By New Times
By Robrt L. Pela
By Lauren Saria and Heather Hoch
By Deborah Sussman
By Robrt L. Pela and Amy Silverman
By Kathleen Vanesian
By Eric Schaefer
By Heather Hoch
A custom-made tandoori oven with an industrial-strength exhaust system designed by Gavaev and built with bricks ordered from New York makes it possible for the store to bake fresh Uzbek-style flat bread very similar to Indian tandoori bread. An entire section of the store is devoted to wines and beers from Russia, Romania, Poland, Israel, Georgia, the former Yugoslavia and Bulgaria, with champagne from Belarus, Ukraine and Lithuania. With no license to sell hard liquor yet, iconic Russian vodka is the only item missing from the alcoholic lineup. Yasha points out that the store also has many Mexican customers, people who have married Russians and have fallen in love with Russian salamis and the good Eastern European beers he stocks.
Homemade, handmade takeout dishes, especially Siberian-style pelemeny spicy, meat-filled dumplings that look like a cross between ravioli and won ton keep customers coming back for more. "We do stuffed cabbage, stuffed chicken legs, Kiev cutlets we do the best knishes and piroshkis. We do good borscht and our most famous thing is Russian Siberian pelemeny," Gavaev says. "We also do vareneki [traditional boiled Ukrainian dumplings] with potato, cherry, cheese and sour cabbage fillings. It takes only seven minutes to prepare: Boil the water, drop it in and wait until it pops up. It's ready to eat with sour cream, adjika or lutenitsa [a thick, ketchup-y tomato and pepper sauce]. It's delicious and everybody's happy."
10240 N. 32nd St.
Phoenix, AZ 85028
Region: North Phoenix
Customer satisfaction and service with a smile is Yasha's ultimate goal. In Russia, according to Gavaev, a customer complaint is handled by cursing and showing the customer the door. "This is not Russia. The customer is always right, so if we make mistakes, we're sorry and we're going to fix it."