UPDATE JANUARY 9, 2009 – CLOSED FOR BUSINESS.
Location: SW Alder and 9th Parking Lot
Description: Yet another fine addition to the Alder Street “cart pod.” The lovely and bewitching Julia herself makes rib-sticking Russian comfort food. These are well known hits such as a hearty and perfectly balanced sweet and sour borscht served with rye bread ($4.00 for 16 ounces), a generous platter of stuffed cabbage with piroshki and salad ($6.00), and different kinds of meat or vegetable Russian style piroshkis made with a dense golden crust and stuffed with things like meat, mushrooms, or potatoes ($1.00 per piece).
Julia doesn’t seem to skimp on the quality or freshness of her food, and a whiff through her cart window while you watch her stir various pots and pans of things in her tiny kitchen is just hypnotizing. The borscht for example billows enough aromatic steam to recover appetites from any bad flu or cold, and contains more than a generous portion of meat and veggies (a vegetarian version is also available), while sprinkles of fresh chopped dill are added last along with a little dollop of sour cream. She isn’t skimpy on the portions either and a soup and an entree can easily feed two hungry people for around $12.00.
Other items include an addictive bowl of meat filled boiled dumplings called pelmeni served with sour cream ($6.00), A tender Russian meatloaf with rice and salad ($6.00), and a wonderfully spicy carrot salad ($4.00). Meat, vegetarian, ($2.00 per piece) or dessert blinis with sweet cream cheese, cherries or apples ($4.00) round out the offerings.
Julia is herself originally from a small town in Kazakhstan and smiled demurely when asked how she ended up in Portland ten years ago. “It’s a long story,” she sighed. Knowing about these things myself I asked, “It was for a man wasn’t it?” She answered, “Da, it was for love.” Well, Miss Julia, we are sure happy to have you here in Portland cooking your outstanding food, no matter what it took to get you here.
Russian Meat Sandwich with Cheese, Fried Onion, and Potato Salad – $6.00
Lagman (A noodle stew) with Chicken and Vegetables – $5.00
Stuffed Cabbage with Piroshki and Salad – $6.00
Russian Blini with Meat or Vegetarian Style – $2.00
Piroshki (meat or vegetable) – $1.00 per piece
Spicy Carrot Salad – $2.00
Russian Beet Salad – $2.50
Russian Potato Salad – $2.50
Soft Drinks or Water – $1.00