NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – At B&H Dairy, not much has changed since 1938.
Alexandra Abdelwahed, a Polish Catholic who runs the enduring restaurant with her Muslim Egyptian husband Fawzy, preserves the menu’s classic Jewish favorites, including homemade borscht and matzo ball soup.READ MORE: Source of Knowledge: A Newark Bookstore Honors African Ancestry
“This is how people love it,” she said. “They make sure when they come they have the same thing, the same flavor, and this is great.”
Also on the kosher menu are pierogi served with sour cream or applesauce, flavors familiar to Alexandra.
“The cheese blintzes, potato pancakes, I grew up with this,” she said.
Alexandra moved to the United States in 2004, starting work at B&H a year later.
“I learned my English from here, actually behind the counter, from the customers,” she said.
Over time, she’s built friendships with her patrons, watching toddlers grow into young adults.
“This is a small place, very unique, very old-fashioned. We have the counter,” she said.
READ MORE: Ben 'Moody' Harney Helms NYC's Only Oyster Cart
At B&H, the intimate atmosphere fosters a sense of community. If a diner has a complaint, Alexandra and her team work to make it right. If someone walks in hungry but can’t afford a meal, they offer free soup and bread.
“We try to understand them with the heart,” she said.
Fans of the restaurant reciprocate this generosity.
Together, they’ve kept B&H afloat.
“As much as the customers love us and stop by and support us, especially now, the place is going to survive, I hope, another 80 years,” she said. “We’re a little small place, but the heart, it’s so [much] bigger than the restaurant.”
127 2nd Avenue
New York, NY 10003
What’s something few people know about but everybody should? Whatever it is, Elle McLogan is tracking it down on The Dig. Join her hunt for treasures hidden across our area. Follow Elle on Twitter and Instagram.