Mabenka Restaurant & Banquets in Burbank serves a hearty mix of Polish and Lithuanian fare.
'Lithuanian' on Serious Eats
The scent of drying grain wafts from the door of Coney Island's New York Bread bakery. The aroma emanates from the cooling room, where rack after rack of dark rye and wheat loaves wait to be bagged and shipped. For Brooklyn's Russian community, that smell is the essence of the homeland, of rolling fields of wheat and rye baking in the summer sun.
I wouldn't be surprised if more people were familiar with Lithuanian coffee cake in New Haven, Connecticut, than in Lithuania proper. Why do the locals, namely Yalies, love this treat from Claire's Corner Copia so? Three reasons: the dense sour cream cake, the middle brown stripe (sweet raisins and walnuts coated in brown sugar and coffee grounds), and the buttercream frosting. While most coffee cakes are just nice things to nosh on between gulps of coffee, this one actually has coffee in it.
Chicago food and restaurant documentarian Michael Gebert posted a melancholy and sort of bittersweet video a couple weeks ago that follows along during the last days of Chicago's Healthy Food restaurant, one of a dying breed of Lithuanian eateries in the Windy City. I say bittersweet because we finally get to see how Healthy Food owner Gina Santoski makes kugelis, the restaurant's signature dish and a national dish of Lithuania.