OVERRIDE

The Veselka Cookbook

Recipes and Stories from the Landmark Restaurant in New York's East Village

Tom Birchard with Natalie Danford

Thomas Dunne Books

For more than fifty years, customers have crowded into Veselka, a cozy Ukrainian coffee shop in New York City’s East Village, to enjoy pierogi, borscht, goulash, and many other unpretentious favorites. Veselka (rainbow in Ukrainian) has grown from a simple newsstand serving soup and sandwiches into a twenty-four-hour gathering place, without ever leaving its original location on the corner of East Ninth Street and Second Avenue. Veselka is, quite simply, an institution.

The Veselka Cookbook contains more than 150 recipes, covering everything from Ukrainian classics (potato pierogi, five kinds of borscht, grilled kielbasa, and poppy seed cake) to dozens of different sandwiches, to breakfast fare (including Veselka’s renowned pancakes), to the many elements of a traditional Ukrainian Christmas Eve feast.

Veselka owner Tom Birchard shares stories about Veselka’s celebrity customers, the local artists who have adopted it as a second home, and the restaurant’s other lesser-known, but no less important, longtime fans, and he offers a behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to serve five thousand gallons of borscht a year and to craft three thousand pierogi daily---all by hand.

The Veselka Cookbook will delight anyone with an interest in Ukrainian culture, New York City’s vibrant downtown, and the pleasures of simple, good food.

BOOK EXCERPTS

Read an Excerpt

VESELKA COOKBOOK
1SOUPSVeselka's Famous BorschtVegetarian BorschtCold BorschtWhite BorschtChicken Noodle SoupCabbage SoupThree-Bean ChiliRoasted Vegetable ChiliSplit Pea SoupLentil SoupMushroom Barley SoupVegetable SoupButternut Squash SoupTomato Rice SoupCold Cucumber SoupBeef StockChicken StockVegetable StockWHEREVER YOU GO, there is soup: Big, warm pots of soup can be found simmering on stoves in every country in the world. There's a reason for that. Soup is the original comfort food. It's digestible--didn't your mother serve you soup when you had an upset stomach?--and it's economical,
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REVIEWS

Praise for The Veselka Cookbook

Praise for Veselka

“It’s one thing to have delicious food, it’s another thing to have it available twenty-four hours a day. Veselka has always been there when I’ve had a three a.m. pierogi emergency.”
- Jon Stewart

“Veselka excels at comfort food. . . . Even better are the Ukrainian specials. Whatever your mood, something on Veselka’s menu will appeal to you.”
- TimeOut New York

“Borscht, whether hot or cold, is hot these days, as a culinary glasnost. The best borscht happens to be found at an old standby, the twenty-four-hour Ukrainian cafe, [Veselka].”
- New York Magazine, The Best of New York

“Whenever the craving hits for hearty Eastern European fare, Veselka fits the bill with fluffy and light pierogi, stuffed cabbage, grilled Polish kielbasa, freshly made potato pancakes, and classic soups, such as a sublime borscht. Breakfast is special here. If all you want is a burger, don’t worry---it’s a classic, too.”
- Frommer’s

Praise for Veselka

“It’s one thing to have delicious food, it’s another thing to have it available twenty-four hours a day. Veselka has always been there when I’ve had a three a.m. pierogi emergency.”
- Jon Stewart

“Veselka excels at comfort food. . . . Even better are the Ukrainian specials. Whatever your mood, something on Veselka’s menu will appeal to you.”
- TimeOut New York

“Borscht, whether hot or cold, is hot these days, as a culinary glasnost. The best borscht happens to be found at an old standby, the twenty-four-hour Ukrainian cafe, [Veselka].”
- New York Magazine, The Best of New York

“Whenever the craving hits for hearty Eastern European fare, Veselka fits the bill with fluffy and light pierogi, stuffed cabbage, grilled Polish kielbasa, freshly made potato pancakes, and classic soups, such as a sublime borscht. Breakfast is special here. If all you want is a burger, don’t worry---it’s a classic, too.”
- Frommer’s

Reviews from Goodreads

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • Tom Birchard with Natalie Danford

  • Tom Birchard has worked at Veselka since 1967 and assumed ownership from his father-in-law in 1975. Veselka has grown steadily since and has expanded several times. The restaurant now employs approximately seventy-five people and recently celebrated its fiftieth anniversary.

    Natalie Danford has written about food, restaurants, and cookbooks for Fine Cooking, Eating Well, Health, Vegetarian Times, and many other publications. She is also the author of the critically acclaimed novel Inheritance, published by St. Martin’s Press.

  • Tom Birchard
    Tom Birchard
  • Natalie Danford
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Available Formats and Book Details

The Veselka Cookbook

Recipes and Stories from the Landmark Restaurant in New York's East Village

Tom Birchard with Natalie Danford

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FROM THE PUBLISHER

Thomas Dunne Books

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