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Circuit Court New York

Veselka
144 2nd Avenue/9th St.
New York, NY
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Veselka!Veselka is one of those places you read about, hear about, but never fully appreciate until you're there. It's been completely overhauled within the last five years, and was, up until the renovation, the coolest and somewhat dingiest 24-hour Polish/Ukranian/Eastern European joint in the East Village. But in my court, there's little appreciation of Rent-romance -- I'm not wielding my gavel with soiled fingernails. I rule in favor of the newer, brighter and cleaner Veselka, which smartly hasn't wiped away the elements that made it popular in the first place: the authentically ethnic waitstaff, a sense of customer interaction (the restaurant features a mural designed by a regular patron; the menus feature some illustrations by customers), and most importantly, the damn fine füd.

Nighttime is the right time for this large place, but Judge Vardigan and I bravely ventured in for lunch. As expected, there was the typical mix of young and cool and old and foreign that one has come to expect not only here, but throughout the East Village. And after vacillating between Ukranian meatballs and pierogis, I chose the pierogis. You're allowed to mix them up from a choice of six fillings (spinach and cheese, mushroom, sweet potato, potato, meat, and uh, one Pierogi!other delicious one), two styles (fried or boiled), and accompany them with side options like apple sauce and sour cream and sauteed onions. I got the spinach and cheese and meat combo. Fried. With sour cream. I don't know whether Judge Vardigan will remember his order, as he was somewhat distracted by a cute juror at the next table. Anyway, he seemed happy enough. The pierogis come to you hot, crispy and golden brown (and fast), and are absolutely delicious. And at $5.75 (add a buck for the sour cream), they're a tasty bargain, even at an odd time like lunch. Bottom line: It might not be as hip as it was, but that just makes the eatin' all the better. Oh, and though Veselka serves your average American diner breakfast menu, you'd be in contempt to try anything but their fine European specialties.

Sidebar: Judge Vardigan seconds every part of Magistrate Tavee's decision -- except the bit about the pretty juror. Judge Vardigan rules that it was in fact Mr. TAVEE whose attention was drawn away from the small, spectacular fried delights on his plate. Judge Vardigan enjoyed the meat, spinach and cheese, and potato pierogis. And coffee, as ammunition in a losing war against a Brooklyn hangover. For dipping, he prefers sour cream over applesauce.

 

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Contact Magistrate Tavee at plangent1002@hotmail.com

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