Waffle Cake with Sweet Condensed Milk

by Masha on December 27, 2013

We are thrilled to share our irresistible food finds, recipes and reviews with you. We’ll be working hard to update and refresh this site to bring you the best of #RussianFood and #RussianDining. Stay tuned and check back often to see what unravels as we gallop into the New Year of the Horse!

Today, we bring you a home-made (and refined) recipe that’s sure to make a statement at your New Year bash.

Waffle Cake with Sweet Condensed Milk


1 package plain wafers – round or square (9 layers, 9-inch diameter)

4 Cans cooked sweetened condensed milk (to lower fat content, you can use all low fat condensed mild or a mix of 2)

1 can condense with cocoa

1 stick unsalted butter, softened

1 tsp lemon juice

2 cups of chopped pecans.


Step 1

Take the labels off the cans of condense milk, submerge them into the pot of water. Bold them for 2.5 hour. Make sure that they are completely covered with water at all times.


Step 2

Let the cans cool down, then carefully open them.  Mix the softened half a stick of butter, lemon juice, pecans and Dulce de leche (cooked condensed milk). If using an electric mixer, use the paddle attachment. Mix for about 3 minutes until all is well combined. You’ll need to stop and scrape down the sides a couple times.


Step 3

Using a spatula, spread 3.5-4 tablespoons of the cream onto a wafer, making sure it gets into every pocket. Take another wafer and put it on top of the creamed wafer and spread some more cream on top. Repeat until all the wafers are used up, leaving the top layer cream less.


Step 4

Place the cake between two cutting boards, and use something heavy to place on top of the cake. I used a pot with water. Let it sit for about 10 -15 min, then cover it with wrap and let it sit for 5-6 hours.


Step 5

Take condense milk with cocoa, add butter and cook it on low for 20-25 min or until it sticks to the spoon.  You can add a teaspoon of any liqueur desired, but not necessary.  Pour it over the top layer and blend it in.


Let the cake rest for an hour to allow the flavors to absorb. Serve and enjoy!


Russian Family Bistro

by Masha on October 27, 2013

Update: this restaurant re-opened in Redwood City!

Russian Family offers catering as well as full seat-down service, deli and bakery. The menu and store hours can be found on their website: http://www.russianfamily.net.

Update: Took my American, Honduran, and Russian friends from work to Russian Family Bistro last Friday for dinner. It was quite an experience! The owner was very nice and did not try speaking Russian to us at all. Usually owners of Russian restaurants prefer Russian language even if the guests are English speaking. We had some rassolnik, solyanka, bliny, kotlety s grechkoi, gulyazh, pirozhki, and olivie. All of the dishes were very tasty. Olivie could have had a little less mayo for my taste though, but still good. Kindzmarauli and hvanchkara wines complemented our dinner very well. Still, the main reason for the success of that event was the company, of course.

Russian Family Restaurant

2086 Broadway St
Redwood City, CA 94063
(650) 369-2950


Stroganoff Restaurant

by Masha on February 3, 2012

I couldn’t help but write about Stroganoff restaurant in San Francisco. It’s uniqueness is that it serves a combination of Thai and Russian dishes. A thought of mixing those two cuisines together made me curious, indeed. I have to say, the food is good quality and tastes great. You can find many Russian favorites at Stroganoff – blintzes with various fillings, meat dishes (including beef-stroganoff, of course), all your typical Russian salads such as olivie. If some day you are wondering about in the Marina neighborhood of San Francisco hungry, Stroganoff is certainly worth a stop.

Stroganoff Restaurant


418 Beach St
(between Jones St & Taylor St)
San Francisco, CA 94133
(415) 922-6663


Russian Table Setting

by Masha on September 26, 2011

If you are organizing a formal banquet or a wedding banquet then you will probably lay the table in the Russian style as it is considered the most formal.

The first thing to start with is the service plate. This should be placed directly in front of the dining chair. The rest of the plates should then be set at an equal distance around the table. Ideally this should be about 2 feet to allow plenty of elbow room. A soup bowl should then be placed on top of the service plate.

