Downtown's Cheap Eats
by Julie Besonen, 09/14/2011
Borscht. Courtesy, Veselka
144 Second Ave., 212-228-9682, East Village, Manhattan
The East Village's standard-bearer for Ukrainian soul food since 1954, Veselka has big changes afoot. A spin-off, Veselka Bowery, is scheduled to open in October, featuring an expanded menu, a contemporary design and a full bar. The original, homespun location will remain open 24/7, specializing in handmade dumplings and homemade soups at a suitable price for humble allowances. The breakfast menu is more American diner: pancakes, corned beef hash, eggs any style—but there's also old-country fare like blintzes, potato pancakes and sides of J. Baczynsky's kielbasa. (Support your local butcher! His shop is across the street.) Portions are indelicate, so you may want to skip your next meal, making the savings here even bigger.