‘It Was a Labor of Love’ in Arlington

Pierogi burgers spur donations to World Central Kitchen for work in Ukraine.

It was 1:30 pm on Saturday, and Sloppy Mama’s Barbeque had already sold 17 Varenyky burgers. Sloppy Mama’s on Langston Boulevard in Arlington combined cultures over the weekend when it offered its Varenyky Burger on Saturday and Sunday to support World Central Kitchen as a fundraiser for Ukraine.  

The Varenyky (pierogi) burger was made with two potato and cheese Varenyky “buns,” two 4-ounce prime beef smash patties, grilled onions and dilly sour cream. 100 percent of the proceeds from the sale of each burger were donated to the World Central Kitchen.

Joe “Hogsmoker” Neuman, owner of Sloppy Mama’s, says his wife and business partner, Mandy, made the pierogis. “It took her about 9 hours to make 30 of them because it was our first time doing it and we don’t do it every day. It was a labor of love.” If you’d waited until Sunday to try the burger, you were out of luck. Neuman said the burgers were sold out by the end of Saturday. This effort was part of ChefsForUkraine restaurant week. 

Neuman said he got an idea from a friend in South Bend, Indiana who was making something similar in a Polish market but Newman put his own twist on it. He says it is about standing up for free people in the face of dictatorship “because that is what is happening” and standing up to Russia as well.

Neuman adds he has a connection because he grew up in the army and they were stationed in Germany several times. “And my dad commanded infantry and was in the front line of defense during the Cold War.”