?

Log in

No account? Create an account

Previous Entry | Next Entry

Georgian khachapuri in small town USA...:)

georgia1

I continue to plan for the big journey in autumn, and discovered that a Georgian bakery recently opened in my home town of Manassas, Virgina. It's a real tragedy that there are no Georgian restaurants in the Washington, DC area, only Russian eateries. To compare Russian and Georgian cuisine to me is pointless, because they are different in my view, and certainly to my taste buds. I remember tasting Georgian food for the first time in St. Petersburg, some type of spicy chicken dish covered in a decadent and delicious sauce. Then, the waiter brought chacha and some hot bread which the entire table devoured. I visited the bakery yesterday, called MamaAchma's, with the hope of having a similar meal, but alas, there is still no decent Georgian dining options in my area. :(( The small cafe had almost no food choices, but there was one good thing...

As soon as I walked through the door, the owners came from behind the counter, introduced themselves and greeted me with warm smiles. They began to tell me about the small bakery, their Georgian roots, and then a long discussion about my love for travel and my prior trips to Russia and former Soviet bloc countries took place. Here's the husband, Igor, a former journalist in Georgia and in the USA. When he grew tired of the profession, he decided to open this small bakery which sits in an ordinary strip mall in my home town. His wife works for the U.S. government, and didn't want to be photographed. In such situations, sometimes it's better to not ask what the "work" is, because it may be classified or secretive in nature. :) She didn't even tell me her name.

georgia3

2. The house specialty is achma, not surprising given the bakery's name. Igor's wife proceeded to give me detailed instructions on how to make the dish at home. Perhaps I'll try it and write a post about the process and results. Seems pretty simple to me.

georgia2

3. Other than the achma, they basically sell khachapuri in big, round pies and individual boats stuffed with mushrooms or chicken. The wife made me a whole pie from scratch, baked it and brought it to my table steaming hot. Price is about $20, which seems expensive to me.

georgia4

4. Who doesn't like warm bread stuffed with hot, creamy cheese? It was tasty, but so huge and I ate only one piece. Btw, remember all the comments about paper plates in my post about Thanksgiving? Here you can see that in a casual cafe like this, paper plates are also used to serve food to customers. Completely ordinary in America.

georgia5

5. There were no other customers at the bakery, except these two ladies. I can't imagine there is a big demand for Georgian cuisine in a small town like Manassas, which is filled primarily with immigrants from Central America and Mexico. The other guests were from Russia or some former Soviet bloc country because they spoke Russian with the owners the entire time.

FullSizeRender (6)

6. The bakery offers only a few other sweet treats, but they are just usual bakery items and nothing related specifically to Georgian cuisine.

georgia8

7. I wish Igor and his wife luck! I hope they continue to expand the business and the food offerings there. Until then, I will have to wait until I visit the country to eat a proper Georgian meal again. :(

georgia6

What's your favorite Georgian dish? To me this cuisine is much more interesting and tasty than Russian food...About my hometown of Manassas, you can read here.

Tags:

Comments

( 140 comments — Leave a comment )
Page 1 of 3
<<[1] [2] [3] >>
karbunkul_lug
Feb. 4th, 2016 03:39 pm (UTC)
Prepare this one:


peacetraveler22
Feb. 4th, 2016 03:40 pm (UTC)
I have no idea what she is saying. I need the recipe in English. :)
(no subject) - karbunkul_lug - Feb. 4th, 2016 04:08 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Feb. 4th, 2016 04:09 pm (UTC) - Expand
perycalypsis
Feb. 4th, 2016 03:46 pm (UTC)
Sounds like Pizza Connection movie plot. No matter that Georgian instead of Italian. Original film was good, the starring actor is your type of men for sure.
peacetraveler22
Feb. 4th, 2016 03:47 pm (UTC)
I don't know the film. Who is the main actor?
(no subject) - perycalypsis - Feb. 4th, 2016 03:54 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Feb. 4th, 2016 03:58 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - piterburg - Feb. 4th, 2016 06:03 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - amigofriend - Feb. 4th, 2016 07:35 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Feb. 4th, 2016 07:36 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - amigofriend - Feb. 4th, 2016 07:44 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Feb. 4th, 2016 07:48 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - amigofriend - Feb. 4th, 2016 08:27 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - piterburg - Feb. 4th, 2016 08:07 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - amigofriend - Feb. 4th, 2016 08:18 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - piterburg - Feb. 5th, 2016 03:01 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - amigofriend - Feb. 5th, 2016 03:06 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - amigofriend - Feb. 4th, 2016 08:30 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - perycalypsis - Feb. 5th, 2016 10:03 am (UTC) - Expand
Leo Y
Feb. 4th, 2016 03:49 pm (UTC)
Shannon, you wrote: "It's a real tragedy that there are no Georgian restaurants in the Washington, DC area, only Russian eateries"
I would say that most Russian restaurants in the US really represent the entire x-USSR. So, they serve a lot of Georgian dishes (shashlyk and satsivi for example). Uzbek dishes are also popular. Often it reflects the geographical origin of the owners, but restaurants still call themselves Russian.

