Columnist Dinner and a Movie

Dinner and a Movie

Enjoy Euro Deli & Market, a Scrumptious Array of Foods

By Teri Bayus

Having just returned from the culinary wonder that is Europe, I was longing for a place to enjoy my lunch at a leisurely “France-like” pace, enjoying a Turkish coffee.

I found my slice of European delight right here in Arroyo Grande. Now they are having a hard time getting me to leave. Enjoy Euro Deli & Market is a multi-ethnic endeavor, a mom and pop shop like the ones that litter every corner in France and England.

An offering is made of a plethora of unusual foodstuffs from the homelands and fresh made dishes and soups.

My first trip I met the engaging owner, Lana, who served remarkable Turkish coffee. Served in a china cup with a saucer, and I knew that this was my nirvana.

She knew most of the people coming in the door and offered suggestions to those with new, smiling faces. She is a delightful Ukrainian lady, taking care to help all of us through the unusual, but comforting food. She had a plethora of open items for us to sample. Then she read my coffee grinds, and I was delighted to know someone with so much wit and wisdom.

Her Russian chef, Tolya, brought me the first items we ordered a smoked salmon sandwich that had both smoked and salted salmon on buttered white bread with capers, Havarti cheese, lettuce, and onions. It was delectable and reminded me of the sandwiches my Nana made with a touch of love.

I had it with the Borscht soup, which I hadn’t had since I was in my great grandma’s kitchen. Hearty and chock full of cabbage, potato, onions, carrots, beets, and garlic, a memory in my taste buds. Gary started with six offerings from the dessert case — none too sweet, all very authentic.

He tried Baklava, cheesecake covered with sour cherry preserves, Tiramisu, Bureka, Tajik and a bird’s milk cake. He was astonished at the freshness and different flavors that made our earlier donut run feel like a culinary crime.

Then he had the Estonia salami sandwich, served on dense rye bread with Lithuanian cheese, a subtle vegetable spread, and mustard and fresh greens. He loved every bite.

I took a chef on my next visit. She was blown away at the authenticity of this Euro deli. We started with the Bureka that are bite-sized filo dough stuffed with feta cheese. I grabbed a Russian soda from the fridge and adored the salty goodness.

I ordered the Schnitzel and pilaf. Served on fine china this deep-fried pork steak was pounded and breaded with rye bread crumbs and covered in delectable gravy. Served with wild rice pilaf and a fresh salad, this was flawless comfort food (and there was enough to have some for dinner too).

My friend had the Mortadella sandwich and a bowl of Portuguese soup called, Cale Verde. The Mortadella pork hash with pistachios cut thick and served on rye bread; it was intense and enjoyable. The soup was a vegetarian with kale, potato, turnips, carrots, tomatoes, and kidney beans, again a symphony of flavors.

The daily specials abound including homemade Borscht on Saturdays and diversity of soups and foods including stuffed cabbages, sausages, spaetzle, Schnitzel, and sides of fresh salads, mashed potatoes and more.

You can gather any of the fantastic variety of sausages from the display and have a custom-made sandwich or wrap. They have many to choose from including Bratwurst, German, Hungarian, Polish, and Slovak sausages, Russian salami, blood sausage, liverwurst, and more East European meats.

Other items in the “grocery” section include Kielbasa, summer sausage, smoked fish, Ukrainian cheese, Russian yogurts, and all kinds of candies. They offer all sorts of exotic flavors, teas, and syrups (my chef friend found a pomegranate syrup she had been hunting for years).

But the loaves of bread are my favorite grocery find. These are dense German and Russian loaves, filled with pumpkin seeds and real wheat among other things. I’m here to tell you that once you sample these loaves of bread you will never call Wonder Bread anything except cardboard.

Lana and her husband, Chuck, and all the U.N. of culinary delight employees take real pride in providing a rare treat along with foods that are in most of our histories and should be part of our table today. Enjoy Euro Deli & Market, a true mom and pop endeavor where a scrumptious array of foods from Russia, Ukraine, Hungary, Germany and Greece all offered at sensible prices.

They are located at 1436 E Grand Ave., in Arroyo Grande; call them at (805) 481-1998. Open daily 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.

‘Simple Favor’ A Funny, Suspenseful, Martini Movie

Please do me a “Simple Favor” and go see this movie! It was funny, suspenseful and what had the special magic we look for in a darkened theater.

In the vein of Gillian Flynn/David Fincher’s “Gone Girl” comes another vanishing-woman mystery. This latest is based on Darcey Bell’s novel (screenplay by Jessica Sharzer), only this time the most significant twist comes with the selection of Paul Feig as director, best known for Bridesmaids, tackles a whodunit.

It is rare to watch two genres getting mushed into one and still work. A Simple Favor took the thriller genre and subtly added comedy. I believe it works better because of the perfect casting of Anna Kendrick and Blake Lively. Both girls nailed the part, and their chemistry is palpable.

The plot — neurotic mommy, Vlogger Stephanie (Anna Kendrick), is a widowed mother to a young son, and she’s the overly perky and perfect mom that causes other parents to get snarky behind her back. She’s also so desperate for human connection that she’s willing to befriend Emily (Blake Lively), the martini-guzzling fashion industry executive who is a hands-off mother. We all know that martinis and play dates shouldn’t be mixed, but what is the fun in that?

Stephanie and Emily share dark, personal secrets. Emily discusses the financial woes she and her husband Sean (Henry Golding) are experiencing, even though they live in an ultra-modern mansion. He had success with his first novel but has been hit with writer’s block since marrying Emily.

As the two ladies bond, we get the feeling that Emily is playing some type of game with the always-cheerful Stephanie, though to what end we aren’t sure. One day, Stephanie does Emily a favor and then Emily disappears without a trace or word. Stephanie users her Vlog as a tool in her amateur sleuthing.

It’s tough enough to pull off a mystery, but a mystery-comedy is nearly the unicorn of cinema. Director Feig is at his best in the comedic moments. But there was no downside to this film. A Simple Favor is witty and twisty and one to sneak a thermos of martini’s into the movies to watch with girlfriends.

Teri Bayus is the Host of Taste Buds, shown on Charter Cable Ch. 10 and on Central Coast Now TV. Teri’s culinary erotic book, “Consumed,” is available at: www.amazon.com/Consumed-Teri-Bayus-ebook/dp/B016DW85PA. Dinner and a Movie is a regular feature of Simply Clear Marketing & Media.

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