Thursday, March 31, 2016

* Eating 52 Countries In 52 Weeks - Week 28 - RUSSIA

Moscow Deli of Orange County is essentially a Russian grocery store with two tables that serve as the dining area. Two feet into the store you find yourself surrounded with nesting dolls, samovars, freezers full of Russian dumplings and ice cream, and cards in Cyrillic to a background of conversations in Russian. The deli food is displayed in windows on the countertop and it is not hard to tell that the owners make all of the food fresh that day.

We browsed the food windows along with the very short menu and started ordering our food with great help from the pretty lady on the other side of the counter. For beverages, she pointed at the fridges on the other side of the store where we picked up two glass bottles of soda. The light colored one was a non-alcoholic Mojito - lemony and minty. The bright green was called Tarhun which had a stronger taste due to the tarragon it was made of.

First the Pirozhki and Zrazy appetizers arrived. Both were filled with chicken

Then came the soups! It makes sense Russians have a lot of soups considering the climate. The Borscht soup is a bright red colored cabbage soup.

Spicy meat soup Solyanka had enough heat to linger but not so much to burn your taste buds to oblivion. We added pieces of the toasted Russian bread served with the soups into the soups and spooned them down like we were in the middle of a winter storm.

The Riga sandwich looked funny with the tails of sardines (sprat) sticking out. Like many other Russian sandwiches and salads, this one was savory with a thick layer of mayonnaise. Honestly I do not usually favor fish sandwiches but this one was very flavorful and did not leave a fishy aftertaste.

Moscovskiy sandwich is one of the most colorful sandwiches I've ever experienced. It looked beautiful. The layers of meat and cheese were interspersed with chopped lettuce, carrots and Russian sauce.

Even though we wanted to try one of the homemade desserts on display, our stomachs stopped us. So we picked up a bag of Russian Prianik cookies to have with tea later in the day.

As we got up to pay for our food, a flood of customers came in. It felt good to see that this small deli got a lot of business to keep them around for our future visits.

Приятного аппетита!

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