Sunday, July 31, 2016

Cinderella Russian Bakery & Café

Richmond (District) Coffeehouses
Глава 31

Place: Cinderella[1] Russian Bakery & Café
Location: 436 Balboa Street (between 5th and 6th Avenues)
Hours: open daily at 7:00am
Meal: Cabbage w/ Butter & Egg Siberian-style Pie (Pirog); Potato Vareniki ~ Russian style dumplings with potato and fried onion filling, served with sour cream on the side and topped with crispy fried onions; and (for breakfast dessert) one Poppyseed[2] Hamentasche[3]; and to drink, with the main meal, Kompot (which they have described on their menu-blackboard as "A traditional drink in Central & Eastern Europe, especially Bulgaria, Poland, Lithuania, Ukraine, Russia, Slovenia, & Bosnia [where it has been a tradition since Ottoman times]. It is a light, refreshing drink, most often made of dried or fresh fruit [raisins, prunes, apricots, etc.] boiled in water w/ sugar & left to cool & infuse."), and with the breakfast dessert, a cuppa The Republic of Tea® British (English) Breakfast

I started my Richmond (District) Coffeehouses Series exactly a year ago today (see first 'series-entry from July 26th, 2015). How do I know that? Because I started it mainly as an easy way to get something to eat while the San Francisco Marathon was in town, which basically cuts the city in half and makes it nearly impossible to get anywhere crosstown early in the morning. Well, the marathon-circus was back in town again this morning, so I decided to keep it local once more and just headed back to Cinderella Russian Bakery & Café 
(see previous 'blog-entry from March 10th, 2012). I originally had planned to hit up this place back on July 4th, but due to a stupid, useless parklet (see mini-rant below) that is now ensconced in front of the joint, I gave them a boycottlet. Luckily, I like this place and wanted to try to finish up the series, anyway. I think there is just one coffeehouse left to get to in the Richmond District; I will probably finish up with that sometime in the next few weekends.

Cinderella Russian Bakery & Café is just your standard-sized bakery. Half of the front room is taken up by the front-counter display cases. That leaves seating inside for just two tables for two and two window-counter seats. Weather permitting (and it was just barely permitting this morning), there are also seven tables for two outside on the sidewalk; and, additionally...

stupid, useless parklets mini-rant

There is yet still another one of those obnoxious parking obstructions in front of the café that has seating for several more people. At least this stupid vehicular hindrance is just a one-car jobber. So, do you think that I like all these stupid, useless parklets? I will answer that po-rooski: "In the window!"[4]

(mini-rant over... for now)

There were really several other ideas that I could have gone with to make a вкусный завтрак: Piroshki with cabbage; Mushroom and Clear Noodles Siberian-style Pie (Pirog); Cheese Vareniki (Russian style dumplings with baker's cheese filling, served with sour cream or raspberry jam on the side); Cherry Vareniki (Russian style dumplings with sour cherries inside, served in a rich cherry syrup and sour cream on the side); Blinchiki with Mushrooms (blinchiki with mushroom and onion filling, served with sour cream on the side); and Syrniki (sweet cheese fritters with sour cream & jam; I have no idea what those might be, but I might need to get back to check it out). There were also several other savoury and sweet baked goods/pastries in the front-counter display cases.

Also to drink, Pete[5], there was their own homemade (bakery-made, whatever) Kvas (Kвас). This is described on their menu-blackboard as: "A Russian fermented beverage similar to Beer, low in alcohol (0.05%-1.44%). Made from rye or barley. It is made by steeping, boiling, & fermenting rather than distilling." I have had several different versions of bottled/manufactured Kvas that are sold in the rooskie bodegas in my neighborhood, but never fresh-made stuff. This might also need drinking into.

See, this meal included eggs and potatoes just like any typical breakfastary repast would. 

I started with the slice of pirog and had finished it by the time the vareniki had been prepared and brought out. The pirog was okay, but I really enjoyed the vareniki; plus, the onion crispies really added a nice crunch and flavour.

I wanted to make sure to try something from their fresh-baked pastries, so the poppyseed hamentashe was a nice semi-sweet way to end the meal.

Surprisingly, Cinderella Russian Bakery & Café 
had a decent selection of condimentary supplements: Cholula® Hot Sauce (Original), Tapatio® Salsa Picante Hot Sauce, and Huy Fong Foods, Inc. Sriracha HOT Chili Sauce. Because this was just a bakery-place, I was not planning on getting any dishes that would need any hot sauces added and did not bother bringing any of my own hot sauces with me once again. I did end up using some of the Cholula® on the pirog.

Not all of us can be "brave bakers", but some of us can sing in a "bold choir", at least...[6]

Glen Bacon Scale Rating
Cabbage w/ Butter & Eggs Siberian-style Pie (Pirog) ~ 6.3;
Potato Vareniki ~ 6.6; 
Poppyseed Hamentasche ~ 6.4;
Kompot ~ 6.8


1. Stupid, useless cunning linguist pointer of the day, первая часть:

Po-rooski, "Cinderella" is called "Золушка". This comes from the rooskoe word "зола", meaning "cinder or ash". Simples, nu?!

That reminds me of a silly rooskij saying/rhyming greeting (provided at no additional charge as stupid, useless cunning linguist pointer of the day, первая часть-б):

Как дела? 
(transliteration/pronunciation: Kak della?)
Как сажа белa. 
(transliteration/pronunciation: Kak sazha bella.)

The first sentence reads: "How are things?"
The second sentence reads: "As white as soot." (or "As black is white.")

This would be said facetiously if you are having a bad day.

2. Stupid, useless cunning linguist pointer of the day, часть вторая:

Po-rooski, "poppyseed" is "мак" (well, technically the word is used for both the flower itself and the edible seeds), transliterated and pronounced as "mak". (See? Sometimes this Saint Cyril alphabet ain't so hard to understand.)

I had to ask the pretty блондинка counter-lady how to say "poppyseed". That was not a common word that would ever have been taught back at Институт Иностранных Языков in Montereyski.

3. Что?

I have really only seen this word in the plural form of the German word "Hamentaschen". I am going with the singular as "Hamentasche" because I said so.

4. Look it up, yerd*mnself!

5. Yeah, sorry, that is another stupid, useless cunning linguist pun that you would have to know Rooskij to get.

6. More stupid, useless cunning linguist puns that would only make sense to stupid, useless cunning MA linguists that also went to DLI.

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