The Girl Who Ate Everything

Blogging about food and whatever since 2004.

pierogies and blintzes at the East Village Ukrainian Restaurant

On Thursday afternoon after my photography class, I wandered around the East Village while thinking, "...What the hell do I eat for lunch?" I called some friends; no one picked up. Hmm. And by "nobody" I mean three people, one of which was a wrong number (apparently, I don't keep in touch with that friend very well). It just wasn't my day. But I wouldn't let the lack of human interaction get me down. Nuh uhhh!

Think, Robyn. There's always a place you want to try out! Heeeeelllo, you're in NYC, THIIIIIINK.

Ukrainian East Village Restaurant
Ukrainian East Village Restaurant

Mmm, Ukrainian East Village Restaurant: who wouldn't wanna eat there? CRAZIES. And even they might want to eat there. Not being one to eat Ukrainian food often/ever, I decided to dip into my nonexistent Ukrainian heritage through the gastronomic route (aka, the Tasty Train). I walked down the long hallway towards the glowing neon sign buried deeeeep within and entered...

neon sign
neon sign

...a fairly empty room. Hm. It was lunch time, yes? Yes. Where are the hungry masses? Did they get lost in the hallway? The decor is interesting, very...woodsy, and more formal than I would've expected.

While their lunch menu has a bunch of things on it, naturally none of which I remember because I lack photographic memory (which is what my camera is for), my eyes zoomed in on pierogies and blintzes. I've had pierogies and blintzes before...once. For shame! Only once! I had pierogies from Veselka a few years ago and just a bite of a friend's blintz from the Country Pancake House last summer. While at first I was trying to decide between pierogies or blintzes, I naturally came to the conclusion that I may as well get both. Hell, it wasn't that expensive, and...hell, I'm Robyn, so I think ordering two things is expected of me. When I asked the waitress what she liked, she recommended blintzes; of course, that just reinforced the fact that blintzes were in my future.

spinach pierogies
spinach pierogies
spinach innards
spinach innards

But first, spinach pierogies smothered in onions. Mmmmmmm. Of course, there was no question of whether I'd like them or not since I love dumplings. Using Chinese dumplings as a comparison point, pierogies have thicker, doughier skins and completely different fillings, many times cheese based. I'm not talking gooey, stringy cheese of course, but something like cottage or ricotta cheese (fill me in if you have a better knowledge of Eastern European food, which would be just about anyone that isn't me). The spinach filling was a mixture of spinach and cheese and was filling without feeling too heavy, if that makes any sense. It went down smoooothly and I had no trouble at all cleaning my plate. Good thing too, since I had an order of blueberry blintzes coming up.


Looking nothing like the blintzes I saw at the Country Pancake House, my first impression was, "Hmm, they seem kinda...thin?" Like the pierogies though, I knew there was no reason I wouldn't like the blintzes because I enjoy a good wheat, egg, and sugar amalgamation, and...hey, this has wheat, egg, and sugar! The sweet smell of the pan-fried wrappers wafted upwards, conveniently traveling through my nasal passages. Mmmm...smells like delicious...

blueberry goo

Hell yeah, this was good; the waitress knew her stuff. The golden wrapper was slighty crispy around the edges and remained soft in the center while still retaining its structure (as in, it didn't splodge gooey blueberry innards all over the place, which is always a plus). I cut small sections with my fork and dipped them into the accompanying sour cream before unleashing them onto my stomach acids, gradually demolishing both pieces (as though you were expecting something else). So. Tasty. Mm. Mmmm. Triple mmm. Etc. I think I found my new food obsession. Yes!

For about $10, I got a filling, satisfying meal (just enough food; no feelings of "Oh god, I need a stomach pump" here!) with friendly service in a spacious room. Also, there was no cellphone nazi! Hoorah! I wouldn't hesitate to go back, preferable with someone else (so that I can try twice as many things, ah-ha), but there are so many more Eastern European goodies in the East Village that demand my attention. That is, if they have pierogies and blintzes. Perhaps it's a shame that I've ignored the rest of the menu, but...hey, I'm not complaining. I like my "dough stuffed with stuff". I'd love to open a restaurant whose theme was "dough stuffed with stuff". There could even be "dough stuffed with dough". But anyway, that's off topic.

More blintzes and pierogies coming soon.


John / February 12, 2006 11:07 AM

I love your blog. That's really all I have to say. You've inspired me to visit several places in the city I have never heard of. Keep up the good work!!!

carol / February 12, 2006 8:48 PM

omg..that looks soo love blueberries and spinach..and chewy wrapper bobbers.



roboppy / February 12, 2006 10:08 PM

Ani: Awesome! I'm definitely in love with their blintzes.

John: Thank you! You've just given me more reason to EAT...MORE...FOOD.

Kathy: I think I will be staying here. :P Taiwan will have to wait for another few months/years at this rate. PIG OUT TIME!

Carol: CHEWY WRAPPER BOBBERS, YES. And yeah, we gotta hang out. Why must you live...a few miles away from me? Grr.

From Our Kitchen / February 12, 2006 11:45 PM

You have officially convinced me that I need to take a food-themed vacation to New York. I want to eat at just about every place you have been plus all the others, so it will have to be a very long vacation, and I may need to come up with some sort of calorie-killing device...

In addition to our food-loving, we're both taking photography! What type are you in? I took traditional black and white last semester and now I'm in digital.

roboppy / February 13, 2006 3:50 PM

From Our Kitchen: Food theme vacation is THE BEST KIND OF VACATION! I mean, some people probably go museum hopping or something, but's all about the food for me.

If you walk everywhere, that might be a sufficient calorie-killing device. Bring good shoes though. :)

I'm taking intro to photography, which is just black and white. I'm...not so good. Not a fan of lugging around a gigantic 35 mm camera (it's my mum's and has a rather large telephoto lens, which isn't great for someone like me who's used to macro, although I guess it forces me to take different kinds of photos). Then again, I've only had a few classes, in which I've printed THREE ENTIRE PHOTOS so far. I hope to print more this week.

piccola / February 26, 2006 8:32 PM

Discovered this place after walking out of Veselka's (we were totally dissed by the hostess). Great food at half the price - so what if it looks like a church basement?

Try the apple pancakes - they're deep-fried puffy goodness.

roboppy / February 27, 2006 7:36 AM

piccola: Ah, no Veselka? I haven't been there in ages, but the two times I went there were fine. I keep meaning to go there for some middle of the night fooding since it's open 24 hours, but haven't had the opportunity yet.

Anyhoo, Teresa's is great, eh? Apple pancakes? Gah! I need to go back!

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