Columnist Dinner and a Movie

Dinner and a Movie

‘Euro Deli & Market’ a Scrumptious Array of Foods

By Teri Bayus

Having just returned from the culinary wonderland of Europe, I was longing for a place to enjoy lunch at a leisurely “European” pace, enjoying a Turkish coffee.

I found my slice of European delight right here in Arroyo Grande and now they are having a hard time getting me to leave.

Enjoying “Euro Deli & Market” is a multi-ethnic endeavor; a “Mom and Pop” shop like the ones on every corner in France and England; and offering of a plethora of amazing foodstuffs from the homelands and fresh made dishes and soups.

On my first visit, I met Lana the engaging owner, who served remarkable Turkish coffee, served in a China cup and saucer, 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.

When I was done, she read my coffee grinds and gave me a wonderful fortune. She also had a plethora of open items for us to sample.

Her Russian Chef, Tolya, brought out 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 sandwiches my Nana made with the touch of love. I had it with the Borscht soup, something that I hadn’t had since I was in my great-grandma’s kitchen.

Hearty and chock full of cabbage, potatoes, 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.

On my next visit, I took a chef. 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 a 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 was cut thick and served on rye bread. And it was intense and enjoyable.

The soup was vegetarian with kale, potatoes, turnips, carrots, tomatoes and kidney beans, and again, it was a symphony of flavors.

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

You can gather any of the amazing varieties 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 Eastern 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 kinds of exotic flavors, teas, and syrups (my chef friend found a pomegranate syrup she had been hunting for years).

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

Lana and husband, Chuck, with the Russian Chef Toyla, are taking real pride in providing a rare treat for us Americans, by sharing with us foods that 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.

 

‘The Book Club,’ A Passionate, Funny Romp

Books are a medium for the imagination; a collection of thoughts and ideas to motivate; and, even more so, a springboard for Hollywood movies.

This takes both elements and shows how the power of words (even insipid ones) can make a change in people’s life.

In “The Book Club,” a set of older women read the book, “Fifty Shades of Grey,” and the movie chronicles their reaction to it.

The Book Club stars Jane Fonda, Diane Keaton, Candice Bergen, and Mary Steenbergen. The supporting cast includes Andy Garcia, Don Johnson, Richard Dreyfuss, and Alicia Silverstone — a plethora of talent and longevity.

I enjoyed the cast and you could tell they all relished making the movie. This films biggest positive is the cast. The actors have a really good chemistry that flows well.

The plot: Four middle-aged women have a book club that meets once a month to discuss a book. They read Fifty Shades of Grey and decide to explore their sexual sides.

Keaton plays a widow who meets a great guy (Garcia) but her adult children control her.

Fonda uses men for sex only until she meets an old flame (Johnson). Bergen can’t seem to let go of her husband, who divorced her 18-years ago.

Steenburgen has been happily married for 35 years, but they don’t have sex anymore. Each goes on their own path to awaken the passion inside them. It is poignant and funny.

Four great actresses paired with four great actors made for a worthy movie. Many of the scenes are about the reality of life in the senior years.

The writing is strong with good comebacks for all the characters.

It is a real movie; the four women look back at their lives and try to figure out the ways to make things more interesting.

Just as their families have changed — they decide to change theirs too. It’s a PG-13 romp that was funny if you are a woman of a certain age.

The moral of the story is to not let go of our passionate side. I agree with that!

Teri Bayus can be seeing on Taste Buds a Culinary TV show of Charter Channel 2, KSBY and The CW and her culinary erotica novel, Consumed is available on Amazon.  Lets all get Consumed! http://amzn.to/1jFEeQH. Dinner and a Movie is a regular feature of Simply Clear Marketing & Media.

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