ingredients magazine
luybochka cafe and deli
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luybochka cafe and deli

Off busy 3300 South in an otherwise non-descript location sits Luybochka; a Russian/Eastern European Cafe and Deli. A modest establishment, located on the second floor of what appears to have, at one time, been a travelers motel, Luybochka would go unnoticed if not for a sidewalk, waist-high sign announcing its existence. Surprisingly, once inside, the venue offers a variety of fresh and pantry items accompanied by a top-notch lunch spot. Currently in its twelfth year, the mercantile and eatery is owned and operated by Naum Shkrab. A native of Moldova, Mr. Shkrab is a sweet-natured man who possesses an undiminished accent and an inspiring knowledge of the cuisine and products procurable in his unpretentious market.

The Pantry stocks hard to find items ranging from teas and canned fish (such as Tolstolobek, a silver carp comparable to a sweet version of albacore tuna) to sublime chocolates and sweets among other staples.

The Deli offers smoked and dried fish, imported European cheeses, and a remarkable variety of meats and salamis. The meats, although made to traditional standards, are produced domestically due to US customs importing restrictions. When asked to choose his favorite to sample, Mr. Shkrab chose the Russian beef salami, a rich and dense meaty dry salami spotlighting its high-quality primary ingredient.

The Cafe, in addition to sandwich selections, produces time-honored regional fare. Prepared in a tidy, one-person kitchen, the menu lists pelemini (meat-filled dumplings), Russian pirogies, cabbage rolls, borscht, and blintzes at extremely reasonable prices.
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