Friday, April 9, 2010

Almaty - "Once Upon a Time"

"жили-были" is Russian for "Once upon a time." (Literally, something like, "There lived, there was...") After arriving back on Furmanov Street in downtown Almaty, we saw a restaurant with this name. It looked very cute--a fairy-tale cottage in the woods, on an otherwise rather normal street--and we decided to eat there.

It was about 3 pm, and so the restaurant was mostly empty, but that was nice. We had the whole upstairs to ourselves. The theme was "Old-fashioned Russian cottage" and everything was made of wood (real or fake, I don't know.) There was a fake well on the second floor. The tables were large and grand--plenty of room in a booth for 3 people. The menu even was made of wood. A bear's skin hung on the wall.

They had an English menu as well as a Russian menu, which was wonderful. I ordered Sophia chicken nuggets arranged to look like a spider, she loved those! Rebeca, Alison, and I all ordered a kebab, which was quite delicious. For desert I had something whose English translation was "honey baking"--a baked apple with honey.

We spent a couple hours there, eating and talking. The girls played hide and seek. (It's nice to have a whole restaurant to yourself.) The only think out-of-place in this restaurant was the huge flat-screen TV, which I eventually turned off. It was showing an MTV-type station, complete with scantily-clad women bumping and grinding. Completely messing up the old-fashioned vibe of the place (plus, not something I wanted Sophia to be staring at!)


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