Counter at the cafe

Sixth Floor Cafе
MGU Main Building (Ленинские Горы, д. 1) , Сектор Е
11:00 am-11:00 pm
Meals from 75 roubles.

For students living at MGU, this little cafe on the 6th floor of Sector E provides some variety from the usual cafeterias, with the convenience of still being on campus and with only slightly higher but still very reasonable prices.

I went there for dinner with my roommate Rina. We are both vegetarians, so that limited our choices on the menu, although even with that, we still found some variety. Today’s menu (they tend to change the small menu regularly) had two types of soup, many different meat entrees, 5-10 side dishes (including macaroni, mashed potatoes, and the usual suspects) and an equal number of different salads (some with meat and some without). They also have bread, a few different types of pastries, and lots of different beverages, including soft drinks, water, and tea. Everything is ordered separately.

I ordered a vegetable soup, macaroni, a slice of bread (at her suggestion), and vegetable narezka (нарезка). I wasn’t sure what this last dish was, but it turns out that it is a small dish of sliced tomato and cucumber. These are my two favorite vegetables, so I was quite pleased. I later made the connection between the name of this dish and the Russian word “to cut” (резать; rezat’), and so the name of dish basically refers to just a plate of sliced vegetables.

The amount of food I ordered actually turned out to be more than I can eat. This is the first soup I’ve had since returning to Russia. I forgot how substantial Russian soup is. The soup was full of potatoes, carrots, corn, and other plant matter that had basically turned into ” soup.”  It was a pretty standard Russian vegetable soup and quite filling. The macaroni was pretty plain. Sprinkling some black pepper on it made it 10x better. I also ordered orange juice. They carry a brand without added sugar, (a brand called “Я”), which made me happy. All this came to 150 rubles.

Nina ordered grechka (buckwheat kasha), vegetable narezka, and black tea. Her meal came to 75 rubles.

For those who are carnivores, I took note that none of the meat entrees was more than 200 rubles (about $6.50).

While the food was decent, it is not the selling point of this small cafe. It is the atmosphere and the service that made the meal so pleasant. It is nicely decorated with plants and table cloths. It is not noisy. You have to order at the counter here, and the women who work here are known for being incredibly friendly. I must have come across as incredibly awkward when I started to speak to her in Russian, because she switched to English. She unnecessarily explained the menu to us, but I appreciate that she was trying so hard to help. When we left, she encouraged us to come back.

If you decide to go here, know that you cannot enter Sector E from the main part of the building. We walked outside in the courtyard from Sector Б. Sector E is on the left. Take the elevators next to the guard to the sixth floor. Take a left off the elevator and the first door on the left in the hallway is the cafe.

Summer students beware that this cafe is now closed for the month of July, as  many other eating establishments and conveniences around MGU campus are.

For groups and faculty-led tours, this is not a good option. It is a small place, and you need MGU identification to get to it.

Jessica Ginocchio

Jessica Ginocchio

Jessica is halfway through a Masters Program at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she also graduated in 2011 with a B.A. in Russian Language and Literature and history minor. During the summer of 2012, she is studying Russian as a Second Language at Moscow State University with SRAS. She has previously studied with ACTR's Russian Language and Area Studies program in St. Petersburg and UNC's Summer Study Abroad history program in Greece. After finishing her degree, she plans to search for a job as a Russian translator or journalist/writer. She has been a vegetarian for four years, but has never found this to be a severely limiting factor in traveling abroad or exploring different cuisines.

Jessica attended Russian as a Second Language
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