The rye was too warm to run through the slicer and they put it in a paper bag because the plastic bag might melt. Of course, I immediately broke off a chuck in the car. It was a medium rye with a not overly thick crust that was dusted with flour. The type of rye that goes good with a bowl of soup.
I finally made it to Russian Family Bakery & Deli and learned they opened a bistro next door about a year ago. The bakery/deli has been at this location for eight years.
The bistro is modern looking and inviting, with pale yellow walls and light wood floors. One wall is a huge photo of forest during autumn. There is a museum like display of Russian shawls, wooden boxes and plates.
The have Mr. Espresso coffee. I am no fan of Russian bakery items, but these are great. I had the best cheese squares, the sweet farmers cheese still warm and enclosed in a yeasty pastry. A similar pastry was called Winter Garden apples, raisins and apricots in sweet dough. They have some great looking pound cakes.
There are three Eastern European beers on tap and about 20 in the bottle.
The menu says one of the house specials is syrniki, sweet cheese fritters served with yogurt dressing.
For soup they have Ukrainian borscht, mushroom barley and rassolnik (chicken rice, dill pickles, onion, dill & potato).
One dish I havent seen before was the chakhokhbily chicken (whew). It is Georgian style stewed chicken with basil, cilantro, onions and spices. Who knew Russians used cilantro.
Zrazi is a potato patty stuffed with ground beef and served with mushroom sauce. The usual dumplings and crepes were available. They also had beef stroganoff.
I wasnt up for a piroski, but they looked great.
I went over to the deli and took home an order of the stuffed cabbage which was a nice savory version with a fresh stewed tomato sauce and dill.
It is a very clean and organized deli, with a nice selection of cold cuts and sausages. There was this huge, curved bologna in a natural casing that looked great. They had two kielbasas, one from Chicago and one from New Jersey. Lovely little deli salads and dishes. There was an interesting selection of vodkas and liquors, one with honey & peppers.
Of course there was a dairy selection. Like the restaurant, the deli was modern looking and didnt look foreign or crammed with strange items. Bi-rite in SF looked shabby and disorganized compared to this place.
It is nice to have a few Eastern European restaurants and stores that are so up to date. The staff speaks excellent English too. This is the best Russian Deli Ive visited to date.
Russian Family Bakery & Deli
Russian Family Bistro
719 Camino Plz
San Bruno, CA 94066-3401
It is in the plaza on El Camino and San Bruno Avenue.
Monday Saturday: 10 am 8 pm