It was pretty clear in my last post that Russia left a (literal) bad taste in my mouth. Obviously we didn’t pick a great restaurant. But that isn’t Russia’s fault! It would be pretty unfair to judge the food of an entire country based on one experience at a bad restaurant on a completely different continent.
I know that Russia has to be delicious, so I can’t leave it as the stain on my eating the world (in Toronto) experience. I can’t have myself associating dumplings with those awful pelmeni we ate when every other dumpling I’ve come across has been a dream.
So Russia needed a do-over. Unfortunately, I can’t just fly over there and try out the food. And unfortunately, every Russian restaurant in Toronto seems to be a banquet hall, which I would rather not go back to.
A coworker from Poland mentioned to me that the European grocery store Yummy Market has really good authentic Russian food (and eastern European in general), so I was very interested in checking it out. Yesterday I hit that up and he wasn’t kidding, they had all the things. It was like the Whole Foods of Europe. I even saw the Georgian-style pizza and dumplings we had when we ate Georgia. It was awesome in there and I am totally going back. There are two locations, North York and Thornhill, if you happen to be in the area.
I scored a bag of pelmeni (frozen but my coworker said they are very good and just like the real thing).
And a couple of fresh meat blintzes from the deli.
Although the ones we had at the Russian restaurant weren’t terrible, the meat inside them was kind of weird (like everything else) and I thought they could be better. They deserved a second chance.
The boiled pelmeni looked very similar to the ones we had at Kiev, so I was a bit apprehensive at first…
But they were WAY better. The meat inside was similar, but more fresh and much, MUCH better tasting. No weird greasy aftertaste. I am so glad we tried them again!!! I have to say that pierogies are still my favourite dumpling, but I am glad I can make an informed decision on that now!
And the blintzes were amazing. Also way better and completely exceeded my expectations. We served both with lots of sour cream (as you do – but no dill!).
Ridiculously good. I have a feeling I will be regularly going back to Yummy Market. I also got a couple of apple cinnamon blintzes for dessert. The meat ones I pan fried, but the apple ones I heated in the oven. Also delicious. I have been missing out never having those before! I’m so glad we tried again. I will be adding an amendment to my original post.
I also grabbed a beet salad and a Ukrainian cherry shortbread tart for my Nana, who I was visiting afterwards. She is doing so well! I didn’t get a picture of her because she had some minor surgery recently on the back of her head and she hasn’t been able to get her hair done, so she is not happy about that. Next time!
In other eating news, one of my coworkers, Sami, is from Pakistan and somehow our conversations always turn to food. I was telling him that Evan often makes his nana’s Indian lentils and rice and how much I love it, so Sami told me he was going to bring me his own lentils and saffron rice to try, Pakistani style. Last week, he delivered.
That saffron rice is dynamite! It was so much different than Evan’s lentils and rice.
Different look and much different flavour also. Evan tends to cook his lentils down a bit more, and his spices are a bit more subtle. I enjoyed Sami’s a lot and it was interesting to try a different style. I love it when people bring me food! Probably my favourite thing.
Finally, in non-eating news, it’s this little kitty’s birthday month!
Winnie turns 22 sometime in November. I am not sure exactly what day her birthday is, so I just like to say it’s the first. I can’t believe she’s 22! She still acts like just a little kitty. Here are my two favourite past blog posts about Winnie:
- My Nana and My Cat: A Comparison (spoiler – they’re the same)
- 21 Facts About Winnie (in honour of her 21st birthday)
She is the best. Nana too.
Have a great weekend! Evan and I are going to a murder mystery bed and breakfast with a bunch of friends, so I have a feeling I’m going to be pretty excited to tell you about it next week.