topped with homemade, sweet-n-spicy Chow Chow “mustardy-relish”. The Pork Chop Sandwich (featuring the aforementioned Chow Chow) is also outstanding.
And make room for dessert, especially if Pecan Pie Bread Pudding is available, because that baby’s worth it for the fresh whipped cream alone.
Bobwhite Lunch and Supper Counter is located on Avenue C between 6th and 7th Streets, and is open daily from 12:00 noon to 10:00 p.m. If you live in a nearby East Village rental apartment, you’ll be here once a week. More information, and a complete Bobwhite Counter menu, on their website.
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