New York Daily Photo Analytics

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Pierogi

I have written often lately of diners and comfort food. And for pure classic comfort, it's hard to beat the Ukrainian/Polish/Russian diners in the East Village, with names like Ukrainian East Village, Kiev (closed), Polonia, Little Poland, Odessa, Teresa's, B & H Vegetarian (formerly B & H Dairy), Stage Restaurant and Neptune.
Honestly, I am no longer a big fan of food like this. This cuisine's popularity with young people is built around bulk and value. At one time, I went through a phase, which many New Yorkers do, where the lure of inexpensive and large quantities was irresistible. But over time, the appeal of food based primarily on value looses its appeal.
Inexpensive starchy foods fit the bill for the hungry, cost conscious diner. And a virtual necessity with a visit to any Eastern European diner is the pierogi (or pirogie and other spelling variants).
So with a number of friends, I recently went on an excursion to Odessa's, a Ukrainian diner at 119 Avenue A - Btwn 7th St & St. Marks Pl in the East Village, with the pierogi as an unarticulated, assumed part of the brunch mission. One of my compadres ordered plates of both boiled and fried pierogies. I only had one in stages of halves - that was adequate to satisfy my appetite.
For those unfamiliar, the pierogi is an Eastern European dumpling made of unleavened dough, served boiled or pan fried and filled with any number of items - potato and cheese is very popular, served with butter and sour cream. They are eaten by the Polish, Ukrainians, Russians, Belarusians, Lithuanians, Latvians, and Slovaks, with the pierogi sometimes going by different names.
The menu also features items like kasha varnishkas, blintzes, potato pancakes and challah bread. If you want to wage war on the dietary guideline of no more than one starch per meal, head for Odessa or one of its kin and you can make a meal of nothing but starches :)

13 comments:

Jarart said...

That looks like enough pierogies to feed 3 or 4 people!

Reede said...

Estonians like pierogi too :) But we call them pelmeni.

Vanilla Press said...

Hi!That was a very interesting read!
thats one thing I love about New York, the diversity in the foods you can eat.
Regards
Jas
Ireland

Karola&Pamp said...

Pierogi are the best...Polish people really like them..especially Pierogi Ruskie (Russian Pierogi) which are not from Russia at all...Funny, like so many things here ;)))

b13 said...

Oh, YUMMY!

Mo said...

But why the ketchup?

Pavel said...

Brian, thanks for the blog. Awesome pictures and I enjoy your commentaries.
Here in Russia, pirogi is plural for a pie and the food which is on your picture is called "pelmeni" (meat or fish filling) or "varenniki"(potato and cheese or cherry fillings are popular).

provato said...

yummy it is!!

Bill B. said...

Luv 'em!

Mary said...

Italians like their pasta every day, why not pierogi, or pelmeni, or varenniki? A low carb diet suits me best, and they're not in my national heritage, but once in a while I have to to Greenpoint to Lomzynianka on Manhattan Ave. to get my pierogi fix.

rchrd said...

There used to be a place, maybe on East 9th St and 1st Ave, Leshko's. Used to have lunch there. Good soup and pirogi. Nasty waiters. Now I'm hungry just thinking about it. Note the sour cream. But ketchup? No, no, never.

Łukasz said...

mmm...Delicious ;) greetings from Poland ;)

Anonymous said...

that is pelmeni, pirogi are bigger and fried. ist common in ukraine potatoe pirogi, meat, cherry, peach...