You'll look long before you spot any greens at the Upper East Side's annual Czech street festival; the only vegetables you're likely to come across are potatoes (as in pancakes), cabbage (snuggled up with a kielbasa), or carrots (and, just maybe, traces of celery) in a very good tripe soup ($5) from Linden, New Jersey's Bratek Deli. The featured items themselves were admirably al dente.
Langoše (as in "land o' Goshen"; first photo below; $7) also takes the labels "garlic fry bread" and even "Slovak pizza." One table at the festival prepared nothing but these slabs of deep-fried dough that are drizzled with garlic oil, then slathered with ketchup and tartar sauce and covered in grated cheese. (Does ketchup still count as a vegetable?) Best when freshly fried.
Kielbasa and their kin simply taste better when grilled outdoors — below, by folks from the Bohemian Hall and Beer Garden. Though the suds are restricted to their restaurant, that blue-and-white T-shirt's advice applies to street-fair sausage, too: "Czech yourself before you wreck yo'self."
I've never managed to dine in Zlata Praha's small backyard garden in Astoria, but each October they manage to export a surprisingly large portion of their menu (and the appropriate kitchen facilities) to East 83rd St. Knedlicky (with a silent "k"; three for $5), plum-filled dumplings sitting in butter, sided with sour cream, and topped with cinnamon sugar, have also been the subject of a speed-eating contest toward the end of the festival, though I don't see why anyone would hurry them down, or how they could.
Also shown below: fixings for a kielbasa sandwich; bramboráky, or potato pancakes; open-faced egg sandwiches; and a koláč (Cole-ahtch; plural koláče, pronounced co-Lah-cheh) topped with cheese, poppyseeds, and prune.
Czech Independence Day Street Festival
83rd St. between Madison and Park Aves.