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    Posted March 31, 2014 by
    Brooklyn, New York
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Who taught you to love food?

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    Varenichnaya.."Going home."

    The last few weeks I have been talking about how the current unrest in the Ukraine made me want to examine my past, my culture, growing up in a Ukrainian household that was somewhat cut short when my grandmother's farm house burnt down. However, living in New York, I am lucky to be near a place called Brighton Beach, which is also called "Little Russia," or Odessa by the sea. It is as close as I can to ever traveling to Russia or Kiev, but I am very lucky to not only experience the culture through the many shops but also the glorious food I remembered.
    Pickled vegetables may not sound appetizing to many but for me..
    The moment I walked into Varenichnaya, a Russian, Ukrainian restaurant on one of the side streets I was home. It was just like walking into my grandmother's kitchen. It is a small mom and pop establishment but that makes it all the better. You are not rushed, the prices are low and you are treated like royalty if you relax and get into it.
    I ordered the pickled vegetables, as I mentioned, fried potatoes and mushrooms. My Polish friend ordered Beefstroganoff in a delicious sweet white sauce I think with yogurt and mushrooms, and side of rice. The pickled veggies and fried mushrooms and potatoes might sound like peasant food but that is the point, I was home.
    Our total bill was under $30.00 with three dishes, and a fresh loaf of round bread. Plus I was relaxed and not rushed. I may as well have been sitting home eating with relatives. I certainly hope to eat there again. Next time I will try their Vereniki ( smaller perogies) with cherry or mushrooms and potatoes.
    Varenichnaya is on Brighton 2nd. St., Brooklyn, NY. Right off the boardwalk, or Brighton Ave. depending which way you come.
    The next to last picture of me slugging from a bottle is unfortunately not vodka. It is their house lemonade, with a touch of tarragon and other spices.
    Thank you.
    March 31, 2014.
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