My friend Dick Dorsett and I stopped by the Café and the deli next door originally. The Café was closed, but looked interesting so my wife and I stopped by a few days later for lunch. A number of people asked questions about the Café and deli in person, via Facebook and the article – thesubtimes.com/2018/03/19/center-street-deli-market-restaurant-review/
Dick was disappointed he missed eating there, so the two of us and another friend of his just had to go. The Café is only open during the week. If you’re strapped for cash, come after five in the afternoon. They like to start fresh everyday, so after five the food is half-price.
The more we go there, the more we find out about the food and how the Café works. Language is a little difficult, but worth the slight struggle. Natasha runs the Café and is always smiling and friendly. The food is charged by the pound. Natasha meticulously weighs the plates and bowls and the weighs again with each different choice you ask for. It’s laid out in front of you buffet style, but she ladles it onto the plate. Dick ordered mashed potatoes and pork stew, but she gave him chicken and vegetables instead of stew. We’ve also learned to ask for bread to absorb the juices. You wouldn’t want to miss a morsel or a drop of broth. Dick didn’t complain.
Dick’s friend Van soon joined us for a bowl of borscht. Now we know we can get sour cream. I missed that the first time around even though I knew that’s the way it’s eaten. Slowly we are learning what to do and try . . . and ask for. I’ve had the borscht there before. It’s like a vegetable stew with beets. I don’t know that vegetarians would like this Café. I’m willing to bet that broth is the first ingredient in their soups, stews, and perhaps even their cooked vegetables. The dishes are meat and vegetables.
When I first tried the food I ordered piroshki, the popular little deep-fried delicacies filled with hamburger you can buy at the Puyallup Fair. The second time around I skip the fried stuff and go strait for the prepared dishes. Each time I’ve gone for lunch, strangers come in and look around. I make suggestions and they line up and order and find their own way to heaven.
For this lunch, I once again ordered the pork stew ($4.99 per pound) along with cooked vegetables and cabbage (both $3.99 per pound). The vegetables contained onions, carrots, and potatoes, of course, but also thick slices of mushrooms and long strips of red bell peppers. In addition I asked about the buckwheat ($2.99 per pound) and was given a sample to taste. I had a couple of spoonfuls and then dumped it right into the middle of my stew mix. It has a nutty flavor and a texture not unlike rice. Try it . . . I think you’ll like it. I’ve not found anything I didn’t like at the Little Europe Café.