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[Photograph: Max Falkowitz]

If the cold weather alone doesn't convince you, the long walk to Avenue C just might; cold snaps like this call for something like braised beans and sausage, and Kafana, a tiny Serbian spot in Alphabet City, does especially good versions of both.

Their Prebranac, Serbian beans cooked low and slow with onions, pepper, and not much else are cooked until onion juices invade the very core of the bean and the starchy braising liquid forms its own gravy. Tender but not fall-apart-mushy, the beans on their own ($10.95) make a pleasing complement to the restaurant's fat spinach pies.

But Kafana makes three varieties of sausage in-house, and for an extra four bucks you can get a fat link with gently crisped skin on top of your beans. Do so and you'll be rewarded with a juicy, well-made sausage that makes the beans even more substantial. Kafana makes plain pork and lamb/pork links, but the jalapeno-spiced pork version gives the beans a welcome kick of heat.

About the author: Max Falkowitz is the New York editor and ice cream maker in residence at Serious Eats. You can follow him on Twitter at @maxfalkowitz.

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