We have pretty awesome friends. When they hear of some new, adventurous place to check out, not only do they tell us about it but they invite us along, too! Kashtan is tucked away in this little strip mall in Rancho Bernardo. They have well over 200 bottles of beer from all over Europe (seriously, it’s quite a beer list) and some really affordable plates of food.
Once I checked out their menu, it was all I could think about. Borscht and Beef Stroganoff. That’s what I wanted. Maybe some pierogies. But definitely some borscht. I mean, you never see borscht on the menu in San Diego!
We ended up going on a Thursday, which is also Open Mike Night. Very entertaining. We were pretty much the only ones there, which probably allowed the boys a trip to see the walk-in fridge where the beer was kept. They were flabbergasted and in awe. They could also see why our hosts had some trouble locating a few of the beers we had requested, too, as the fridge was just packed and beer were lodged into just about any free space available. But, I guess when you’re trying to keep 200 beers cold, you have to get creative.
I couldn’t even tell you what beers we had – I think I had a Baltika 6? -but they were such tasty beers. Rich and malty and very drinkable. And affordable. Most of the beers on the list are only $3.50!
We ordered the borscht (of course), beef stroganoff, schnitzel, and two cabbage roll/piroshki plates. The borscht was full of beets and cabbage and, when you added the sour cream, became exactly the dish I had been hoping for. Comforting, but not heavy. Delicious. The schnitzel had this amazing crispy coating on it that, aside from lacking some salt, was perfect. I don’t know what kind of batter they used, but I can see it being more addictive than KFC, salt issues aside. My beef stroganoff had nice, thick egg noodles that were covered in a creamy sauce with mushrooms and tender slices of beef. I was in heaven. The cabbage rolls just melted in your mouth and the beef cutlets that were on the plate were just as delicious. It all made wonderful leftovers (because we just couldn’t finish it all). The piroshkies were light and fluffy (and hot) and filled with bacon and potatoes (I think). It was all so good.
It’s always nice to discover a new place close to home. Considering that Kashtan has good beer AND good food (and we didn’t even get to dessert!) it is definitely going to be put on our rotation list. Of course, considering that we only go out a couple times a week as it is, and we’re always going to new places, we may not get back for a while. But we will be back.
Kashtan also has a little deli and shop next door where you can buy pickles (of just about everything), mixes, drinks, beer, candy, and all sorts of other sundries and goods.