Mama Papa Lithuania Restaurant: Check, Please! Bay Area Review

Mama Papa Lithuania Restaurant: Check, Please! Bay Area Review

music – Adam’s pick feels like you stepped into a Brothers Grimm story. With exposed brick walls,
heavy wooden tables, and rustic metal fixtures,
this Eastern European spot has a homey yet fairy tale like ambiance. In Alameda, welcome to Mama
Papa Lithuania Restaurant. (Lithuanian folk music) – (Vaidas) Many people never heard about Lithuanian cuisine. We’re really under-represented
in the world cuisines, and that’s why we really want
the people that this food is homemade, rich, hearty. And once you come, you try it, and you never forget. I am Vaidas Sukys, and I’m the owner of Mama Papa Lithuania
Restaurant and Tea House. Lithuania has basically
lots of variety of beers. And every single village
microbrews in different ways. So we’re just representing
in our restaurant major ones that goes really well with many of the dishes that
we have at the restaurant. My mother, Danute Sukiene. So she has been a great cook. It’s mom’s food, so mom’s
central Lithuanian recipes, which is related to countryside. We have a very traditional
potato dumplings which are fresh grated potato,
made with the meat in it, and shaped in the oval
shape, very carefully boiled. People love, actually, sweets
and desserts back in Lithuania because it’s north, it’s getting cold, and they need some sugar, some energy. So honey cake is one of our
most legendary desserts. The way my mother bakes
it, it’s very unique. And that’s master of 40 years. We wanted to represent
mid-centuries of Lithuania, so at least a little bit, tiny bit, of feeling that you are in some
kind of castle of Lithuania. That what drives me the most. When people come here and
just sit down and relax and enjoying it and at
the same time a little bit of cultural understanding about Lithuania. It just … touches my heart. – (Leslie) You know, Adam, I have family that lives and works in Alameda, and had no idea
that this restaurant was there. So it’s really a treasure
that people have to discover. – Yeah, I just stumbled on it one day. I was over there, walking
around that neighborhood, and I saw just the way it
looks when you walk by. It made me want to just go in and see what was up with this place. So it says on the website that it’s the only Lithuanian
restaurant on the West Coast. – (Leslie) Restaurant and
bakery on the West Coast. – (Adam) And the thing I
like about the food is, it’s not complex, but its really elegant. It’s got this warm, sort of
grandmotherly touch to it. – (Alisa) My husband and
I took the ferry over from San Francisco to Alameda. So that was really fun. It was just such a nice way
to get into Al– |I mean… It takes 15 minutes, but it’s a nice ride. And yes, I didn’t expect
it to be so small and dark, and those chairs were hard to maneuver, and a little bit uncomfortable, but that kind of, I
think, added to the charm, ’cause it was all wood. – (Leslie) Right The borscht I was so in love with. The color was so beautiful. It was just like bright magenta. I liked the yogurt, the egg on top. I just loved it. I will go back for that borscht. I will take a ferry or ride a bike, but whatever I have to do. – There aren’t a lot of places
you can get good borscht. Let’s face it. – There aren’t. There aren’t. And I thought, “Well, I
have to get the borscht.” It was earthy and sweet at the same time. – (Adam) It was balanced. – (Alisa) It was balanced. So that was by far my favorite dish. – Yeah, the borscht was good. I ordered the mushroom soup, personally. There were about five of us, and all ordered different things. And the mushroom soup I got was just thin, and not mushroomy at all,
and just kind of lacking. But all the other things
sort of made up for that. We put the mushroom soup aside. – (Adam) We ordered the mushroom pierogis, and it was more like
a mushroom quesadilla. And it was served with ketchup
which was really bizzare. – (Alisa) I didn’t mind the pierogis. I know what you mean, they were thin. But I thought they were
flaky, weren’t heavy. I was a little confused by
that ketchup sauce, as well. I was thrown by that, and
I saw, I realized later, that there were other
options for dipping sauces, and that one just came out. – (Eric) But the salads
were really lovely, the salads were nice and simple. There was a beautiful cucumber salad that had a bit of a sour cream dressing. There was a beet dish
that was really lovely, and earthy and rich. Then there was a cabbage
