As I was wondering around “Little Moscow” I was freezing and happened to walk past a cafe/restaurant My Friend and Ala Too, it was open and looked nice and warm. So obviously I was sold. Stepping inside was a bit like being transported back to Russia, it wasn’t as nice as the places that I ate at while in Russia, but it had the feeling, the ambiance of being there. The fake ivy plants climbing up the brick columns in the middle of the room, the TV blaring Russian news, men sitting with their beers at 10:30 in the morning, the smell of warm bread coming in from the kitchen.
And obviously I got plenty of looks from the customers and the owners, an obviously none Russian girl speaking more Slovak than Russian asking for a menu, preferably in English. After deciphering the handwritten menu, I decided to have the lamb pelmeni soup without the bread (I was being sacriligious on a Sunday of all days), which also got me more odd looks.
My mouth was watering when the waiter brought my plate to me. And the smell, the delicious smell, was a very good advertisement of what was in store for me. Almost two thirds of the way through my soup, I was already in a food coma 🙂 which is just more proof about how wonderful it was.
The only negative to the meal was several minutes after I arrived, they started to set up for the lunch rush, which meant cigerette trays everywhere. Growing up, I thought that Korean men were terrible about smoking, seemingly every fifteen minutes or so, getting up from the table to have a smoking break, but Russian men take the cake. It’s nonstop chain-smoking from the moment they sit down at a table. I can’t imagine what it would be like if Russian men weren’t allowed to smoke inside restaurants or cafes.