David Batterson 8:30 a.m., Feb. 12
Golden Hill’s Kafe Sobaka: What size borscht? Communist or Socialist?
Mark Djugashvili’s latest Georgian eatery has a funny take on East Meets West.
The happy hour deals (5-7pm daily) at Mark Djugashvili’s latest Georgian eatery, Kafe Sobaka (2469 Broadway, Golden Hill, 619-297-4007) are in the drinks. Beers and vodkas $3 each.
But if you look carefully at his wild and crazy menu, there are four prices for every dish. Communist, Socialist, Imperialist and Anarchist.
Best deal: Every Communist size dish costs $2.87. But don’t expect them to be grand. The Socialist-size is like a half-plate, and usually six, seven dollars.
Most delicious value for $7.50 (Socialist size!) is the kuchmachi - scrumptious chicken livers fried with oven-roasted garlic and other goodies.
The restaurant hasn’t been open long, but it’s Djugashvili’s ninth, since he left the publishing world and set up his first, a hot dog cart, at 4th and B.
But come here for the atmosphere. Candles, music, Georgian wines and Russian beers. It feels Georgian. (“The French sip wine, we Georgians gulp it. We love camaraderie,” he says.)
The Baltika Russian beer comes in 9 – that’s nine – categories, starting from zero alcohol up to Baltika-9, which is 8 percent alcohol. And a nice drink. Specially at three bucks in HH.
Dish I most want to try: Chanakhi, their lamb stew. Except you’ve got to pay Imperialist prices: $15.50.
But, says everyone I’ve talked to, it’s worth it to run with the capitalist running dogs just for this specialty.
Also desperate to taste: bottle of Georgian red wine. Djugashvili says they’ve been making wine back there for 7,000 years. And the rule is, once you open a bottle you finish it. The problem: Bottles cost $30-$40.
But what does “Kafe Sobaka” actually mean?
“‘Old Dog Café,’” says Djugashvili. “Because that’s what I am now.”
Full report in upcoming Tin Fork.