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Apr 6, 2009 08:32 AM

ukrainian national home - yum!

after aimless walking and trying to figure out how to satisfy a craving for crunchy, homey, filling food, ukrainian national home appeared (well actually we were headed to veselka for their borscht and their burger) but . . . . why not try something new? down the sterile white hallway we went into a very cute, cozy elegant room where there were a buncha people eating already! so that was good (they could've even been ukrainian!)

we had a small meal between the two of us:

+ bowl of borscht
+ pork chop breaded and fried, served with salad, kasha, red cabbage
+ sauerkraut and mushroom pierogi

on the table was good challah and brown bread. the meal was perfect! the borscht was served kinda hot, very chunk and filled with all manner of vegetables; nice deep flavor. the pork chop was perfect; lotta garlic in the marinade, nice crunchy bits, not too many suspect fatty chunks (kinda missed those) maybe a tad dry but, excellent. salad was simple green salad, kasha was great and red cabbage (cold) was also really nice, a little acidic, cooked with red onion, great foil to the pork chop. pierogi were dense and satisfying (we ordered boiled); came with the sour cream, onions, etc. and between the various plates, dishes and piles of food, we made a pretty good dent (taking home about half).

the place was filled with various people chowing down; the prices were excellent! I'd strongly suggest for a casual group meal where everyone will leave full and satisfied, for little money. waitstaff were nice if not a little bit . . . . quiet? good times tho. I used to go to stage restaurant all the time, I may just have to start coming here instead.

Ukrainian East Village Restaurant
140 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10003

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  1. This is one of my regular, haimish neighborhood haunts. In fact, I was there for dinner yesterday.

    1. I had a great time there last weekend. I was with two friends from London, and we had just seen the Richard Foreman opera across the street. It was the perfect place to continue our surreal experience... There was a tango class in the back room that looked like it was conducted in slow motion, with a soundtrack that sounded like scratchy 78's, a randomly ringing doorbell, and some very good, very filling Ukranian food: excellent pierogies (do they come from pierogi deli?) goulash, giant latkes, lots of vodka.

      6 Replies
      1. re: hungrycomposer

        I thought they always pipe Light FM into the restaurant.

        I think this place serves dependable, honest food. I'd never call it great and still miss the East Village branch of Teresa's, but it is a fair value and I'm glad the place still exists.

        1. re: Pan

          I'd rank it above Little Poland and Neptune, and below Theresa's. The place is so unusual it's fun to bring people who haven't been there.

          The tango lesson was on a Friday night. It's like going to Eastern Europe without the jet lag. And the music sounds like somebody is cranking an ancient victrola in the back.

          1. re: hungrycomposer

            Oh yeah, tango night. Yeah, that does sound like an old stereo system is playing - which is probably true.

            The restaurant has a kind of somewhat faded but still elegant Old-World charm.

        2. re: hungrycomposer

          Psssst was the play? and when is it over ?

          1. re: scunge

            The play is long over... The post was from April 2009.

        3. Their meat pierogies are my favorite. I don't really like pierogies from anywhere else. I love the challah that they serve before the meal too. Does this place remind anyone else of a church basement? Love it.

          12 Replies
          1. re: janethepain

            You should try the pierogi deli on 1st avenue just south of saint mark's if you want to cook them at home - they taste very similar, if not the same.
            Do you mean the church basement where they sold pierogies in the East Village? I was trying to go to that place for ages, are they closed? Or do you just mean a church basement in general...?

            1. re: hungrycomposer

              surely in general! especially the bathrooms. but funny and not surprising if there really were some pierogies being sold in some EV church!

              1. re: bigjeff

                There was a story in the NYT about a Ukranian church on 5th st. that sold pierogies made by some older Ukranian ladies. I walked by many a Sunday but always found it closed.

                Those bathrooms used to be a little creepy, once the place filled up with drunks from the "Sly Fox" bar... The long hall and staircase.... I imagined coming home short a kidney or two.

                  1. re: kathryn

                    Thanks, Kathryn, that's fantastic! I was looking on 7th st. (got the street wrong in my post) but I think I always got there after 3. I've posted questions here in the past and never got a reply, I'm dying to try it!

                    1. re: hungrycomposer

                      It's actually in a basement with older Ukrainian women cooking and a very limited menu (borscht & pierogi etc.) but worth a stop. North side of the street and down the street from the Ukrainian Church.

                      1. re: scoopG

                        Yeah, just west of the northwest corner of 7th and 2nd. I've had their stuff at Ukrainian festivals and found it OK. I don't think it's worth a special trip.

                        1. re: Pan

                          So it's the same ladies who sell food at the Ukranian festival at the yearly Ukranian block party? Their food is pretty good... But I swear by pierogi deli.
                          I've seen the sign up but I guess I've only walked by after 3, I didn't know they closed so early.

                        2. re: hungrycomposer

                          It's definitely tucked away a little because it's accessible from the street but basement level and with pretty minor signage. I haven't been, though.

                          1. re: kathryn

                            Yes - and the hours are limited. I'll have to compare their offerings to UNH.

              2. Thanks for publicizing Ukrainian National Home, Big Jeff -- it's an overlooked gem in the neighborhood in my humble opinion. I believe that the tango lessons happen every Friday night and it's worth checking out for the food as well as the experience.

                1. Thanks for the report, bigjeff. I have been going here forever. They were closed for a little while. Even my grandmother liked this place. Pierogi just like Babci made. They still grate their potato pancakes by hand. It would be even better if you could still go to Brewsky's afterward . . . Burp Castle has to suffice (my favorite monk is now watching over us all).

                  I ONLY get the pierogi and potato pancakes. I have heard good things about the borscht.

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: financialdistrictresident

                    Try the borsht next time. I often have the hot borsht, and when it's available, the cold borsht. I like several of the soups at Ukrainian East Village. For example, the tripe soup is not bad, the chicken soup is pretty good, and I think I liked the mushroom soup, too.

                    1. re: Pan

                      Thanks, Pan. It's surprising I haven't tried the borscht because I love beets. This place is also budget friendly for when I leave corporate and return to substitute teaching :)

                      1. re: financialdistrictresident

                        Are you going to do that? God bless you, and good luck!

                        I'd recommend trying a bunch of their soups and deciding which ones you like. Cups of soup are pretty cheap there.

                      2. re: Pan

                        ya was tempted by that tripe soup.