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Tex-Mex, Russ-Mex

June 1, 2014


Ла Кантина (La Cantina) is located on Тверская Улица (Tverskaya Street) just north of Red Square.  This café and bar features Мексиканская Кухня (Mexican cuisine). It’s been there for nearly 20 years.   It’s not a half-mile from Lenin’s Tomb. I wonder if he’s pleased?  In “Mastering the Art of Soviet Cooking,” Anya von Bremzen writes “Lenin qua Lenin ate humbly.  Conveniently, his wife, Krupskaya, was a lousy cook.”

Mexican food is popular in Russia and in eastern Europe. You can buy bean burritos at kiosks at many Moscow metro stations, and there are even a couple Taco Bell franchises in Moscow. Unlike Taco Bell, however, la Cantina and the other restaurants I mention in this blog are local and reflect the experience and taste of their owners and chefs. I took these photographs on my travels.


The Текила Хаус (Tequila House) in Kiev, Ukraine. The décor, table settings, and food here are the most authentic of all these restaurants. Even Corona longnecks were available.

kovboj 2    kovboj

Also in Kiev is the Ковбой (Cowboy) Dance Hall and Saloon. The sign on the left promises “fine relaxation” and invites you to “stop in and dance.” The sign on the right reads “we invite you to come in and unwind.”

texas grill   armadillo

The Texas Grill Étterem (Restaurant), also known as the Wise Owl Restaurant in Budapest, Hungary, is on the left.  On the right is one of my favorites, the Armadillo Baras in Vilnius, Lithuania. It featured Teks-Meks Virtuvė (Tex-Mex cuisine) and Biliardinė (needs no explanation). Vilnius was full of surprises, including an excellent Japanese restaurant with authentic tempura and a monument to Frank Zappa. Yes, Frank Zappa. No, he was not Lithuanian.


When I worked in Minsk I would take day trips to Vilnius on the train to do European grocery shopping and to enjoy western amenities. Belarus had (and still has) a socialist command economy that offered few luxuries.



From → Food, Moscow

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