PIROGI is all grown up – WELCOME to Na Stretenke

19 Oct

Same menu, bigger rooms, less smoky, nicer staff … This is Pirogi next generation, same prices, different atmosphere. It’s a great place to hang out, although it’s constantly packed. There are 2 distinct sides to the left and the right of the stairs leading down from the entrance. NON SMOKERS go left, people with dirty habits go right. To be honest, the ceiling is so high, non smokers can quite happily converse with the evil-minded counterparts without burning their corneas or catching lung cancer.

There are a mixture of the traditional wooden seats and alcove like seats in the higher section, as well as a real bar! Yes, you remember those ones back home, where you can actually sit and drink without being shoved from side to side by people desperate for a drink? Indeed you can actually sit there AND have a decent conversation AND have the best service in the house, the bar staff are more “on it”.

They host concerts and dj nights, and it is not unusual to see a bride wandering about looking for the WC. The concerts and weddings are all hosted in the non smoking section, though I do recommend seeking out a table at the complete back of the smokers section due to the over enthusiasm of the bar’s sound engineer. Sit anywhere else and you might as well be having a conversation on a construction site.

Food, again, the same as Pirogi at Kitai Gorod, in both choice, quality and servings. I still recommend their pies, which include a substantial serving of russian style pie and a selection of three salads, plenty of food and not too greasy. Soups are good, the borsch was a bit watery, but the home-made pelmeni is a meal in itself, as is the red fish (if you have a small appetite, rugby players be warned). Main courses can vary in quality, I know certain aficionados of the carbonara and beef stroganoff, to a point where they don’t even feel the need to look at the menu. Avoid steak and salmon steak, the former was rubbery and over cooked and the latter was good but swimming in fat… Reasonable vegetarian menu, especially by russian standards, check out the weight though to have an idea of how much. For example the stuffed cabbage rolls are excellent, but are worth like half a meal. They also hide some soups in there, so check it out, because you might miss out.

Drink, same menu, I still recommend the home-brew beers, very decently priced and I haven’t been disappointed yet. They now have a dark English beer on tap too. Avoid the red wine served per glass, unless you are desperate for one, like me. It’s watery with a distinctive fruity taste (not dissimilar to home-brewed bulgarian wine …) and they only fill half a glass. They have a decent bottle of French wine going which is second cheapest on the menu, expect to pay minimum 650 rubles though.

In conclusion, this is our favourite little Pirogi all grown up. No longer an adolescent, this Pirogi has higher standards and higher expectations. Better seating, better staff, same prices, excellent for after work drinks during the week, working during the day, stumbling into for breakfast after a night out. So the choice is really up to you – feeling rock n roll? go to Kitai Gorod – feeling like a parisian artist in need of chic? Go to Na Strenka

Free internet, ask for the password (pronounced parol). 5mins from Sukharevskaya going towards Chistie Prudy metro. Leave the metro by the first exit on your right, turn right at the doors at the top of the steps and go straight on. Walk straight through the line of kiosks (you’ll see a Mc Donalds on the other side of the road) and keep on for about 5min, there is a fancy Calving Klein shop, it is just after that.

Follow this link to the address and What’s On? section : http://www.ogipirogi.ru/

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