salad that was really nice, and bright and crunchy. – What I got there was the salmon salad. I like it because its nice and light, and its a good way to start the meal. Nice chunks of salty salmon with a lot of cucumbers in the salad. It sort of, I guess, offsets
the saltiness of the salmon, having cucumbers in the salad. And a light vinegarette dressing on it. – (Alisa) Uh-huh. – (Leslie) They have a
chewy bread, don’t they? – (Eric) They do. In
the appetizer portion, which was really great with
all those vegetable sides. It’s this rye bread. There’s this oil and garlic
just dripping over it. And it’s lovely to take
the little bits of it, and eat with the vegetables dishes. It was really delicious. – (Adam) The thing that is
sort of strange on the menu, and a lot of people have
never heard of this, is kvass. – Oh, yes. – (Adam) It’s a hearty drink.
It’s fermented rye bread. It had that bite from the fermentation. And so it wasn’t overly sweet. It was really smooth. Probably one of the most
interesting drinks I’ve ever had. Outstanding. – (Alisa) Did you have something to drink? – (Eric) There was a great
list of Lithuanian beers that others at the table had. I was curious about wine. So I said, “Where’s the wine list?” Rather than being
presented with a wine list, I had somebody point to some plastic, something on the table with wine. “Oh, okay.” And I asked for whatever glass
she thought that I should have. And the wine was fine. But- – You’re not going there for the wine. – (Eric) Right. – But the beers were loved. The Lithuanian beers were really enjoyed. – It’s something you just
don’t see in the Bay Area, a beer list like that. My husband and I both
had the Lithuanian lager. It was really crisp and refreshing. And I loved it. – And they have amber
tea, too, a very unique– – My husband had the amber tea. And that was a very unique experience. We were all intrigued by the whole thing, because it came with the
actual bits of amber. – (Alisa) Of amber, right. – (Eric) It was really, really lovely. And its gorgeous to look at. It was interesting to smell. The taste- – (Leslie) Interesting cultural- – (Eric) Very interesting. – (Adam) I got the sausages. They were really tender, almost
like a buttery consistancy. And they had a nice garlicky flavor, and the sweetness from the cabbage. It was really nice. – This is hearty food.
This is not light an– – Absolutely. Comfort food. – What was the rest of your experience? – I was a little underwhelmed
when we got the entrees. Again, coming from this
really fresh, vibrant plates full of the appetizers, and a
lot of vegetable heavy things. That mushroom soup seemed to reappear in a lot of the entree
dishes as the sauce. But the cabbage rolls seemed
to be a hit at the table. Those were kind of nice. – Did you have any dessert
with the traditional baked…? – (Eric) Oh we had dessert. There’s this gorgeous layered cake. – Honey cake? – The honey cake. – The honey cake. I’ve had that before. – (Eric) So there’s these really thin, almost crepe-like layers, alternated with this, almost like, soured honeyed cream mixture. And then covered in this
milk chocolate ganashe. And there were the five
of us with the fork, and just, eyes rolling every
time, we’re “Oh this is good.” – I’ve had it before. – (Leslie) Absolutely. Well this is your spot, wrap it up for us. – I think if you want a place
with some old world charm, that is nice go to on a cold day, or even if you want to go
sit in the beer garden, and drink some good Lithuanian beer. That’s the place to go. – (Leslie) And Eric? – If you’re looking for
simple, rustic, comfort food in Alameda, Mama Papa Lithuania. – And Alisa. – For a unique experience in Alameda, for a fresh selection of beer
that’s really hard to find in other parts of the Bay area, and I love the borscht. I would go back there just for that. – Alright, if you would like to try Mama Papa Lithuania Restaurant it’s located on Park at
Encina Avenue in Alameda. The telephone number is (510) 522-4100 It’s open every day for lunch and dinner. Reservations are accepted
for parties of six or more. And the average dinner tab per person without drinks is around 20 dollars. – (Narrator) Check, Please! Bay
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4 Replies to “Mama Papa Lithuania Restaurant: Check, Please! Bay Area Review

  1. Top Lt food is: Cepelinai = Round dumpling like potato doughy substance filled with meat and sour cream on top.
    Saltibarsciai = Pink cold soup made from Beets milk/ kefir with cucumbers and dill with potatos as side dish.
    Cesnakine duona = garlic black fired bread with kvass as drink. Note it will leave a smelly mouth for at least a day

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