A perfect Brooklyn day
The day started off at Totonno's in Coney Island. It was my second time there this summer, and in fact, ever! Oda and DMR had both been before, but Nellie and Jimbo popped their Totonno's cherry. It was also Little Henry's first visit, but he's still trying to master pureed foods so no pizza for him! Our group had to wait about 10 minutes outside as we arrived before doors even opened but that meant we got the first pie of the day! They were not quite as delicious as I recalled my first taste of Totonno's, but pretty close.
Then it was off to catch the Cyclones take on the Staten Island Yankees. But first, I took a quick side trip to Nathan's to grab a hot dog. Well, I thought it would be quick when I took my place on line and saw there were only 4 or 5 patrons in front of me. In a cruel twist of fate, the cashier turned out to be a moron. She was incredibly slow and then she disappeared for 10 minutes! She just walked way from her register and couldn't be found. We tried to flag down managers and assistant managers to find her, but nobody could (or care less, actually). Finally, she reappeared and she did a crappy job of putting together my very basic dog with sauerkraut and onions. I lost 30 minutes of my life to get hot dog in a wet bun. Sigh.
At the Cyclones game, I had tons of water and a lemonade to keep myself hydrated. By sheer coincidence, members of the Sweet Meats, our bocce rivals (well, can you call it a rivalry when you have never beat a team?) were seated next to us.
Then it was off to Avenue U in Bensonhurst to stuff our faces at and with Russian Style Ravioli! We had to split up into two tables as our crew had grown in number since Totonno's and the restaurant denied us the VIP section up front. DMR and I shared a table with Anne and Alex and we began with a pitcher of kompot, a non-carbonated, non-alchoholic drink made with cherries. Tasty, but it was not very cold and a few ice cubes in our glass would have really upped the ante.
Anne and Alex went with a couple variations on pelmeni (Siberian and chicken) and an order of fried cabbage vareniki. Dan and I ordered potato vareniki, Siberian pelmeni and a beef stroganoff (with a choice of kasha or potatoes, we picked the latter).
The vareniki and pelmeni portions at Russian Style Ravioli are huge and super cheap - less than $5 for an order. Did you know that there is a pelmeni eating record? Dale Boone ate 274 of them in just six minutes. He deserves a round of applause.
Potato vereniki served with intensely caramelized onion bits. They need to add the onions as a side dish.
Siberian pelmeni, simply prepared and served. What can I say, I love any sort of dumpling. Dump 'em into a bowl, give me a fork or spoon and get outta my way.
The stroganoff was served in a bread bowl! It was like the most delicious, rich, creamy chowder ever, with a bounty of tender beef strips and vegetables. Anne abstained, but Alex, Dan and I all put in solid efforts.