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Trying to eat something delicious, each and every day.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Cinderella Bakery and Cafe

Okay, not the best photo I've ever taken of a sign, but I wasn't about to stand in the middle of the street while waiting for the bus. Just pretend I caught the "Cinderalla" on the right side of this incredibly long sign.

So, let's start from the beginning. This is the outdoor seating at Cinderella Bakery & Cafe on Balboa and 5th. The cafe portion of the establishment is being renovated, but diners who are willing to eat outside can have table service at the bakery. We found the service incredibly friendly and efficient, and prices seemed to have been lowered to compensate diners for the lack of indoor dining.

The most unique thing we tried today was definitely this mug of kvas, aka. Russian bread liquor. I don't know why I expected this drink to be either like beer or very sour, but it was neither. It was lightly fizzy, quite sweet, and had a complex malt flavor that reminded me of some kind of medicine or candy or both. I know, that description makes no sense. It has very little alcohol, and I would describe it to others as being more like a weird Russian soda than a serious alcoholic beverage.

We also had two piroshkis (this is just one--they're huge!) One was beef and cheddar, the other was beef and gorgonzola. I would have liked these a little hotter, but they were quite good. The filling is encased in a fluffy, slightly chewy bread that's deep fried. Kind of like a savory doughnut.

We also had beef pelmeni, which are really just Russian dumplings or wontons in a fairly rustic skin. This is definitely the Russian dish that probably anyone in the world would enjoy. It has simple flavors and is homey and filling.

And last but not least, head cheese. I usually think of head cheese as having more meat; enough to be sliced like ham. This was more like an aspic, and it was a huge portion. Cinderella's version is very garlicky and peppery, and quite tasty with their light rye bread.

We got two piroshkis, what seemed like a pint of head cheese, a plate of pelmeni, a small cup of borscht, a mug of kvass, a big poppyseed roll to go, and a slice of chocolate cake to go for $27 after tax. Not bad for our very first sit-down Russian meal!

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