You are then ready to move onto the cutlery. To the left of the service plate moving outwards from the plate should be placed a salad fork, then a dinner fork and finally a fish fork. To the right of the service plate, again moving outwards from the service plate should be placed a dinner knife, fish knife and then a soup spoon. The blades of the knives should be pointing towards the service plate. Above the plate place a cake fork with the handle pointing towards the left and finally above the cake fork place a desert spoon with the handle pointing towards the right.

The bread plate should then be placed about the forks and a butter knife placed on it. The butter knife blade should be placed so that it is pointing towards the plate.

You are now ready to move onto the glasses. The three main glasses are a water glass, a white wine glass and a red wine glass. However on some occasions there may be a vodka toast as well in which case a vodka glass should also be laid. Start with the water glass which should be placed to the right of the desert spoon. It should be arranged so that it is above the dinner knife. To the right of this you should place the white wine glass and the right of this you should put the red wine glass. Napkins should be placed in the soup bowl.

One of the idiosyncrasies of the Russian style of table setting is that every place setting has their own salt and pepper shaker, so these should be placed above each setting. If you are using them, flower arrangements should be placed at intervals along the table.

Banquets and weddings are occasions when there are a large number of guests. This means a lot of crockery, cutlery and glass. The best way of acquiring these is to use a professional supplier of crockery such as Churchill Crockery. They have a large choice of ranges and you can easily buy the quantities you need.


European Deli

by Masha on January 5, 2011

A friend of mine recently told me about European Deli Russian food store in San Ramon. It opened in December 2009 and has gained recognition and good reputation among Russian population of East bay area and beyond. European Deli is conveniently located close to freeway in a little shopping center. It has an impressive collection of kolbasas (sausages) and cheeses as well as a multitude of other Russian traditional goodies. Here is an exert from their website:

“Welcome to to San Ramon’s best kept secret – European Deli. We went across Russia, Eastern and Western Europe searching for the finest meats, cheeses, breads, dairy and deserts you can find. Our shelves are full of uniquly delicios exeptionally fresh foods that only Europeans enjoyed.”

European Deli

2211 San Ramon Valley Blvd # F
San Ramon, CA 94583-1231
(925) 820-2053

Get directions

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Radzivill’s Pelmeni

by Masha on June 11, 2010

A couple of friends of mine started a home business of pelmeni (Russian dumplings) production. You can now order pelmeni in bay area and they will deliver right to your door! How convenient is that??!!

Here is some info from their Facebook Group page (Radzivill’s Pelmeni):

“Our Dear dumpling’s fans,

We now offer homemade Russia style dumplings made from the scratch.
We use only the best quality ingredients from the trusted seller.

You can order freshly made pork, pork/beef or chicken dumplings for the following prices:
One pound – $6.50
Two pounds – $12.50
Three pounds or more – $6 per pound

To place an order or schedule pick up time please call at 925 895 5098 or send an email to aljonushkab@yahoo.com
(we are located in south San Jose)

Free delivery for orders of 25 pounds or more!
(bay area only).”

Update: Radzivill’s Pelmeni are no longer in business.


Russia House Restaurant in Washington

by Masha on May 26, 2010

Russia House Restaurant and Lounge in Washington DC has a great selection of vodkas. That, however, is not the only positive about it. Russia House features extensive menu of home-made like Russian traditional dishes. I would recommend trying Chicken Kiev and the Duck Salad – my personal favorites. Russia House gets busy on Thursday – Saturday nights, so if you are planning to go there – call ahead to make a reservation. I found it on OpenTable.com as well:  http://www.opentable.com/russia-house

Russia House Restaurant and Lounge

1800 Connecticut Avenue Northwest
Washington, DC 20009-5704
(202) 234-9433


Liliana International

by Masha on May 19, 2010

I discovered this Russian souvenirs store by accident. A friend of mine asked me if I knew where she could fine Russian Matryoshka – a traditional Russian doll that consists of many dolls inside of each other. I did a quick search on Google and came across this store. Of course I had to check it out. Although it is not a Russian food store, I thought it would be worth while to add it to my blog since I get quite a few inquiries from you, dear reader, about where to find Russian collectibles and souvenirs. Not just I found a whole variety of Matryoshkas for sale conveniently available online, but quite a few other Russian collectibles. For instance, the wooden figurines of Ded Moroz (equivalent of Santa Claus) reminded me of childhood; amber jewelry peaces are also very typical Russian jewelry.

