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Lost In Translation

September 27, 2017

Slavonian food? I don’t know a thing about it. What I do know is that a new Slavonian restaurant opened on Lark Street in Albany. I also know that a bunch of my food blogger and Yelp friends were interested in meeting up for dinner to try as much of the menu as possible.

On the blog side of things, Bunt My Fingers, I Like Food, and Crumbs Around the Capital were there. Sure, all of them also Yelp. But on the pure Yelp side of things were Yelp Elites Lauren L, Josh K, Roger K, Greg Y, and Jessica E.

We gathered this group of nine at My Dacha. And while it has only been around for a few weeks, the initial Yelp response has been glowing.

I’m not going to give the full run down of the meal here. I’ll post a full Yelp review as soon as I can. But there was one really interesting thing that came out of this meal, which has to do with expectations. Because there was one dish that I could see people really hating, even though it was incredibly delicious, and one of my favorite plates of the night.

On the menu, it’s creme brulee, but thanks to Lauren L. it will always be “sloppy pudding”.

One look at this, and it’s clear, this is not creme brulee. On the menu it’s called creme brulee. So if you ordered creme brulee, expecting creme brulee, and you were served the above, my bet is that you would be deeply unhappy.

Like I said, I know nothing about Slavonian food.

That said, next to the words creme brulee on the menu are some other words written in Cyrillic. My hunch is that those words don’t directly translate into the classic French dish that is creme brulee. Or maybe there is some different Slavonian take on creme brulee.

After all, there are a few other translations on the menu that aren’t exactly precise.

The category of dishes called banosh are listed as being corn grits, when is is really closer to polenta. The potato perogies don’t resemble any other perogies I have ever seen, and are closer to a small ravioli than anything else. And “herring under a fur coat” is a charming thing to call a fish, mayonnaise, egg, and vegetable salad.

Back to the creme brulee, or sloppy pudding, or whatever you want to call it. Man, was that delicious. It was light, bright, sweet, and eggy. I loved the jelly or jam or whatever fruit topping they used. And for what it’s worth, the top of the custard was burnished a bit. No, it didn’t have any of that crisp crackly burnt sugar which crowns the classic French custard.

Still, it is fantastic. I have no idea why it seemed to be sliced horizontally down the middle. Maybe it is actually two thin sheets of custard stacked on top of each other. That was strange too.

But it’s okay to embrace some weirdness when exploring the cuisine of an unfamiliar culture. In fact, it should be actively encouraged. So go. Go with a group. Don’t expect professional service, or a quick meal. Don’t expect everything on the menu to be available. And keep an open mind.

10 Comments leave one →
  1. September 27, 2017 11:13 am

    Sorry I missed it!!! Looking forward to hearing more and trying it myself!!! Thanks, Daniel.

    PS: Nice interview in Edible Capital District!!!

  2. September 27, 2017 11:22 am

    The Cyrillic on the menu translates to “creme brûlée”. Reaching back for my college Russian.

    • September 27, 2017 11:28 am

      Okay. But does that signify a different dish to Slavonians than it does to the French? My hunch is that it must.

    • -R. permalink
      September 27, 2017 1:04 pm

      But, it’s not really a translation as much as it is a transliteration. Both the English and the Cyrillic read the same. Also on the menu the words for hummus, lasagna, Creme Brulee and Tiramisu are the same. A variation occurs with Napoleon Cake, which reads as ‘Tort Napoleon. The other Slavic terms (and I use Slavic loosely as there is no clear linguistic distinction on the menu between what could be Russian, Serbian, or any other Eastern Slavonic language still written in Cyrillic) on the menu are genuine translations, such as the words for meat, fish, side dishes (garneerni — right, garnishes), etc.

      I’ll have to check this place out. Even the prices are fairly reasonable (for this country at least).

      • September 27, 2017 3:06 pm

        The giant Feast we all shared, including a tip far too generous for the level of service received, came to $19 a head. Nobody needs to order that much food for any meal. But when you are at a table of eaters, you just order and order and order.

  3. September 27, 2017 2:56 pm

    It was delicious! So glad to have gone with a group to try so many delicious dishes.

  4. September 27, 2017 8:40 pm

    I liked the egg custard as well. Very good. But the shawarma pizza was the star of the show.

    Folks, get to My Dacha and eat the shawarma pizza. Susie Davidson Powell of the Times Union raved about it as well. I’m in good company on this one. That thing is delicious.

  5. September 28, 2017 8:02 am

    The cold salads – especially the sprats, beats, and eggplant – won my heart. Can’t wait to come back in colder months and try the soup with some more of that warm fresh bread.


  1. My Dacha Slavonian & European Cafe – Crumbs Around the Capital
  2. 7 and 7 on Saturday, September 30, 2017 – Chuck The Writer

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