Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Travel Tuesday: Mabenka Restaurant, Chicago

So after spending a few hours at the Balzekas Museum of Lithuanian Culture on August 8, 2017, during our visit in Chicago - we were hungry!  I found a nearby restaurant whose online menu indicated it served some Lithuanian food.  Mabenka opened in 1992 and also serves Polish dishes.  The Polish immigrant founders, Joe and Janina Galica, made the name of the restaurant from the first letters of their children's names.

First came a basket of bread:  rye, pumpernickel, and a sweet white bread that I think had dates in it.

All the soups are homemade.  I don't think it's Lithuanian, but I ordered the red borscht - hot beet soup.  I wish the cold beet soup (šaltibarščiai in Lithuanian) had been in season!

My husband ordered the soup of the day, which was oxtail barley.  This is a common Eastern European recipe, but one we'd never had before (of course we shared everything).

I had to order the Lithuanian Combo Plate (liet. kombinacija)!  From the top left in the photo below, it contained:
  • a cepelinis (literally, a "zeppelin"), a potato dumpling stuffed with ground meat, and served with bacon bits and sour cream;
  • a Lithuanian sausage (perhaps a skilandis or kindziukas) with sauerkraut and horseradish; and
  • a slice of kugelis, a potato pudding baked and served with bacon bits and sour cream.

For dessert, we shared a blintz made with sweet farmer's cheese and topped with blueberries and whipped cream.  We were so full though that we ended up taking most of this with us.

© Amanda Pape - 2018 - click here to e-mail me.

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