2302 El Cajon Blvd., San Diego, CA, USA
www.russiangeorgianfood.home… - 619-297-4007
Pectopah Pomegranate San Diego Reviews
Pectopah Pomegranate - Georgian Food Mar 05, 2008
Georgian food! No, not peach cobbler and grits... Georgian like former Soviet Republic Georgia! Also several Ukrainian and Russian dishes. It's something to try if you're in San Diego, it's a little different than anything I've tried, even in Russia.
This is a tiny, romantic little restaurant with delicious food. Nearly impossible to find, it's at the end of a block in a row of little shops. The food has Russian, Balkan and middle eastern influences. The bearded chef looks like a ships captain, but he's an excellent chef. The food's not just flavored with some herbs and spices, it's made of herbs and spices.
When you go in, there are usually a few scattered people eating, but it's "do you have reservation" "No..." [worried look, furrowed brow...] "let me check" [loudly checks with the owner, disappears into the back, then lots of conversing and negotiating...] "Ok, I think we can maybe seat you, if you don't mind this table here..." Of course no one else every comes in, it's just part of their routine, every time you go!
Check out some of the things we've tried:
We've tried a couple appetizers. Cheese Pie is a warm little pastry "pies" filled with slices of cheese and fresh tomato and vegetable slices. The cheese is slightly pungent and delicious, it's big enough to share with several people. The waiter will always kind of glance around, lower his voice "I can have the chef maybe make you a special platter, not on the menu, with a spoonfull of each Ukrainian and Georgian salad..." (they always have it) Get it if you have a lot of people eating. It's little portions of probably 10 great "salads" made of herbs, grains, vegetables... tastes you've never tasted before! All good.. Careful though, they don't tell you but it's like $30 or so, the pricing is very mysterious at times...
Check out the menu (link below). Here are some of the dishes I've tried:
Chakhokhbili - a chicken dish with all sorts of aromatic herbs and needs to be tried.
Sashlik - yogurt marinated pork or lamb barbecue you can sometimes get on weekends (try the lamb...)
Zharkoyie is my favorite, a vegetable and beef stew with dried fruit and spices, so savory you'll be sad when it's gone.
The stroganoff is the same way, you don't want it to end. The beef stroganoff has braised beef with a rich, creamy sauce finished with sour cream. Vegetable stroganoff didn't seem in any way related to stroganoff, but it's really good - I'd go with the beef.
This time we tried more deserts - chilled sour-cherry soup - very sour cherries in a reduced sweet cherry sauce. We understood what the waiter meant when he said it needed to be shared between several people, delicious, but too sour to eat a whole bowl yourself. Toad sweat ice cream! You'll have to order it to find out what it is, but I'll tell you that it's incredibly good and will leave you sweating and gulping icewater!
For some reason, a guy that looks like Lenin sits up on a platform at one end of the room and glares at you while you eat. The walls and ceiling are covered with messages written by travelers and past guests. There are big tree trunks in the dining room.
Two words of warning though: 1. they only take cash, bring a big pile! They happily send you next door to their friend's ATM with a 3 dollar charge when they let you know at the end; 2. if you have more than 2-3 people, the bill will come for some outrageous amount and you may have to negotiate! Let's see, five $12 meals and some beers... $245! After lots of of staring at scribbled Cyrillic order sheets and lots of haggling... "ok, $135, maybe we have some misunderstanding" Happens almost every time- that's how good it is, you go back anyway.
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