bellyNY: Village edition

bellyNY is a choose-your-own-adventure food tour through the nabes of NYC.
Caffeine at Cafe Henri

Cafe Henri, a bistro that doesn't try to fool you: this is NY, not Paris

Ifit’s bone cold and you look like Jack Nicholson at the end of The Shining: Waddle down to Matilda [647 E. 11th St] and beg for their La Cucaracha veggie plate. Yep it says “served chilled” but you will know those three skulls are in no way chill once you scoop the melted remains of your face off the floor. Then you’ll be thawed out and ready for the rest of their Mediterranean/Mexican menu. After, sneak over to Hi-Fi [169 Avenue A] and soothe your tongue with tasty pours and their mega-mp3 jukebox. If you’re still alive/hungry at 3am, toddle into Veselka [144 2nd Ave] because nothing cozies you up better than a plate of pierogi and a beer (other than the comfort of knowing you can procure them 24/7).
Ifyour companion is a vegetarian obsessed with the protein presentation on Top Chef: Is there a better place to be meat-averse yet foodie-fixated than E. Vill? Plan far in advance and book one of the few tables at tiny Dirt Candy [430 E. 9th St] — everything on the menu is fair game for the vegetarian, from the chicken & waffles-inspired cauliflower entree to the carrot-based take on pork buns. (Oh and don’t even consider skipping the jalapeno hush puppies. You’re welcome.) Or maybe your companion wants more of an atmosphere and less of a fried-manipulated-scrumptiousity, so lead them to the haven of holistic goodness that is Quartino Bottega Organica [11 Bleecker St], where you can grab a simple, delicious organic meal in a cozy and refreshingly quiet setting. And what better way to up the presentation than the elaborate cocktails at Dutch/Danish VanDaag [103 2nd Ave] — take a couple of smoke-filled infused gin concoctions or a pitcher of their summery signature Radler drink. Just stay away from the Viking Blod because it is just wrong.
Ifit’s your last day in town and you’re low on fundsCafe Henri [27 Bedford St] looks like a regular cheap-chic bistro breakfast, but wait till your omelette comes out. You will be regretting wasting calories on those room service scrambles. Have a farewell mimosa at Sullivan Bistro [169 Sullivan St] and maybe have a second, since they only run you $5. Before you hail your last cab, stop at Baohaus [238 E. 14th St] for a last bite, Taiwanese bao to go. They’re rice buns, fluffy clouds ferrying food to your mouth. Get two. (Okay, three.)
Where do you fill your belly in the East Village?