Sunday, January 31, 2010


Last night VT and I decided to check out Petrushka, a new Eastern European restaurant that just opened up between Pomegranate and Dao Son last night before heading up to Stone Brewery for a birthday celebration.  There was a guy manning the skewers of meat on the grill outside of Pomegranate.  My tummy growled in response.  What a great advertising technique. There was a long wait for Pomegranate as we walked by.  We got seated as soon as we walked into Petrushka.
The decor is very rustic trendy with a warm, welcoming feel.  Artisan lamps at every table.  The menu hinted that Petrushka was somehow related to Pomegranate, which serves Georgian-Russian dishes.  There are plenty of good vegetarian options on the menu that sounded so good that even carnivores like me would enjoy with out missing the meat.  Main dishes ranged from $10-20.
Our server made sure we knew that this was a cash only establishment as he filled our water glasses, which looked like a smaller version of mason jars, with ice water and lemon wedges.  When I asked if they had a drink menu, he replied: "Yes, that is me."  All 30 selections of Eastern European beers, California wine and Australian Malbec was stored inside his head.  Or so he claims.  I was tempted to ask him to list all the beers from light to dark.  As this thought entered my head, he started naming all the countries of beers they had.  That list alone overwhelmed me.  I told him I liked dark beer.  He started his detective work to figure out how dark by asking me if I wanted something like a stout or a porter.  Obolon Okcauumobe, the 5.3% Ukranian beer he recommended to me had a sweet, caramel malt flavor.  I wonder where I can get a whole case of this.
VT got what I think is called the Balkan coffee.  It seems more like an espresso drink than just coffee.  It came in a cute little metal pitcher and she was brought a little espresso cup and saucer.  It had a hint of sweetness and wasn't as bitter as regular espresso.  Very yummies.
We munched on some sweet and dense darkly colored pieces of bread and a mini loaf of soft white roll with a crusty outside that came with herbed butter.
VT was going for a sliced steak dish, but got talked into the chicken special instead.  I ordered a chicken dish that I couldn't pronounce.  A different server delivered our food and I think that he might have given me VT's dish and vice versas.  I got a plate that consisted of two skewers of seasoned ground chicken with couscous, savory tomato sauce and slices of green bell peppers.  VT got a plate of pita bread w/ a piece of skinless boneless fried chicken thigh (?) and thick slices of roasted red bell peppers sitting on a mix of green peppers and onions.  VT thought her chicken could have used more seasoning.  Since the piece of chicken from her plate that I tried was cooked to a golden brown on the outside and juicy on the inside, I thought a little salt and pepper would have saved it.  Or maybe the idea was to put a little of everything on the pita bread so that the flavors would be mixed together.

My chicken skewers were very flavorful and moist.  The only other time that I've had couscous was when I tried to make it from a box.  What I made tasted like cardboard.  Petrushka's couscous was much better.  It was seasoned with what looked like finely chopped dill and cilantro.  I felt fine afterwards, which leads me to believe that I was wrong about my dill allergy.
After about my second bite, I realized that the menu description of my dish included roast red bell peppers.  I mentioned to VT that I think we might have gotten each other's dishes, but she rejected my theory.  Since I was happy with what I ended up getting, I didn't disagree with her.
When I asked for a box, I got a styrofoam container.  The menu boasted the restaurant's sustainable food policy and I had expected one of those biodegradable to-go containers.  Other than that, the food, service and atmosphere was great.  On our way back to the car, the guys manning the grill outside of Pomegranate asked us what we got and what we thought of the food.  I still have yet to try Pomegranate, but this is becoming my favorite block in this town.

2312 El Cajon Blvd.
(between Louisiana St & Texas St)
San Diego, CA 92104

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