Billing itself as a Multinational Delicatessen, the Center Street Deli Market grocery store and restaurant is a great place to shop. My wife and I stopped in for lunch. Language is a bit of a problem. I took Russian in high school because it was the language of the future. I quit after one semester, because it was harder than German. I went back to German.
Natasha, selling Russian food by the pound at the café took English about the same length of time. Spasiba is thank you, in Russian. In Russian letters it looks like “crunchbo” and in reality it means “may god save you.” Now, you know why I quit Russian. After many decades I’m left with only enough Russian to say, “I know nothing” and “I understand nothing.” Russians only need to look me in the eye to know all of this without me speaking at all.
There is a small counter in the café set up with two ladle-it-yourself crockpots. The choices were chicken soup and red borsht. Peg chose the red borsht. It tastes nothing like the borsht (beet soup) I had eaten before. I like beets, but this was more of a vegetable soup with meat. It was excellent. It wasn’t until after we had lunch that we saw that we could have had slices of think Russian bread to accompany the soup. Next time I’ll know.
There is also a counter with other goodies like potatoes, cabbage, wheat, buckwheat, and vegetables that can be added to a plate or bowl. You may also choose fish (swai), meatballs (pork & chicken), pork stew, or beef stew. I chose a bowl of pork stew.
Natasha loaded up a bowl for me with a spoon for weighing and then added extra broth so I wouldn’t be charged at the same price as the pork. Peg and I took our food to a table and then watched a couple other people come in. A young man didn’t like an answer and left, an older man had a bowl of soup and the thick slices of bread I mentioned earlier. Too quickly my pork stew was gone. The broth was excellent! I think the red borsht had a base of the broth, also. I drank the broth and juices from both bowls. I will return . . . probably numerous times.
We thanked Natasha and went next door to the deli grocery store. With eyes wide open we walked the aisles – spying lots of things to buy and try. We were just going to scout it out, but we ended up seeing an old friend, Doctor Mary, who was the physician in charge of our free Rotary clinic at Pacific Lutheran University. She has been shopping here for years. There are fresh vegetables, cured meat and fish as well as baked breads and cakes. We bought some canned eggplant and tomato sauce for pasta, fried pies (the cabbage piroshky!!!), and a slice of multi-flavored cake. We will return. Soon . . . or sooner.