Randomness (r_ness) wrote,

Pelmeni XL

The day had started out sunny and clear, but by evening rush the skies were overcast. I realized as I was looking for dinner (often an adventure in a new town) what I really wanted was some comfort food. Thus, Pelmeni.

Pelmeni XL
Kalku iela 7
Riga, Latvia
tel: +371.722.27.28
daily 0900-0400

also Pelmeni Centrs
Audeju iela 16 (in the Centrs shopping center, entrance around the side on Valnu iela)
M-F 0800-2100
Sa-Su 1000-2100

Pelmeni XL and Centrs are cafeteria-style places serving a variety of pelmeni by weight. Also available are two soups: solyanka (a meat stew) and a soup of the day, which today looked like cream of beet. In addition there are some mayonnaise based salads, including "crab" and rasol (peas, pickles, ham, and potatoes in cream).

But you come here for pelmeni. The various fillings are coded by shape (hexagonal, square, triangular) and color: chicken, pork, lamb, etc. They're labelled in Latvia, but usually there's someone around who speaks English. One variety is fried, and the vegetarian pelmeni are the bright green color favored by Chinese dumpling makers for veggie dumplings.

It doesn't much matter, as the boiled pelmeni all taste pretty similar. Mix and match, at Ls. 2.20 ($3.90) per kilo. A medium-sized bowl of 15 to 30 should cost around Ls. 0.65, or about $1.15. Pile on some horseradish, some pickles, and of course sour cream, and you're good to go.

Note that they charge for filtered water (at least, I hope it was filtered, as you're told to boil Riga tap water before you drink it), so I'd recommend just buying the mineral water as you get more for the same price as filtered water. Yes, they serve beer.

Service are the usual bored teens and tweeners, although they perked right up when I looked around, realized I was keeping them from closing, snagged a take-out box, and dumped my food in. Smiles all around.

Pelmeni as fast food. Only in the former Soviet Union.
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