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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Shashliks on Solyanka

MTShashlik Cafe No. 1 is small and cozy, with surprisingly low prices.
An a la carte meal priced like a business lunch deal is what the recently opened Shashlik Cafe No. 1 offers. This diminutive cafe is a cozy wooden nook with just a handful of tables, a visible grill and smiling, eager-to-please staff. A large, refrigerated glass cabinet displays salads and the yet-to-be-grilled shashliks and kebabs. And naturally, that's what the cafe is all about -- grilled meats.

There are seven varieties of shashlik, ranging from a mere 100 rubles for chicken up to a very reasonable 180 rubles for beef or lamb medallion. There are two sorts of kebabs: lamb (140 rubles) or beef (135 rubles) and all shashliks and kebabs come with salads on the side. There is even a reasonable plov for 180 rubles.

For those looking to recreate that eat-on-the-street feel, there is chicken shwarma served with pita bread (70 rubles) or lavash (80 rubles).

There are four varieties of salad: a piquant salad with tomato, cucumber, onion and a hint of fresh chilli (100 rubles -- and don't believe them if they warn you it's hot), a zolotaya chashka salad with grilled eggplant and Bulgarian pepper (100 rubles), vostochny salad with cucumbers and tomato (100 rubles) and the ubiquitous Caesar (130 rubles). A mixed Caucasus cheese plate goes for 110 rubles, an assorted meat plate 145 rubles and a salted pickle plate 110 rubles.

The draft beer pricing is somewhat out of place given the menu's otherwise low prices -- 150 rubles for a half-liter of the Czech beer Bakalar. This, however, is more than compensated for by the house-wine prices -- 30 rubles per 100 milliliters of white and 35 rubles for red. Staraya Moskva vodka goes for 45 rubles per 50 grams, or 450 rubles a bottle.

Given that a shashlik or kebab with salad plus a glass of wine can be had for less than 200 rubles, Shashlik Cafe No. 1 is a serious alternative to neighboring fast-food outlets for a quick, but quality, bite to eat.

1/4 Solyansky Tupik, Bldg. 1 (enter from Ul. Solyanka), 623-2868, noon-midnight, M. Kitai-Gorod.