Looking for Excellent homemade red beet borscht
i specify red beet because borscht can be made from cabbage also. and sometimes with meat. ALSO: does this ring a bell?? some place in manhattan where the borscht is served ice cold and blended with sourcream and you drink it to go out of a paper or styrofoam cup. saw a picture of it many years ago in NEW YORK magazine.
When you say "homemade," are you restricting your search to shops, or are you also interested in good restaurant versions that taste authentic?
Veselka, 2nd Ave. @ 9th St., makes a killer red borscht, with lots of beef and a dozen other ingredients, including fava beans. With sour cream or yoghurt, it's a meal and a half. They usually serve it hot, but they may make it cold in the summer.
However, you should NEVER eat there, but only get a quart for takeout. The atmosphere, noise level, crowding and service are the pits.
B&H dairy, a couple of blocks down, makes an excellent (and of course meatless) cold borscht. Their sour cream is the thickest and most wonderful I've ever had, and they serve it with amazing, golden challah.
Yonah Schimmel's borscht is good, but very thin.
You should go to Williamsburg or Greepoint. If you take the L to Bedford Avenue, and then walk South on Bedford, you'll find exactly what you're looking for at a place called S&B - on that first block between N.6 & N.7
In Greenpoint, just a few blocks away - pretty much every Polish joint will serve this cold in the summer, and hot in the winter....but it will be in a bowl, not a cup.
the cold borscht i had recently as part of my delivery order from eisenberg's came in a paper coffee cup. the soup itself was delicious, but the big lump of unblended sour cream floating in it was kind of gross.
Also, Barney Greengrass makes a good classic NY deli borscht -- pink and smooth -- for eat-in or takeout. And hey, don't be so hard on Veselka -- sometimes the atmosphere's just what the doctor ordered (it's provided shelter on many a late night -- and one new year's eve!)
I had the red Ukranian borscht at Veselka yesterday with the 1/2 sandwich cup-of-soup lunch special, and it was so good I thought about ordering another cup, or even a whole bowlful. Really really good, with big chunks of beef and beets and beans,and a delicious rich flavor.
Service was surly, sullen, and slow, but the food made up for it. I could go back and eat every one of the soups, based on my experience of the borscht. Oh, and due to the poor service, I was first given a cup of chicken noodle, which looked and smelled delicious. I almost ate it, too, but sent it back for the borscht because my palate was set for beets. The chicken noodle was fragrant with dill, there were large chunks of chicken and carrots in it, and the noodles were the little thin kind.
They also have a lentil, a split pea, a veggie borscht and a cabbage soup on the menu, and I hope to taste a couple of them soon.