Cinderella Bakery & Cafe 436 Balboa St./5th Ave., Inner Richmond, (415) 751-9690. Daily 7am-7pm. This compact Russian cafe dispenses housemade pastries, sandwiches, and hot dishes. Simple boiled Pelmeni dumplings stuffed with ground meat and served with sour cream are a must; they can also be ordered with broth as a soup.
Similar potato, cheese, or sour cheery Vareniki are also available. Piroshki pasty sandwiches have a variety of fillings, as do Siberian-style pies made with puff pastry. A selection of soups includes my hand-down favorites—hot beet and cabbage Borscht, and barley-mushroom. Dinner entrees include beef Stroganoff, chicken cutlet a la Kiev, and Golubtsy cabbage rolls. Blinchiki crepes and French toast are popular at breakfast. Service is generally efficient and without a smile. A vast and inviting selection of dessert pastries await your decision—mine was an unassuming but totally scrumptious cherry croissant—and breads are also available by the loaf to take home, think Russian Black Bread.
Only a few tables are available inside, so come here on a nice day when you might want to linger at one of the larger array available outside. The large, open bakery is visible adjacent.
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images ©2015 Carole Terwilliger Meyers