The facade of this Russian deli had caught my eye many times when driving this section of Geary. On Tuesday I was on foot and finally noticed the name of the business written in English on the window. Stepping inside, I was bathed by the aromas of fresh baking. Unlike many of the Russian shops and delis along this strip, Gastronom makes its own baked goods and they're arrayed in big trays on top of the display cases. I pointed to a warm rectangular pastry that was oozing fruity red jam and asked what it was. "Cherry cheese, two dollars", was the reply. I decided to try one, and when I forked over the money to the cashier, asked if there was a Russian name for it. "Hehe, we just call it cherry cheese, no other name", she answered.
At home I cut it open and found a near solid bar of sweetened farmers cheese nestled next to a bright band of sour cherry preserves. These were encased in layers of flaky pastry glistening from a sugary egg-wash. It's quite substantial and a goodie --- recommended.