There's been a quiet upsurge in E. European offerings in & around the Lower Rainland this past few years and so-buoyed by some excellent weather-I cycled out to New West to sample three likely looking places.
First stop was Ilwona's Pierogies-I ordered the 8 count plate of Potato/Cheddar/Onion.Sadly there was a mixup with the order that put a dampener on the whole experience I eventually got a plate of delicious well made Pierogies with perfectly made skins & classic fillings.
And that's part of the issue with this operation it's all old country no spice of any kind the cuisine is heavy, bland, and relatively tasteless for some like me who lives on spicy food-I knew this going in but experiencing the food in person was a revelation.
Ilwona's is a real old world place-tiny & cozy like your Baba's kitchen and with measured service if you're headed out be sure to leave enough time for your next appointment.
Next stop Russian Spoon bakery in the food court @ Royal Centre Mall an unlikely spot but reviews were too good to pass up.
Stuffed with Pierogies I could only manage a bowl of Borscht but what a bowl it was-like all Borscht it wasn't all that attractive visually but the taste My Dear The Taste!
Perfectly spiced/balanced no overbearing earthiness from the Beets or Cabbage the veggies sliced Just So made such a difference-quite possibly the Best Borscht I've Ever Had certainly the Best in the past 25 years.
Service was friendly & efficient.
Taking a deep breath I remounted my trusty bicycle-did I mention I cycled to New West- and slowly made my way down to Solodko Ukranian Bakery.
The plan was to try some more savories but it was not to be I couldn't eat another bite so I grabbed a few pastries as shown one with Cranberries & another with classic Poppy Seed.
Like all the Solodko product-which you may have seen @ some of the summer markets-it's baked in advance , frozen, then sold as needed.
The product is on the dry side but not too sweet which is a nice change.
I found service @ this place to be on the nerve wracking side-forced hilarity doesn't become Slavic types OTOH goods were wrapped and delivered promptly.
FWIW-note that Solodko uses the proper modern term 'Varenyky' for what Canadians generally call Pierogie