Add pelmeni to your growing list of must-have dumplings. Heavily seasoned, fragrant ground pork and beef get tucked into sturdy dough and served with ice cream scoops of sour cream. Only a drizzle of mustard gives this serious hungry man's platter any levity.
In Siberia, pelmeni are traditionally frozen outdoors in the winter and treated as preserved food. This is serious sustenance handled seriously.
These days, University Avenue institution the Russian Tea House serves food only on Fridays, and it's worth marking on your calendar. Nicolai and Linda Alenov seem to do this four-hour-per-week (11 a.m. to 3 p.m.) service as exactly that — a benediction to followers.
Forty years of these hearty dumplings means we can't easily relinquish our attachment to them.
Russian Tea House
1758 University Ave. W., St. Paul