I enjoyed a late lunch at Saint Petersburg’s Zoom Cafe after a long day of sightseeing on Russia’s favorite holiday, Victory Day. The restaurant is a local favorite and Lonely Planet raves so be sure to bring your patience as there is always a line. The staff speak English, the menu is lengthy and features local specialties as well as dishes the Chef has had the opportunity to discover when traveling around the globe. After waiting for 30 minutes (and my lord I was going to fall over and faint if I didn’t eat soon) I was offered a seat in their smoking section. So odd, I couldn’t remember the last time I was in a country where smoking inside a restaurant was prohibited. Alas, this was Russia so I grabbed my bag, plopped myself in my seat, scanned the menu and tried desperately to breath through my linen napkin.
I ordered with my smiling server (an attribute one notices when frowns and mute glazes are the norm in Russia) and gulped down my lemon flavoured beer which was a perfect thirst quencher. I stared out at the restaurant which was full of young locals munching and sipping on their meals. The space is very bohemian and even offers a menu of board games to encourage people to hang out and get comfortable.
I made a point of ordering one of my favorite dishes, beef stroganoff which paired nicely with crispy potato pancakes and thick sour cream. So nice to stretch your legs after a long day and fill up on hearty grub.
Redd’s Lemon Beer
Potato Pancakes with Sour Cream