Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Russian Samovar

I have a couple of stories for you from my sister's vacation.  We had tickets to see Wicked at the Gershwin theater for Tuesday night, so before the show we planned on eating at Russian Samovar.  I chose that restaurant because when I looked up "good placed to eat in Midtown" when I was planning our itinerary, that name kept popping up.  I'm not much of a fan of Russian anything, but that restaurant kept getting rave reviews, so I thought we should check it out.  When we walked in I didn't think we were in the right place.  It looked like a bit of a dive.  What caught my eye was the light fixtures with wires hanging out all over the place.

Here's a picture of Amy and you can see the light fixtures, but you can't really see the wires.  Oh well, believe me, it was a bit weird. 

We decided to be totally Russian and drink vodka and eat caviar.  The waitress who was an adorable Russian girl with a thick accent brought us a list of flavor infused vodkas so we ordered some. 

The first one I got was lemon and it was pretty good.  Next I ordered a chocolate one and the waitress looked me square in the eye and said, "No."  I said, "Pardon?" and she said, "No. Is no good."  So I told her to get me a good one.  She brought me pear.  It was good.  We ordered our caviar:

See, it's served with little pancakes and onion and boiled egg and sour cream.  It was surprisingly delicious.  A bit fishy but guess what?  It's FISH EGGS!  I ate fish babies and they were delicious.

"Thank you ma'am, your babies were delicious."

Sometimes I feel bad about eating meat because I've seen footage on factory farms and how meat is processed and it is so barbaric and gross I can hardly stand it, but I don't think I will ever think of fish as an animal.  When we go to the Great Lakes Aquarium and see all those fat salmon swimming around it just makes me ravenous. 

Anyway, we had a wonderful time there drinking vodka, and eating appetizers and desserts (cheesecake and little tiny doughnuts with a raspberry sauce that was so good you could have eaten it with a spoon).  We loved our waitress and so we were trying to figure out how to say thank you in Russian and when I looked it up on my translator on my phone, this is what came up:  Спасибо.  I was looking at it for a few seconds and my sisters said, "What does it say?" and I said, "I don't know.  I don't know how to pronounce 'six'," but we figured it out and thanked her in Russian like the dorky tourists we are. 

Because we are middle aged and have to pee every 20 minutes, we asked our adorable waitress where the bathroom was.  She pointed us through these heavy velvet curtains to a staircase and said, "Up there," so we went upstairs to the exact room where Mikael Barishnikov took Carrie on their date on Sex In The City.  It was totally empty until a tough-looking man came shooting out of a back room, looked us over and said, "You must go downstairs."  We told him we were looking for the bathroom and he said, "Downstairs" and herded us to the staircase.  We decided to hold it.  When we were walking to the theater Beth said that the waitress probably sends women who she thinks would be good for selling into white slavery up the steps (aww, thanks!) but the guy got one look at us and thought to himself, "No.  Too old.  Too fat.  Couldn't make the profit margins," so he shooed us away.  Rejection!  We couldn't make a profit as sex slaves. Oh well, one less thing to worry about, I guess. Which reminds me of one more quick story from the trip:  One day we were walking around downtown Washington and there was a guy playing a banjo at an outdoor produce market.  He was just playing, not singing.  He was pretty good until I walked past him and he started singing "Where have all the young girls gone...hmmmm hmmmm hmmmm hmmmmm...." to the tune of Where Have All the Flowers Gone.  Hey Banjo Guy, you are no spring chicken either so SHUT IT. 


  1. hahahahh. the russian mafia is so badass.

  2. Who'd a thunk the Russians would be so picky about their sex slaves! Sounds like you had fun!

  3. sarah, i don't know if this will make you feel worse or better, but those are actual lyrics to that song ...

    Where have all the young girls gone?
    Long time passing
    Where have all the young girls gone?
    Long time ago
    Where have all the young girls gone?
    Taken husbands every one
    When will they ever learn?
    When will they ever learn?


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