Yesterday - I had a training class scheduled deep in the heart of St. Paul - which was quite a pleasant surprise because I had been trying to get together for lunch with my long time friend Lisa from ManyThingsDoNotFly.
For those of you who are not familiar with my friend Lisa, or her recent 'adventures' - be sure to make a quick stop HERE for a BRIEF summary.
Lisa had just started a new job and was getting off work the same time my class ended - and we were not going to be far from each other - so we agreed to meet for lunch! I let Lisa choose the location, and when I got out of class I had contacted her to see where we were going to meet.
The Russian Tea House (no website of their own - Link to a Google summary with reviews, etc)
The Russian Tea House was only a couple of blocks (.65 miles) from where I was at. I met Lisa in the lot, and we headed in. It was a very unique and interesting place! The building is a HOUSE, a century old house to be exact! Once in the door - there is a small lobby / window where you place your order. The limited menu is displayed on a large board (with photos of each of the items). Monday through Thursday - the only "entree" item they serve is Pel'Meni. (Don't ask, click the link)
Lisa Ordered first - she had the Balsamic vinaigrette & hot mustard with sour cream Pel'Meni - while I ordered a split plate of Russian hot mustard with sour cream (minus the Balsamic vinaigrette) Pel'Meni, and a bowl of Pel'Meni in Chicken broth with sour cream. Neither of us having ever tried it before, we ordered a bowl of Borscht to share. We added a chocolate poppy seed roll, an order of Russian tea cakes, and (since it was a "Tea House" after all) teas.
If you choose to eat in (as we did) you walk up a flight of stairs to an upper level of the house where they have a very quaint and welcoming eating area set up. I didn't really count, but I would guess they had half a dozen tables set up.
It was a delightful setting for spending some time catching up with an old friend.
Two hours, an awful lot of hot mustard (and Balsamic vinaigrette), one GIANT chocolate poppy seed roll, a few tea cakes, (and what seemed like an unusually high number of napkins on one side of the table) later - it was time to head home.
During lunch we were able to catch up on our families, her new job, and we talked a little bit about my job - but by in large, I was very interested in hearing the story of her "adventures" first hand... Truly shocking and amazing to say the least!
If you are interested, I’m providing some links back to ManyThingsDoNotFly where Lisa does an AMAZING job at sharing her experiences before, during and after the Chile Earthquake of 2010. Give them a try, you won’t be disappointed – she is an amazing writer!
Santiago (Pre-Quake - posted Feb. 19th, 2010)
(The Earthquake struck on Feb.27th, 2010 at apx 0300 hours)
Chile: Part Two (which was her first post-quake post apx 16 hours after the quake hit)
The afternoon was delightful! It was so much fun trying something new, and being able catch up with Lisa! I am grateful, blessed, and thankful to be able to count her among my truest and closest of friends!