Texas Transplant Wants to Bring Bacon Pierogies to the East Village

baconCourtesy Hill Country Pierogi Bacon pierogies

Rob Harding left his job in marketing to start a food truck in Texas and now he wants to bring his pierogies back home to the East Village.

After he got laid off from a gig at Groupon, the 39-year-old and his girlfriend, Britney Lukowsky, 30, moved to Austin, Tex. to launch Hill Country Pierogi last September. The truck, currently on summer hiatus, serves a traditional potato pierogi based on a recipe handed down by Ms. Lukowsky’s Polish family, as well as out-there varieties like chorizo and kimchi pork.

Last week, Mr. Harding posted an ad on Craigslist indicating that he was looking for an investor for a small brick-and-mortar takeout shop (a la Dumpling Man) in the East Village. That’s right, he wants to bring his pierogies right into Veselka’s backyard.

pierogi2Courtesy Hill Country Pierogi.

Mr. Harding, who lived in the East Village off-and-on for six years out of the 10 he was in New York, realizes he’ll face some resistance from the neighborhood’s old guard. Even in Austin – where “most people who walk up to the truck say, ‘What’s a PIE-rogi?’”, he said – he has encountered rigorous orthodoxy: “The traditionalists would come in and say, ‘Pulled pork in a pieorgi? That’s not a pierogi!’”

But he’s convinced his Polish dumplings would be a hit in the East Village, even though places like Neptune, Little Poland, and the Ukrainian East Village Restaurant have been offering them for years. “Veselka and places like that almost exclusively do traditional pierogies, but nothing compared to the kind of things we have.” He cited a s’mores pierogi with marshmallow Nutella, graham cracker crumble, and whipped cream.

Mr. Harding acknowledged that a New York location is, at this point, a longshot, but he’s preparing a Kickstarter campaign to try and make it happen.