East Village Eating

Being back in New York for WordCamp is another nostalgia inducer, since I organized that event in 2009 and 2010, and lived in NYC for three years. I typically like to find a place to live where just about everything I like is within 5 blocks, and my East Village apartment definitely had that. These are the places to eat that I’m suddenly nostalgic for (that are still around) and want to visit before I leave town if I have time.

  • Veniero’s. Italian pastry place on E 11th St and 1st Ave (my old corner). Ridiculous. Has been around since the 19th century. When my stepfather was about to be put into an induced coma during his (ultimately unsuccessful) cancer battle, I dropped everything and flew/drove from NYC to Utica one morning. I bought a flight while in the cab, reserved a car while on the plane. But before I got in the cab, I grabbed some mini-tarts  and cannoli from Veniero’s. I got to the hospital just in time, and told my stepfather that if he wanted the tarts he needed to wake up after they induced the coma. It turned out he was too sick to do the procedure, so he got to eat the tarts sooner than expected. Tip: They ship some things via online orders.
  • Bar Veloce. Skinny little Italian wine bar on my other old corner, E11th St and 2nd Ave. Wine. Tasty little finger food stuff. But! The balsamic strawberries are the real reason to go.
  • Veselka. 24-hour Ukrainian diner onE 9th St and 2nd Ave. Pierogis, borscht, sure. But thing I used to get most often was their blintzes. Mmm.
  • Patsy’s. I wrote about Patsy’s the other day, and it’s all still true. The perfect margherita, IMO.
  • Awash. I’m very lucky to live only a few blocks from Bete-Lukas in Portland, but I still have fond memories of Awash for Ethiopian food. I will say this: Bete-Lukas never leaves my fingers stained yellow, and Awash always did.
  • Le Pain Quotidien. I know, it’s a chain. But they have this yummy tuna tartine and I have nostalgia from eating here with my boss from Ball State when we were getting ready to open the usability lab (with lasers!). Broadway and 11th.
  • Liquiteria. Fresh juice on my corner, E 11th St and 2nd Ave. I liked the tops they used on their to-go cups, and when I was writing a murder mystery set in the neighborhood, I made them a clue. Talked with the owner a few times when I was waiting for a chai (they were very good, but very slow) about making them a better website or hooking them up with a designer I worked with, but we never did more than talk about it.
  • Lil’ Frankie’s. Oddly placed apostrophe aside, there’s good pasta to be had. I never had a meal here that was less than delicious, nor did anyone I knew. East Village Radio used to broadcast from there, but it looks like they recently packed it in. Damn you, Clear Channel! At least there’s still spaghetti.

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