Sunday, March 2, 2008

Vilnius in the rain + spoiler alert

I had to spend the weekend in Vilnius due to a relatively unfortunate sequence of events. I had never been before so I was mildly interested, but the weather was vile. So I sent a wingy SMS to my only Lithuanian friend, who is safely tucked away in some remote place in Sweden and got a recommendation for two places where I could spend a cosy afternoon with some nice food, a large glass of wine and my books.

As I had two afternoons, I went to both, they were strategically located on opposite ends of a large pre-Easter fair, consisting of loud music, dead-flowers sold on sticks and bagels sold on a string and which every single kid on the street had around their neck.

The places I went to were Zoe's Bar and Grill located very near to the Gedeminas avenue and the Cathedral (by the way, could someone explain to me, why is the statue on the far right (front of the Cathedral) sporting horns?) and a bar called Bruce Lee or Briusly as they call it, which was incidentally attached to my hotel.

Zoe's was very cosy indeed, I think I spent three hours there all together and not because the service was slow (which it wasn't) but because it was just genuinely chilled out. The food, however, I wasn't so impressed with. My medium-rare beef burger tasted funny. And from that word on, I am at a loss for adjectives. Really. It was funny tasting. It wasn't straightforwardly bad, but it was cold and oddly seasoned. I think the chef made an effort of being creative, but the result was just inappropriate.
But the presentation was nice (I didn't have my camera and my phone takes notoriously bad photos, but I'll try if they're worth uploading when I get home). It reminded me of the Pulp Fiction's Jack Rabbit Slim's burger, big, juicy with coleslaw and a huge pile of fries. As hard as you try, about a half of it will always remain uneaten.
BUT, I had the best grilled-banana dessert of my life there. It was perfectly grilled, nice and hot, but not murdered into brown mush. It was served still in it's peel that was beautifully streaked with the burns of the grill, some Kahlua, vanilla ice-cream and whipped cream.

Bruce Lee advertises itself for serving food with an attitude. I had a salad. It lay there meekly as I devoured it to the last bit. It was a bit boring in terms of just being made of Chinese cabbage and not a combination of different types of lettuce, but the honey-coated chicken was nice. However the creme brulee was horrible and I still smell like a wok-pan that has caught on fire. But if you're eating alone and you don't have a book, the place is well worth a shot as their English menu is quite entertaining. Would you like to try some "wasabi NUTTS" for a snack? What about a "chicken and SHCRIMP noodles"? :D

And finally for the spoiler. I can hardly contain myself. Gordon Ramsay recently opened a restaurant in Prague and I'm going tomorrow. I've been slowly falling in love with the man. Initially I thought that he's arrogant and that being mean to everyone is not a justifiable tactic even if you have Michelin stars. I much preferred Jamie’s soft-spoken, feed-the-gas-repair-guy style. But. I've been watching a lot of Gordon Ramsay shows lately and the F-word has swayed me. The turkeys, the pigs, the funny co-hosts and the cute youngest kid.
So tomorrow I'm going to maze Prague!

I don't know what the best practice is in this case, but the Pulp Fiction picture I got from here, the Bruce Lee one from here and the Gordon Ramsay one form here.

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