Everett bakery has Russian piroshki, crepes down pat

  • Wed Nov 21st, 2012 5:47pm
  • Life

By Cassandra VanKeuren Special to the Herald

Some would argue that the best sourdough is made in San Francisco, the best chocolate is made in Belgium and the best sparkling wine is made in France. And the best piroshki are made in Seattle by Piroshky Piroshky, or so say the locals.

Does that mean you can’t have really great food made elsewhere? Of course not. I have had great sourdough from Grand Central Bakery, fantastic chocolate from Theo, great sparkling wine from Chateau Ste. Michelle and amazing piroshki from Piroshky &Crepes in Everett.

I recently had the joy of visiting Piroshky &Crepes with my family. But before I tell you about the piroshki and crepes, a little primer: Piroshki, a Russian delicacy, are stuffed and baked buns made from yeast dough and often glazed with egg to produce a golden color.

They can be filled with meat, fish, potatoes, vegetables or cheese or with sweet fillings.

(Note: The crepe dough and the piroshki dough contain egg. There are non-meat options for vegetarians.)

Crepes are large flat pancakes with no leavener, filled with various fillings, sometimes sweet and sometimes savory. Savory crepes are often made with buckwheat flour.

When you walk into Piroshky &Crepes it feels like a intimate bakery, with low lights and soft music playing.

There is a cold case filled with piroshki and pastries, a wall filled with various English style teas and an espresso station.

You go up to the counter and order and then the staff will bring your food to your table.

My husband ordered the salmon piroshki ($3.55). It was very cute, shaped like a fish and topped with dried dill. Inside was canned salmon lightly seasoned.

Now before you get put off by canned fish remember most of Russians live inland and don’t have access to fresh salmon. So canned fish is a staple and therefore traditional.

I thought it was very tasty but I also grew up on salmon cakes made from canned salmon. But if canned salmon is not to your liking, try the spinach, sausage and cheese piroshki ($3.25). That is what I ordered.

My piroshki was beautifully presented in the form of a knot with little windows of spinach peeking out. I absolutely loved it. The spinach tasted fresh, just barely cooked, the cheese added creaminess and the sausage was not overpowering.

My son ordered the potato and bacon piroshki ($3.25). This one was made in the form of a perfectly round dumpling but with a darker crust.

The potato filling was just lots of smashed potato and herbs studded with little bits of bacon.

Some might have said it was a little light on the bacon, but I would argue that the very nature of the piroshki is to fill it with food that is abundant and cheap and add the expensive ingredients like bacon sparingly for flavor.

We also ordered a mixed cheese crepe to share ($4.99).

Now this one was a little odd. First of all, because it was a savory crepe I expected it to be buckwheat batter but it was made with the lightly sweetened white flour batter. The cheesy filling contained mayonnaise, of all things.

For me it was a little strange until my husband mentioned that it was like a grilled cheese in a crepe. I got over the strangeness of it and was able to finish it.

We ordered a pot of strawberry green tea ($2). The pot is enough for about three cups of tea and the strawberry was subtle. I enjoyed it very much. A nice change from the traditional black teas.

Since all of our piroshki were so inexpensive we decided to each order something sweet. My husband ordered the sweet sour cream piroshki ($3.55). It was so good. The dough is very soft and the filling reminded me of the kind you find in a Danish. I wish I had ordered it.

My son ordered the raspberry crepe ($4.99). His plate came with a huge side of whipped cream and the crepe was filled with fresh raspberries tossed in a raspberry jam, then topped with a drizzle of more raspberry jam. This was so delightful. I really enjoyed the slight chewiness of the crepe joined with the sweet tart taste of the raspberries.

I ordered a Neapolitan pastry ($2.50). This pastry is layers of puff pastry and vanilla pastry cream, then is smothered with crumbs of puff pastry. It was very good but one side note: I would have enjoyed a side of strawberries or a drizzle of chocolate.

I really enjoyed the fact that I could go in and have a quiet unpretentious meal with my family or have the option to take a few piroshki to go for a nice lunch. You can also pick up some wonderful teas to enjoy at home.

Make a trip and try a few different piroshki; you will leave happy.

Piroshky &Crepes, European Bakery and Cafe

•1327 112th St. SE, Everett; 425-225-6694.

•Specialty: Piroshki and crepes.

•Hours: 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday

•Vegetarian options: Many.