September 30, 2018

Food for Thought

The East Village used to be full of Polish/Ukranian businesses—restaurants, butchers, grocery stores, and bakeries. Most of them are gone now. My father-in-law is Polish and lives in the East Village. It must be sad for him to see these businesses disappear one by one. The ones still in business, like Veselka, have managed to attract a boarder audience; they are no longer serving their own community of people. At this point, the label “Ukranian” at these restaurants feels like a theme rather than a culture.

Streecha is an endangered species; it’s still serving their own community, whatever is left of it. The tall, model-looking girl behind the counter barely spoke English. They have two separate menus, one in Ukranian and the other in English. The space looks and feels like a community room for a church, with bright fluorescent lights evenly illuminating the entire room.

They only have four items on the menu. We got three of them: pierogis, stuffed cabbage, and pork & prune stew. They were all good, but we were disappointed that they only had potato pierogis left.

The portrait on the wall is that of Taras Hryhorovych Shevchenko. According to Wikipedia, he was a Ukrainian poet, writer, artist, public and political figure, as well as folklorist and ethnographer. I guess it’s equivalent to an Irish bar hanging a portrait of James Joyce

Hat tip to @garsleat

ukranianfood #pierogis #eastvillage #nycfood #nycfoodie #nyceeeeeats #TarasShevchenko #stuffedcabbage #Streecha