Liliana International store also has a physical address in Cupertino, but I have not been able to verify that yet.

Here is the website: http://www.lilianainternational.com/


Nautilius Pompilius is San Francisco!!!

by Masha on January 23, 2010

I just could not resist writing about it. One of my favorite bands is Nautilius Pompilius. Their soloist – Vyacheslav Butusov – is coming to San Francisco in March (26th to be exact). Nautilius has been around for 25 years – the concert will be good – all the old good favorites will be remembered and performed to celebrate the anniversary and honor the band. A band called “U-Piter” will be performing alongside Butusov in Palace of Fine Arts at 7:30 pm on Friday, March 26th.

Here is the same info in Russian (also found on my Events page):

Пятница 26 Марта 2010
Palace of Fine Arts
San Francisco, CA

Вячеслав Бутусов и группа “Ю-Питер” представляют концертную программу “НауБУМ” посвященную 25-летию великой рок-группы “Наутилус Помпилиус”.

Преданные поклонники творчества легандарной группы смогут в этот день вспомнить прежние времена и порадоваться новому прочтению любимых хитов. Среди реанимированных песен будут “Шар цвета хаки”, “Титаник”, “Крылья”, “Я хочу быть с тобой” и многие другие хиты.

You can buy tickets at ZZgor.com . I don’t think they will last long, so you better hurry icon wink Nautilius Pompilius is San Francisco!!!


BZ Bee – The Come Back

by Masha on January 21, 2010

I can’t help but write again about BZ Bee Russian food market in San Mateo. This is now my go-to shop to fulfill my Russian food cravings. I go to BZ Bee at least once a week these days. Every time I go find what I am looking for – fresh Russian bread, neatly cut Olivie salad, or whatever else I could possible want that day. BZ Bee is conveniently located on El Camino Real close to 92.

BZ Bee Market
2322 South El Camino Real
San Mateo, CA
(650) 627-9303
Open Weekdays 11am-8pm;
Sat 11am-7pm; Sun 11am-6pm


Golden Grain Russian Groceries and Deli

January 21, 2010

I have previously wrote about Russian General Store in Houston. Thanks to your, my dear readers, recommendations in response to that post, I have decided to check out Golden Grain Russian Groceries and Deli in Houston, TX. I was pleasantly surprised by this store. Very good selection, fresh meats, produce, and baked products left me [...]

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Gold International Bakery

July 16, 2009

Thank you, Laura, for sending me a comprehensive list of Russian stores and restaurants in Detroit area! This was very helpful for my research. I have found some information on Gold International Bakery on Ten Mile. If you are looking for an authentic Russian treat – this is the place to check out. Gold International [...]

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Babushka’s Deli

July 16, 2009

Natalya from Indianapolis recommended me Babushka’s Deli store in Indianapolis. I found mixed reviews about this store. Some people say that they find everything they need in this store, but others happened to get some spoiled products from here. Come to think about it, every store will have something that expired on the back of [...]

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Russian Chocolate Bakery

April 6, 2009

Russian Chocolate Bakery in Sacramento area is a cozy bakery store I recently visited. They have a variety of Russian deserts and chocolates that you just cannot miss. Here is some history on this store from the owner himself: “Russian Chocolate Confectionary/Bakery was created in 2000. Russian Chocolate is the biggest Russian Bakery in Sacramento [...]

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Gastronom Kiev (Fremont Liquor & European Grocery)

January 26, 2009

Looking for Russian food and groceries in Fremont? Thanks to you, the reader, I have recently found out about another Russian supermarket in East Bay. I have lived in Fremont for some time and still visit it pretty often, but I have never heard about Gastronom Kiev before (also referred to as Fremont Liquor & [...]

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