Veselka: Ukrainian Soulfood

Veselka's 1

In 2008, one of the last things I did before leaving the United States and moving to Asia was to have lunch with family at Veselka’s in the East Village.

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I don’t remember too much about the visit, except that the pierogis were awesome.  They were so awesome, that I lamented the fact that pierogis weren’t available (at least that I ever saw) during my stay in Asia.  Maybe they were.  Maybe they were hiding on a menu in an overpriced boutique restaurant in an upscale mall somewhere.  Who knows?  Either way, I kept telling my wife about how good they are, pierogis I mean, and I was excited to take her to Veselka’s so she could experience them for herself.

 Veselka's 2

Veselka's 3

Needless to say, she was a bit overwhelmed.  When we got there, she just sat at the table, looking at her phone.  I asked her if she was going to choose what she wanted to eat, and she said, “Oh?  I thought we were having pierogis?”  I told her, “Of course we are, but you have to pick which kind of pierogis you want.”  Then she got excited!  There are plain potato, cheese, meat, spinach & cheese, sauerkraut & mushroom, sweet potato, and arugula and goat cheese.  There’s also the “boiled” or “fried” option to think about.  Veselka’s offers two pierogi plates: the big plate (7 pierogis) and the small plate (4 pierogis).  We both went with the big plate.  Might as well get what we went there for, right?  My wife tried one of each and with the exception of the sweet potato pierogi, which seemed to just not be consistent with the rest of the dish, she said they were all excellent.  I picked and chose but had one of everything but the sweet potato and meat pierogis.

Matzah Ball Soup
Matzah Ball Soup
Ukrainian Borscht
Ukrainian Borscht
Fried pierogis
Fried pierogis.

Dessert board at Veselka's

We thought about having dessert, but after the pierogis and a bowl of soup each, we were full.  The best part is that the food is good quality, but priced to not break your bank.  You can take a look at the full menu by clicking here.

Also, I was happy to see that the murals on the walls in the dining area had been replaced with something more upbeat.  I found two old photos I took in 2006 of the wall murals:

 Old Veselka's Wall Mural 1

Old Veselka's Wall Mural 2

Somber looking aren’t they?

This is definitely better:

New Veselka's Wall Mural

Thanks again for the good food, Veselka’s!  We’ll be back.

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