Baza is the Russian market to beat, says StriperGuy. How do the hounds love it? Let us count the ways:
* Baked goods are superb, particularly the rugelach, cabbage turnovers, cherry and cheese blintzes, and freshly baked bread.
* The selection of jams is vast, choice, and inexpensive. "I grabbed a 4 pound (yes 4#) jar of sour cherry jam there for $7 that was the best I've ever eaten. My Italian father in law, who knows from jam and makes his own, agreed," says StriperGuy.
* "Best selections of salami (mostly Eastern European) in Boston, period," says StriperGuy.
* A huge variety of Russian pelmeni. "I got some bear ones the other day—most badass lunch ever," says Prav. "'What'd you bring for lunch, Prav?' 'Oh, just some bear.'"
* Smoked fish is abundant, and great.
* Interesting prepared foods lurk behind the counter, such as the chicken livers stewed with onions procured by StriperGuy, and the duck legs with apples slavered over by Prav: "When they're done right, they're sooo tender and good! And cheap!"
* Lots of varieties of adjika, the Russian red pepper/tomato paste.
* A freezer case full of Russian treats. Prav recommends the chocolate-covered cheesecake bars. "Nom."
Plus, "randomly, they have a guy who will make you sushi rolls too," says Prav.
Baza [Metro West]
30 Tower Road, Newton