Feb 16, 2011

Soup and potatoes and vodka, oh my!

My first night in Ukraine we went to an authentic Ukrainian restaurant and I don't know if it was just because it was my first evening in the country, (or that I was really hungry and would have loved anything!), but oh my gosh the food was amazing. I fell in love with Ukraine that night...right in this restaurant.
We started dinner with a traditional shot of Ukrainian vodka. Just take a minute to let that soak in. Ukrainian vodka. I have half a glass of wine and I'm done. Vodka like this? Yeah.

We were told how the locals do it - they take the shot, then eat the bread and cheese (what's on the toothpick in the picture below). I knew if I sipped this, there was no way I would get it down so I just tossed back the shot and ate the bread.
Holy shit. I immediately coughed, my face was warm, my eyes started watering, and it was a good ten minutes before my throat stopped burning. I think it might have put a little hair on my chest. I mean wow! (However, I thoroughly impressed all the guys at the table, and it was brought up several times later in the week!)
I chased it with water, but it didn't exactly have the soothing effect I was hoping for.

For dinner I tried two new dishes which are now two of my favorites. Bourscht, a lovely soup....
...and Vareniki, which is dough (think like ravioli) with your choice of what's in the middle. You can have mushrooms, chicken, cherries, but my favorite? Potatoes. Oh, I could eat it every day.
It was a great first night - and a lovely way to be introduced to Ukraine!
This is what satisfied (and cold!) looks like!

Have you ever thought the first night in a new place is the best? Have you ever tried Bourscht or Vareniki? I'm seriously, drooling just thinking about them again!

(Hey...have you voted for Ben yet? Hurry! Only a day left for voting! And then jump over to my giveaway and let me know you did for extra entries!!!)


Diana Mieczan said...

OMG that food looks fantastic. You are making me all hungry:) Kisses, my dear

Ps: I’m hosting an adorable shoes GIVEAWAY later today! Just in time for spring!

Gracie said...

I love borscht, but David won't eat beets (LOSER). That restaurant looks so cozy and old-world!

Mandy said...

Ah! So glad to hear that you enjoyed the dinner. I laughed when I read the part about the shot. I can so imagine you just tossing it back. You rock lady.

Alison Kinsey said...

ahh, i haven't been over to your blog in a little while so i think i missed the memo that you were going to Ukraine! how exciting!!!
did that shot get you a little tipsy?!!
that's funny though that they use the bread and cheese as a chaser. it's hard for me to take shots straight. that soup looks yummy!

Amber said...

Awesome! I've never tried borscht but I've heard of it lots before and my friend had it out once, it was very pink! Lol!

That is HILARIOUS about the shot ;)

Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

I am impressed that you did the shot of Vodka! When in Rome, right? My friend Yulia is from Russia and she said they really drink that like it's water over there. ;) I have had borscht and I love it. It's so yummy!

Suburban Sweetheart said...

Yum! Sounds like fun. I don't like borscht very much, but potato vareniki sounds amazing!

Stevie said...

Borscht is so yummy! I love anything with beets.

I've had a lot of Russian food, which is pretty similar to Ukrainian food I believe, and it is all so tasty. Even the vodka!

What an amazing experience this must've been for you. Can't wait to hear more!

Sarah Jio said...

Becky! I'm so jealous about your trip! What fun! Living vicariously through you, you fun world traveler, you, as I'm recovering from the birth of a baby and feel that I may never travel again! OK, maybe I'm being a leetle bit dramatic. :) Hope you're feeling better! xo

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