I was about eleven the first time my parents took me to Veselka. It was the early '80's and both the restaurant and the neighborhood were quite different back then. I remember one incident where the manager had to eject someone from the bathroom and then threw the ejectee out onto the street.
Thirty-plus years later the inhabitants of the neighborhood have changed a bit and Veselka has undergone a renovation or two, but one thing hasn't changed since my first visit—the food. You can still get awesome Ukrainian soul food 24/7 including borscht, latkes, stuffed cabbage ,and of course, blintzes.
If you've never considered ordering blintzes for dessert you really should—especially at Veselka. They're an immensely satisfying dish that combine a soft, warm, crepe wrapper around sweetened farmer's cheese. The standard order (1 for $7.25, 2 for 13.50) is served with apple sauce and sour cream and for $2 extra you get real raspberry compote (recommended). On certain nights they have plum sauce and savory options as well.
Veselka's blintzes are made to order on the griddle. The crepe is laid out and browned on one side. Then cheese is added and the crepe is folded like an omelet. The crepe's skin is tender but not mushy, more delicate than your typical French crepe. The farmer cheese filing is sweet but not too much so. It's close to ricotta in consistency, but smoother. The finished product is served hot and dusted with powdered sugar.
The fresh-made Veselka blintze is a different (and vastly superior) experience to other popular pre-made blintzes, such as those from Zabar's or Fairway. With these, the crepe is drier and almost like pasta, and only a third the size of Velselka's. Veselka's blintzes, like all their food are available 24/7.
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