These Republican primaries have been hilarious. I’ve never heard such ridiculous rhetoric in my life. But I’m no political writer. I eat Chicago’s best food then write about it for you to salivate all over your Internet.
However, with the word “communist” constantly ringing in my head, I thought it would be time to share an epic Russian meal from a downtown gem with more than a couple of brilliant dishes. Strap yourself in, because comrades, today we’re drinking and gorging at Russian Tea Time (77 E. Adams St.).
When most people think of Russian food, borscht is generally the first that comes to mind. And the borscht here is incredible, chock full of cabbage, carrots, onions, potatoes, and tomatoes. Add in some sour cream if you like. I do. You could easily have a bowl of this for an entire meal after browsing around SAIC or attending an event at Millennium Park, and it’s reasonably priced.
If you want to order an a la carte entree, make sure that you come hungry because these portions are huge. On one visit I ordered a dinner portion of beef stroganoff and asked the waiter to split the portion between me and my friend, then thought he made a mistake when my portion covered an entire normal-sized plate. Don’t get sticker shock over the $24 price tag because you’ve never had beef stroganoff this tender.
Of course if you want to get the full experience, you should bring a friend or three and order the full tea service. You’ll get a pot of house tea made with oolong and black currant blends, raisin scones served with fresh whipped cream and strawberry jam, various tea sandwiches like salmon/cream cheese/dill and reuben, and various sweets to end with. It’s all served on a multi-tiered tray for an extra bit of class. But wait — I haven’t even gotten to the booze yet. So about that…
A lot of places around town (especially Boystown) will carry house-infused vodka, but this place is much, much different. Black currant, coffee, jasmine, coriander, and even horseradish (my favorite!) are some of the house flavors you can sample here. You’ll get pickles (ask for extra) and dark rye along with instructions on the proper Russian way to drink vodka. Toast. Shoot. Sniff the bread. Eat a pickle. Speak Russian. Repeat ’til you’re face down in their amazing borscht. Thank me afterwards. Buy me a shot next time.