Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Grubby: Cafe Glechik

I'm just going to get this out of the way now. A lot of the places I end up loving, I have found through Robert Sietsema's excellent writing. This is one of those treasures.

Why go to Brighton Beach you ask? Well, Glechik should be reason #1. (If you have other reasons, please inform - I know there must be lots of cool shit going down but I'm in the dark).

This is home cooking. I think. I don't come from a Russian/Ukrainian home. But I'd imagine your grandma might cook like this, if she were good for anything.

Everything on the menu is pretty good - I don't think anyone has ever ordered a dissapointing dish. Start with pickled vegetables (including pickled watermelon). Order a couple pitchers of juicy compote and a nice, raisin-y Kvas. And go to town. The varenikis (dumplings), sprinkled with wonderful crispy, fried onions, and pelmeni (also a dumpling) are great. Get the pelmeni "Moscow" for cheese and egg. Order sour cream - it is necessary.

Everything is pretty great - stroganoff, schnitzel, fries covered in garlic and parsley, but the real gem here is the Stew "Glechik". An impossibly dark brown, thick gravy surrounds dumplings and two deliciously slow-cooked chunks of what I'm assuming is lamb on the bone. It's intoxicating.

Take a group - although they always seem a little unsure of what to do with big groups. Bring your own vodka.

And get some sour cherry vareniki for dessert.

Info: Open 7 days 9am-10pm, 3159 Coney Island Ave.

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