Greater East Bay
Babushka Russian Deli and Restaurant 1475 Newell Ave./S. Main St., (925) 210-0779. L M-F, D W-Sat, SunBr; $$.
Situated upromisingly in a bleak strip mall, where parking is difficult, this tiny deli fronts a larger dark, yet elegantly appointed, restaurant in the back featuring finely set cloth-covered tables and a mirrored wall. When the drapes are pulled back, the room lightens a bit and you have a view of the parking lot made pastoral by some mature trees. On the day I dined here no one else showed for lunch, though a steady flow of people came into the deli. Typical Russian specialties are on the menu. We shared plates of tasty stuffed cabbagle and pelmeni. No sides come with lunch entrees, so I advise sharing a salad and entrée and perhaps an appetizer. Next time I will save room for the sour cherry vareniki dessert.
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image ©2012 Carole Terwilliger Meyers