Is a pierogi really a pierogi if it’s filled with macaroni and cheese?
Heck yes, says Natasha Pogrebinsky, executive chef at The South Side in Tremont, who dreamed up this comfort food hybrid one autumn day when she couldn’t decide between cozy cravings. Her fried mac and cheese pierogies ($12) hit the menu in 2018, and now it’s too popular to ever come off of it.
“Cleveland is the land of pierogies, and we’re super proud of them,” says the Ukrainian-born chef. “At South Side, we’re really proud of our mac ’n’ cheese, so this dish made sense.”
Trust her: Though it sounds like something you might find at a state fair, Pogrebinsky’s imaginative pierogi/pasta hybrid is surprisingly Epicurean (and nowhere near as greasy or heavy as you might imagine).
Each pierogi is hand-stuffed with white cheddar cavatappi and deep-fried, making for a crispy, crunchy shell that gives way to a thick, gooey center. Served six to a basket, they come with a side of dill-infused sour cream (Pogrebinsky calls it her “signature herb”) to cut the richness.
“It’s 100% perfect, amazing,” she says. “It’s original, it’s different and it’s something that is very much what we do.” 2207 W. 11th St., Cleveland, 216-937-2288, southsidecleveland.com
Click to read our Cleveland Pierogi Guide, a taste of 25 of Cleveland's best pierogies.