09 December 2009

Gayana's Bakery Cafe

GEORGIA

I had a lot of questions on my first visit to Gayana's, asking what this and that was, where everyone was from, how much things cost, etc. Too many questions at first that I thought the Russian-speaking Georgians who owned and operated the place didn't take too kindly of me. After a while my good-natured curiosity was enjoyed though, maybe because it was nice for them to have a stranger, or maybe the place just quieted down and they didn't have other customers to serve.

I actually had a bit of a wait at first, as the strongest English-speaker of the group was busy tending to one of these other customers when I walked in and started asking questions. It was nice to browse through their cases and counter though at the many fresh-prepared goods on offer. When I asked if there were any specialties of the house and was shown the "special teas" they had, I could only chuckle.

After quite a bit of deliberation I ended up with a few things to accompany my early afternoon coffee ($1). I had never seen khachapuri ($2.50, below) like the one this bakery has, sliced in squares on a large cookie sheet and warmed up briefly in the microwave. I noticed that it was set for 20 seconds, but next time I might ask for 25.


The pastries are numerous but I selected the two below. These items are all weighed for pricing, and came out to $3 for the pair. The heavier prune/apricot/walnut pastry must have been the bulk of that, as the powdered sugar cheese pinwheel was light as air. Both were delicious, but I was happy that I saved the sweet prune-filled one for last as it was much different and had very strong tasted as compared to the subtly salty cheese items. Everything I ate here was delicious though, and next time I will have to prepare a box of goodies to bring back home.


As I grabbed another coffee and relaxed in my window seat to watch Kensington go by, the owner showed off some art to some customers and the stern-faced men at the only other occupied table continued to join me in watching the action on busy Ditmas Avenue.
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