When I lived in Poland back in 1991, I loved the food. I was warned that the post-Soviet economy would mean line ups, inflated prices and scarcity. Nothing could be further from the truth for the experience I had in my Baltic resort city of Kolobrzeg. But even with the zap-shacks, bigos domovi, and one buck wild boar in a can there was nothing like the snacks you can apparently get in this bar in Moscow called Grossbir:
The beer snacks section is certainly not a typical assortment -- there are such dishes as prosciutto di Parma (130), Milano salami (130 rubles), ventricina pork sausages (120 rubles) and Spianata Romana salami (120 rubles). A mixed plate that includes all of the above along with green and black olives costs 670 rubles. A more traditional beer-snack selection is found under the hot snacks heading where there are calamari rings (180 rubles), onion rings (120 rubles), buffalo chicken wings (250 rubles), pork ribs (270 rubles) and the old Russian favorites, boiled prawns (230 rubles) and fried garlic rye bread (90 rubles). Naturally, there are bangers, including hunter's sausages, lamb and beef, pork and beef, pork and chicken with sun-dried tomatoes, all of which cost 360 rubles.Holy Moly! A bar where you can nibble on lamb sausages or fried rye. I could go on. Couldn't we all? It may be just the protein hog in the novice masters shot putter in me but aren't bar snacks some of our favorite, you know, snacks? Whether the braised lamb shoulder chops at the inn by the Brig O'Doon in Ayr, the cheap steamed mussels in Halifax taverns or that odd little grilled squid and cheese dish you could get at the state-owned diner back near the Polish Baltic coast, bar food actually constitutes about 87% of my fondest memories. Did I mention the smoked seafood chowder (as illustrated) at Three Dollar Dewey's in Portland, Maine? I did now.
I am not much of a sit-down formal eater as we, on one side of the family, "come from service" - meaning we were the cooks to the posh a couple generations ago. The traditions and skills have been passed meaning I've been more than once disappointed with something preceded with the adjective "gourmet" and am more comfortable with the cooking and the eating on the go . As a result, I have been caught on more than one occasion eating the main dish with a serving spoon before it got out to the table. Our guest understand that now. Good bar food is like that.