I’m spending Labor Day weekend with Aunt Kelly in Boston, where the weather has been outstanding and every other person on the street speaks Russian. Since I’ve been to Boston many times before, we’ve been mostly shunning tourist activities in favor of eating. I wanted to eat all the ethnic food that St. Petersburg doesn’t have or Russifies too much. Yes, I know that international food in the U.S. is adapted for American tastebuds and not necessarily authentic either, but that’s what I grew up with, and Indian and Mexican food with copious amounts of dill in is just wrong.
We met up with fellow blogger Wally Shedd of The Accidental Russophile and his family. We went to Stoli. Maybe it was silly for me to eat Russian food while here, but for everyone else it was an unusual treat, and it seemed appropriate to meet at a Russian place. The borsch and vareniki were pretty good, and everyone else seemed happy with their food as well. The service was a bit weird (and sexist) but I suppose I could recommend Stoli for Russophiles in the Boston area.
OK, on the positive reverse culture shock front, I had forgotten just how friendly and helpful salespeople and waitstaff are here. I can understand how Europeans coming to the U.S. can find it overwhelming and fake, but I don’t really think it’s fake, just kind of exaggerated, and I think all parties involved tend to have a sense of humor about it. Our waiter at Tapeo last night, “Gordon”, was certainly over-the-top, but it was funny.