Monday, November 13, 2006

Russian Festival

I'm still a little astounded at the less-than-inspiring food at the Maryland Irish Festival this past weekend. It was MUCH bigger than the one in Canton a few months ago, but the food at that one was, actually, better. Involvement of local Baltimore pubs is probably what made the food so much better; this festival seemed like just one big corporate-sponsored washout with mediocre food. Not that this is a reflection on Timonium's An Poitín Stil - I ran out of money before I could try their grub.

So as I was loading the photos from my camera onto my computer, I found pics not just from this festival (and a wild Halloween party the other week) but from Baltimore's Russian Festival, held this past October 20-22 at the Holy Trinity Russian Orthodox Church, near Kennedy Krieger.

I am quite unfamiliar with Russian food, so this was an experience. It, too, was crowded, but not in an obnoxious way - Baltimore Irish Festival-size crowd, not Maryland Irish Festival-size. The performers played on a stage under a long, narrow tented area with lots of food sellers. One had beer, the rest had delicious food. I ordered a bowl of halushki (noodles and cabbage, which I had tried at the Polish Festival earlier in the ) for $2 and kept looking around. Despite my ignorance, I saw some familiar words - borscht for one - and some semi-familiar ones - blinchiki, which I reasoned was a type of blintz.

I put these in the back of my mind and headed into the church hall. Another massive spread, with lots of tables, foods and gifts waited there. I started with what I supposed was the ladies' auxiliary. They had some delicious powerded cookies, very similar to Mexican wedding cookies, but the Russian name escapes me (OW! Here I am smacking myself for not writing it down. Nooo, I could remember the name of a cookie...) The cookies were 3 for $1, and likely went to support the church. I washed down the cookies with some Russian tea, which came with complimentary honey and jelly. I couldn't get over the idea of jelly floating in my tea, but I did put a heavy dollop of honey into it.

I enjoyed looking around the place, but was getting (yes) hungry again so I headed back outside for some blinchiki. These were indeed blintzes. I ordered two for $5 (one was $3) - one with little ham cubes and cheese, the other with sweet cheese, both wrapped in a tender crepe. These were good, with a little sour cream (urged onto me by the vendor). I left with these in tow, hoping that the massive Irish Festival in November would bring me more good eats.



verity said...

My schedule was mixed around that weekend. I'm a foodie too and when I saw that festival on the books I couldn't resist. Unfortunately something came up. I did however have a lovely meal at the Charleston that weekend!