Best of the Bay 2011: BEST RUSSIAN RUSH

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If you come from good peasant stock (did your grandfather slurp coffee from his saucer? Grandmother wear dresses and wool socks?), then you probably have regular waves of nostalgia for things like cabbage soup, pickled cabbage, cabbage rolls, cabbage dumplings, and cabbage pie. All at the same meal. At Cinderella Russian Bakery and Café, you can indulge all your yearnings for foods sour, smoked, sweet, earthy, tangy, and cruciferous. The ultra-tiny cafe has been around since 1953 and hasn't strayed from its peasant-food-with-panache approach, offering blinchiki, piroshki, pirogi (if you already know the difference between those last two, congratulations), sour soups, etc. Come here to eat loudly; see really short, really cute older dames; and wear your woolly-sock-and-dress combo with pride.

436 Balboa, SF. (415) 751-9690. www.cinderellabakery.com

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