The great thing about New York City is that you can always discover something new to eat, even if it’s at a restaurant or shop that’s been in the same place for ages. Perhaps the powers of distraction were too great a force and you simply overlooked it for newer and shinier places. First Avenue Pierogi & Deli (130 First Avenue, 212-420-9690), a well-worn storefront selling all types of Polish dumplings at rock-bottom prices, is one of those places.
The shop is tiny and easy to miss, but you’ll definitely want to pay a visit to the East Village to sample the namesake offerings. Pierogies flavored with sweet cheese, potato, potato and onion, potato and cheese, sauerkraut and mushroom, or meat vie for competition in a large display case. Most go for $6-$8 for a dozen, and also available are borscht, blintzes, sausages, and assorted Polish groceries, should you not be of the dumpling persuasion (but really, who doesn’t love dumplings?).
I opted for the potato and onion, which set me back $6.80, and was easily enough to serve two. Testing out several cooking methods, I boiled, pan-fried, and, yes, microwaved them, which actually worked quite well. Half a diced onion got fried up, and a dollop of sour cream on top, and I had a inexpensive dinner that was hearty, delicious, and oh-so-warming on a cold winter’s night.