Saturday, March 10, 2012

Cinderella Bakery & Café

"This one's for all you fairy tale fans…"

(Finding a decent EweToob video/song to go along with today's breakfastary theme was about as difficult as finding a decent place to eat for breakfast along Balboa Street.)

Once upon a time (well, since 1953 or so) in the far away district of Richmond in the fairy kingdom (queendom?) of San Francisco there lived an authentic, homestyle Russian bakery called Cinderella Bakery & Café

I finally got around to bringing my car to the tyre shop to get the two new rear tyres (well, actually, I had the front tyres rotated to the back and the new ones are on the front now; this was per the recommendation of the tyre shop guys as I have front-wheel drive and most of the weight is in the front and those wear out quicker) that I had been planning on getting for the past three weeks. Of course, now I was back to trying to find a decent enough place (close by and somewhat quick as they said it would only take 45 minutes to do the job for me) for breakfast. I headed over to Balboa Street and really only knew of one option: so Cinderella Bakery & Café it was.

Why they ever chose the moniker "Cinderella", я
не хуя знаю. As best as I know, the Cinderella folk tale is of French origin, not Russian. If you had clicked on their official website link above, you would have seen an animated intro with matrëshka[1] dolls, which they use for their logo; however, there is no related story as to why the bakery is named as it is.

There is only a limited amount of items to get for breakfast other than pastries (from their local bakery) and bagels (which are actually from House of Bagels, see 'blog-entry from May 2nd, 2010) and such. I really have no idea what a
типичный русский завтрак actually consists of (Do they drink shots of Vodka this early in the morning?). I gave some thought to getting one of their piroshki or pirogi[2] (vegetarian piroshki choices: potato, mushroom, cabbage, or spinach and Feta; vegetarian pirogi choices: cabbage with butter and egg, or mushroom and clear noodles), but I just ended up going with Blinchiki[3] with Sweet Cheese, served with sour cream or raspberry jam (they actually provided both) on the side, and a cuppa Earl Grey[4] tea to drink.

There were only two blinchiki (think rolled-up crêpes, Russian-style); this was not really a lot to eat, but they were very good. I put just a small amount of sour cream on each, but made sure to use up all of the raspberry jam on both. The best way to describe "sweet cheese" is that it is a soft cheese very similar to cream cheese, I suppose.

The tea was a very strong cuppa, made with The Republic of Tea® "Earl Greyer" and went very well with the blinchiki.

I noticed after I had already eaten, that Cinderella Bakery offers a drink called "Kompot". They had a detailed explanation what kompot is on their menu board; basically, it's a fruit juice drink popular in Western Europe. I probably shoulda gotten one of them, too.

After breakfast, I also bought a small poppyseed roulette (interesting to note: Cinderella Bakery has this as one word; however, the spell-check Nazis at Microsoft® have a problem with "poppyseed" as one word, must be some resentment leftover from the cold, disappointing Leningrad Winter of 1944-1945) and a one-pound pack of Cherry Strudel (also available in raspberry and apricot); there are about twelve pieces of mini-strudel in a pack. I ended up giving the strudel to the guys at the tyre shop as an after-work bribe for a job well done (they really did get it done under 45-minutes).

Not that I got to use any on my blinchiki, but I did notice that Cinderella Bakery has Tabasco® for condimentary supplementation on the counter/table with all of the coffee/tea basics.

Pay It Forward Weekend (continued, Part III):
Yet still again I stopped at Peet's Coffee & Tea® on Geary Boulevard and had a small cuppa Blend 101® before going to the tyre shop. Once again I plied the baristo with a fiver and explained what to do with it.

And I ate happily ever after… (well, until I finish the poppyseed roulette later this afternoon)

Glen Bacon Scale Rating: Blinchiki with Sweet Cheese ~ 6.6; Peet's® Blend 101® ~ 7.5

[1] Stupid, useless cunning linguist pointer of the day,
номер один:

"Matrëshka" (or "Matryoshka", however you want to transliterate it ~ I prefer using the umlauted "ë", which is pronounced as "yo", Adrian, as that is the actual letter in the Cyrillic alphabet) comes from the Russkij word "
матрёшка" which means "little matron" (it is the diminutive form of the word "матрёна" meaning "matron", which comes from the basic word root "мать" meaning "mother"). Matrëshka dolls are simply those wooden Russian stacking/nesting dolls.

[2] Stupid, useless cunning linguist/pseudo-culinary pointer of the day,
во вторую очередь:

Пирожки" ("piroshki" or "pirozhki") is the plural form of the Russian word "пирожок" ("pirozhok"); piroshki/pirozhki are baked or fried buns stuffed with a variety of fillings. "Pirozhok" is the diminutive form of the word "пирог" ("pirog"), which means "pie".

Пироги" ("pirogi") is the plural form of the word "pirog". Generally, Russian pirogi are pies made with puff pastry and have a sweet or savoury filling. (These are not to be confused with the Polish/East European "pierogi", which are more of a dumpling; those would be called "пельмени"/"pel'meni" or "вареники"/"vareniki" in Russian. Are we completely confused or hungry yet?)

Both words are already in the plural form, so "piroshkis" and "pirogis" would be incorrect.

[3] Stupid, useless cunning linguist/pseudo-culinary pointer of the day,

"Blinchiki", or "
блинчики" in Russian, is the diminutive form of the word "blini" ("блины" in Russian). Blini (or blintz in Yiddish) are a thin pancake similar to a crêpe.

Again, both blinchiki and blini are already the plural forms, so "blinchikis" and "blinis" would be incorrect (I have no idea what the plural of "blintz" would be, though ~ "blintze"/"blintzen"/"blintzes"?).

[4] I may have covered this once here before, but in case I didn't, here is some Earl Grey info (courtesy of our friends at

The first time I ever drank Earl Grey tea I thought that it had gone bad as I didn't know that was how it was supposed to taste with the bergamot flavouring. It is now one of my favourite teas; especially when it is a good blend.

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