Long ago.......seriously......17 years ago, I lived far, far away.....seriously........in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. When I was in fifth grade, my family went to live in a family's apartment and they came and lived in our house for ten months. My dad taught English and physics (THAT was interesting...teaching physics to students using their second (or third) language!
We also worked with some other Americans with the IMB. While we were there we had MANY opportunities to enjoy the local cuisine. Let me must tell you, if you even go to a Russian or Kyrgyz house for a meal...don't eat anything beforehand! They expect you to eat and likely to seconds...if you don't, "you must be ill!" One house we went to seriously provided a seven course meal!
(This is one of the salads we had....pickled carrots and cucubmers...so good!) Salads, bread, main course 1, main course 2, main course 3, dessert, and tea! We ate for 3-4 hours....though it was all good, it was too much! Since leaving 17 years ago, I haven't had any of this delicious food....until Friday night! We recently discovered that tucked away in Memphis there is a restaurant owned by a Uzbek man (from Kyrgyzstan) that serves many of the dishes we remember. It is called EuroStyle and was, oh, so authentic! We walked in and there was a man sitting at the door with an electric synthesizer and microphone singing with lots of revirb. The floor are wooden and the tables covered in plastic, lace tablecloths (not really as tacky as it sounds). We sat down at the table and there was a table of women sitting next to us, chatting away in Russian. A nearby table was for a birthday party...with a bouquet of flowers in the center of the table (VERY authentic!). We were immediately transported back to Bishkek just by the atmosphere. Then came the food. Oh, goodness! We ordered three dishes to share, but there were others we wanted to try. First we ordered plov.
laghman, which is apparently the national dish of Kyrgyzstan.
blini. This is basically a dessert crepe.
varenki (or piroshki....and bread pocket filled with potato, mushrooms, and/or meat). These were street foods in Bishkek and were great. There is another dish called Beshbarmak that we want...and the owner said that if we called him a couple of days before coming, he'd make it for us....but he couldn't use horse like they would in Kyrgyzstan...we're okay with that!!! :-) So, if you live near Memphis and want to try Russian, Central Asian, or European cuisine, we HIGHLY recommend trying out EuroStyle. It is fantastic!!!!