Chewing It Up in Red Square

The interior of GUM, the mall on Red Square in Moscow. Photo credit: M. Ciavardini

The interior of GUM, the mall on Red Square in Moscow. Photo credit: M. Ciavardini

Eating at Bosco Café, sited in Red Square, is a bit like riding a gondola in Venice: You’ve come so far, are you really going to pass it up just because the adventure is a little pricey? After 10 days or so in Russia, I felt that I deserved a good meal. The staff on the boat I’d been cruising from St. Petersburg to Moscow seem not to have ever seen a vegan before. When told I eat no meat, their response was, “But chicken and fish, yes?” No. One day at lunch, I was served two peeled, boiled potatoes sans sauce. At that moment, I felt like a true Russian, possibly during wartime. By the time I sauntered past Café Bosco in the mall known as GUM, I was ready for something special.

Bosco Cafe on Red Square. Photo credit: M. Ciavardini

Bosco Cafe on Red Square. Photo credit: M. Ciavardini

Truthfully, I didn’t travel to Moscow to eat. This trip was not a restaurant tour or a bar crawl. Being a vegan proved far too challenging given my limitations with the Russian language, so I’d already dropped back to being just a vegetarian. At Café Bosco, I had some blinis with the caviar on the side, while the Brawny Sherpa ate beef stroganoff, a dish so-named because a dentally challenged Russian count had insufficient teeth to chew larger pieces of meat. The food was pricey but good, not New-York good, but good enough. The vodka was worthwhile, and the view will be remembered forever. I’ve eaten blinis and had a vodka in Red Square. How many travelers have done that?

Dining while looking at the Kremlin is unforgettable. Photo credit: M. Ciavardini

Dining while looking at the Kremlin is unforgettable. Photo credit: M. Ciavardini

© Lori Tripoli

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