Kamchatka Land of 10,000 Bears, Part 6 More of the Kremlin and Window Shopping

by david on December 30, 2019

After the Armory we took a short break in the Kremlin’s park. It had been hot inside the Armory, making the shade and gentle breeze in the park most welcome. There were small groups of people and couples enjoying the park and more than a few were enjoying ice cream cones. Having skipped my normal lunch time, the ice cream looked enticing. We found the ice cream stand in the middle of the park; unfortunately, the crowd had found it first. No worries. Vasily knew of a beer garden not too far from the Kremlin and since it was approaching midafternoon it should not have been crowded. His assumption proved to be correct and we had a few beers and a side of calamari, plenty to hold us until dinner. We still had a little time to kill, so we walked by Moscow’s best mall. Vasily explained that during the Cold War days it was the only place that actually had items necessary for survival available and by default was the best mall. It now housed the best of the best. It is still Moscow’s best and also its fanciest and most expensive. In the current free market economy, it was full of high end luxury items — high fashion clothing, jewelry, anything necessitating more than a few zeros in the price tag. That was just on the inside. On the outside there were Ferrari, Rolls Royce, Lamborghini, and other exotic car dealers. It was very cool and very expensive. After exiting the mall we headed towards Moscow’s premier hunting shop. It had top-shelf firearms, clothing, and accessories. Now we’re talking. I could have done some serious damage in this place. The only thing that held me back was knowing I would have to pay customs duty on the way back into the States. Oh well, it was still nice to look around and daydream.

When we finished with the hunting shop, we eased our way uptown for dinner. Tonight would be true Russian cuisine. We sat down and ordered a beer while Vasily explained what the menu items were. We decided on borsch, pickled herring, and rolls stuffed with cabbage or meat for starters. I have never been much of a soup eater, but the borscht was palatable, and even more so with a dollop of sour cream on top. The herring was ok and tart. My favorite was the roll stuffed with cabbage. The meat one was good, as well, but the cabbage one had better flavor and texture. For the entrée we had a chicken breast butterflied then stuffed with trout, breaded and fried. It was crispy on the outside, moist and tender on the inside. The mingling of trout and chicken flavors was not something I would have ever thought to put together, but it was very, very good. After the first bite I decided it deserved wine rather than beer. A nice Riesling paired well with it and I proceeded to enjoy every bite and every sip.

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