Also, in Brooklyn they offer faux French dishes:-) The real traditional Russian food, especially the one based on the Russian Empire traditions is not easy to find. Perhaps Cafe Pushkin in Moscow:-)
peacetraveler22
Feb. 4th, 2016 03:56 pm (UTC)
In DC, the most popular Russian restaurant is Mari Vanna, but I do not like it! First, it is very expensive. Second, the menu is limited and filled with Russian dishes I don't like. You can look at the menu here - http://www.marivanna.ru/washington/#/menu/. What looks tasty to you? :)
(no subject) - karbunkul_lug - Feb. 4th, 2016 04:13 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Feb. 4th, 2016 04:16 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - karbunkul_lug - Feb. 4th, 2016 04:28 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - Leo Y - Feb. 4th, 2016 05:12 pm (UTC) - Expand
inescher
Feb. 4th, 2016 03:52 pm (UTC)
Khapapuri.... mmm, I love it. I make it maybe not as real Georgians are but the best I could. :)
Also I like sacivi (I hope I spelled it correctly): the chicken with the garlic-nuts souse. Lobio is good too (the beans dish).
Actually, I could say that a lot of Georgian food are really delicious and good. As I know, Georgian culinary traditions went back the centuries and people still keep them through the generations.
peacetraveler22
Feb. 4th, 2016 04:00 pm (UTC)
It's more vibrant and spicy, when compared to Russian food. It seems they don't eat as much fish, but maybe I'm wrong. I don't like any type of seafood. These bread dishes become very heavy after awhile, but they are damn good! :))
(no subject) - inescher - Feb. 4th, 2016 05:12 pm (UTC) - Expand
seadevil001
Feb. 4th, 2016 03:53 pm (UTC)
What those poor montagnards know about proper food? Would you think that Tennessee hillbillies are more sophisticated in regards to food than Charleston or Richmond gents?
Look for Armenian, Azeri, Persian or Uzbek cuisine.
peacetraveler22
Feb. 4th, 2016 04:01 pm (UTC)
What do you have against Georgians? And don't insult Tennessee hillbillies. :)) This is one of my favorite States! Btw, I have no idea what Uzbek cuisine is. How does it differ from Georgian or Russian food?

Edited at 2016-02-04 04:07 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - Leo Y - Feb. 4th, 2016 09:20 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Feb. 4th, 2016 11:48 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - Leo Y - Feb. 5th, 2016 12:00 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - seadevil001 - Feb. 7th, 2016 04:10 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Feb. 9th, 2016 12:59 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - seadevil001 - Feb. 10th, 2016 04:36 am (UTC) - Expand
kichiro_sora
Feb. 4th, 2016 04:07 pm (UTC)
I wouldn't say it's better than russian cuisine, especially considering how close they are intervened, but georgian cuisine is definitely very good, and generally loved by all fUSSR people. When I go visit my brother in Toronto we often go to feast in a local georgian restourant. We basically order all the dishes on the menu, and then share, as it's usually a lot of us.
peacetraveler22
Feb. 4th, 2016 04:08 pm (UTC)
What Russian food is spicy? I haven't eaten any, and Georgians are also eating a lot of mayo drenched salads?
(no subject) - kichiro_sora - Feb. 4th, 2016 04:13 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Feb. 4th, 2016 04:15 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - kichiro_sora - Feb. 4th, 2016 04:19 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - pin_gwin - Feb. 4th, 2016 04:45 pm (UTC) - Expand
xena_kost
Feb. 4th, 2016 04:21 pm (UTC)
I love Georgian (and Armenian cuisines), I think they are the best (except for Ukrainian dishes, of course :)) We are lucky to have a few real Georgian bakeries in Chicago area
peacetraveler22
Feb. 4th, 2016 04:25 pm (UTC)
Chicago is great! One of my favorite cities. :) Have you been to Uki town there? It's almost like being in Ukraine. :)) I wrote a report about my visit there - http://peacetraveler22.livejournal.com/17063.html

Ukrainian market http://peacetraveler22.livejournal.com/17675.html. The stories were written almost three years ago, before many people knew about my blog. Maybe you will like them. :)
(no subject) - xena_kost - Feb. 4th, 2016 04:45 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Feb. 4th, 2016 04:49 pm (UTC) - Expand
(Anonymous)
Feb. 4th, 2016 04:45 pm (UTC)
The item on the 6th photo is also Georgian cuisine :) I cannot say the name, but it is some kind of roll that has a grounded walnut and optionally sultana filling. It is actually quite popular pastry in Georgia.
peacetraveler22
Feb. 4th, 2016 04:47 pm (UTC)
The owners of the bakery called this sweet "snails." :) I didn't taste it.
logofilka
Feb. 4th, 2016 04:54 pm (UTC)
Who doesn't like warm bread stuffed with hot, creamy cheese?

I don't. Not a big fan of pizza either.
peacetraveler22
Feb. 4th, 2016 04:56 pm (UTC)
Really? :) Actually, the khachapuri I ate is really no different than a calzone. It's just missing the tomato sauce. :)
(no subject) - logofilka - Feb. 4th, 2016 05:03 pm (UTC) - Expand
rider3099
Feb. 4th, 2016 05:30 pm (UTC)
My favorites are: chicken with walnut sauce (satsivi?), lobio (beans), chicken with herbs (chakhokhbili)
peacetraveler22
Feb. 4th, 2016 05:36 pm (UTC)
Chicken - my favorite meat! :)
(no subject) - rider3099 - Feb. 5th, 2016 01:17 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - nkhaba - Feb. 4th, 2016 05:36 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - rider3099 - Feb. 5th, 2016 01:17 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - nkhaba - Feb. 5th, 2016 01:22 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - rider3099 - Feb. 5th, 2016 01:46 am (UTC) - Expand
mb_b
Feb. 4th, 2016 05:33 pm (UTC)
Just remembered... there was a Georgian spice called Khmeli Suneli (a mix of dried herbs) that was sold even in Moscow back in them days. You could add it to just about any dish -- a very specific and recognizable smell...

BTW -- come on! The 'real' Georgia is only 2 states down the coast!
peacetraveler22
Feb. 4th, 2016 05:36 pm (UTC)
I've never really explored Georgia, but I've been to Atlanta and a few other places. The South is like a different world for a Northerner. :))
botwa
Feb. 4th, 2016 05:35 pm (UTC)
The most important part in khachapuri is the cheese that bakers use. It must be suluguni. Otherwise it's just a pie with cheese)
peacetraveler22
Feb. 4th, 2016 05:37 pm (UTC)
I'm not sure what cheese this bakery uses. But a lot of English language recipes suggest Havarti cheese, which is extra creamy.
(no subject) - botwa - Feb. 4th, 2016 05:41 pm (UTC) - Expand
morreth
Feb. 4th, 2016 05:45 pm (UTC)


Now you absolutely must taste the Adjarian hachapuri.
peacetraveler22
Feb. 4th, 2016 05:46 pm (UTC)
Yes, I will. In Georgia. :) This bakery did not serve the dish this way, which surprised me.
morreth
Feb. 4th, 2016 05:47 pm (UTC)
Now you absolutely must taste the Adjarian hachapuri (effing LJ doesn't let me post a picture or a link to the receipt)
peacetraveler22
Feb. 4th, 2016 05:47 pm (UTC)
I saw the photo! :))
(no subject) - piterburg - Feb. 4th, 2016 06:32 pm (UTC) - Expand
piterburg
Feb. 4th, 2016 06:32 pm (UTC)
Satsivi,lobio, chanakhi - all of those are excellent Georgian dishes.

Shannon, if you are interested in Georgian (and other ex-USSR) cuisines there is an excellent cookbook - "Please to the Table" by Anya von Bremzen and John Welchman. Every recipe in that book is a gem..:-)
peacetraveler22
Feb. 4th, 2016 06:33 pm (UTC)
Thanks! I'll look for this book. :)
Page 1 of 3
<<[1] [2] [3] >>
( 140 comments — Leave a comment )

Tags

Powered by LiveJournal.com
Designed by yoksel