Voices from Russia

Saturday, 25 October 2014

Mickey Dee’s Sales Falling Despite Cheaper Food

happy hamburger


Yesterday, the HuffPo said that despite Big Macs being cheap, McDonald’s sales and profits decreased, with McDonald’s earnings falling by 30 percent. BBC reports said that although the company’s sales fell in Russia, Germany, and especially China after a scandal over meat supplies, the key reason for the poor numbers is low sales on the home front. Earlier, experts speculated that McDonald’s sales plummeted because lower-income Americans suffered from the weak economy; therefore, they weren’t able to afford eating out at McDonald’s. However, this could be a false conclusion, as Bureau of Labor Statistics data published by HuffPo showed that McDonald’s menu prices grew only by a mere 4.8 percent between 2009 and 2014, whereas prices at other fast-food eateries rose anywhere from 6.7 to 16.9 percent. Despite higher prices at other fast-food eateries, their sales actually increased. Therefore, the issue plaguing McDonald’s may be its falling reputation. According to the HuffPo, the commonly held perception is that McDonald’s food isn’t worth eating at any price. Now, CNBC News reported that McDonald’s is trying to re-brand itself as a seller of fresh and good quality food by introducing “transparency initiatives”, such as last week’s campaign asking customers to submit their opinions about the company’s food.

24 October 2014

Rossiya Segodnya



We prefer to eat at Burger King… the food tastes better… full stop. Mickey Dee’s is all over the place, but we prefer to buy food on the road that we can TASTE. Besides, everyone knows how Mickey Dee’s abuses and underpays its help… it’s the Republican Party Paradise writ large. Now, that I have the Burger King app on my tablet, I’ll never have to stop at McClown’s again (Friendly’s is a good bet on the road, too)!


Monday, 11 November 2013

11 November 2013. Good Eats Found in Bennington VT… Crazy Russian Girls Gets 85 out of 100

00 Crazy Russian Girls Bakery sign. 11.11.13


On Saturday, Nicky and I took a lovely little motor up to Bennington VT. We were on the hunt for Crazy Russian Girls Bakery, which we’d read about on RIA-Novosti. Nicky had a feeling that he “knew” where it was, and with his sensitive “bear’s nose”, he did. If you’re unfamiliar with the area, it’s near the intersection of Route 7 and Main Street, where there’s a traffic signal (downtown Bennington isn’t very large, so it’s hard to get “lost”). Before I start talking, click here for a review of the place, it’ll set the scene for what I’m going to say.


01 Go to Jail

Read the link!


Finished? Good! If not, bad dog! Go to gaol… go DIRECTLY to gaol! Do not pass go; do not collect 200 dollars! Firstly, let’s state what CRG is NOT. That clears away all misunderstanding, so that one can appreciate a place for what it is, truly. CRG is NOT a full-service restaurant… or a café/bistro…  or a diner (by the way, there’s a good one in town, the Blue Benn)… or a fast-food emporium. CRG is NOT Russian… or ETHNIC… or “exotic”. CRG IS a from-scratch neighbourhood bakery with four booths attached where folks can sit down and eat. It DOES have a small (but serviceable) menu of soups and sandwiches, priced reasonably for the area… 2 sandwiches, 2 coffees, 2 cups of soup, and a piece of cheesecake cost us a tad under 25 USD (820 Roubles. 26.25 CAD. 26.75 AUD. 18.75 Euros. 15.75 UK Pounds), which is par for the course for a specialty eatery (it ain’t Mickey Dee’s… even there, lunch for two will run about 12-15 bucks (400-500 Roubles. 12.50-15.75 CAD. 13-16 AUD. 9-11.25 Euros. 7.50-9.50 UK Pounds)).


00 Georgios Iakovidis. Iaia's Favourite. 1893

Iaia’s Favourite

Georgios Iakovidis



It’s baba’s way… or no way at all!


Now, for the food. I found the Mushroom Soup good, with plenty of mushrooms (chopped finely, but evident) in every spoonful. I had a specialty sandwich called the Denise, on their own bread. The mustard wasn’t as spicy as I prefer it, but it wasn’t bad (it simply was a tad bland). Nicky had the borshch (click here and here)… and my bear was disappointed in it. It wasn’t bad… but it wasn’t RUSSIAN (or POLISH or LITHUANIAN or SLOVAK or JEWISH) cuisine. Nicky noticed a lack of dill and garlic, which are ESSENTIAL for a real Russian borshch. In addition, Nicky’s spoiled because he remembers the Old School borshch that the monks at Jordanville made in the day. That’s the GOLD STANDARD of borshch (and of real black rye bread, too). I tasted the CRG borshch, and found that it lacked OOMPH. That’s not bad… it’s NOT a slam. These gals simply don’t have “baba’s recipe”… and all Russians (hell, all Slavs, Jews, Greeks, and Germans) know that “baba’s way” RULES. Whether you call her “oma”, “baba”, “iaia”, or “bubbe”, she DOES know her stuff. He did like his grilled cheese, which had mozzarella in it, on freshly-baked Italian bread. Nicky LOVED the cheesecake. We also bought two blueberry muffins as take-aways (they had PLENTY of blueberries, which suited me just fine), and they were spot-on, too.


mushroom solyanka

Mushroom solyanka… yummy, yummy in your tummy… eshli, eshli, na zdorovorie!


In a perfect world, Nicky could show them a thing or two about borshch… and they’d do well to put a real Mushroom Solyanka on the menu… but this is the real world, and one should NEVER expect perfection (or you’ll be disappointed, perpetually). Toting it all up, I’d give this place 85 out of 100 as a stop for a down n’ dirty lunch or a snack. As a take-away bakery, it aced the mark… everything we tried, we liked very much, indeed. Do note that you must go to the counter, get the menu, and order there. Karen and the girls will take care of you. NO ONE IS GOING TO “WAIT” ON YOU AT TABLE. If you’re in the area for the day, I’d suggest that you stop here for lunch/snack and at the Blue Benn for breakfast (usual hours at the BB are 06.00 to 17.00)… there’s a decent brew pub (not stunning, but a decent choice if you’re in the area… Nicky and I ate there once, not bad, but nothing to rave about) across the street from CRG’s (and a used book store on the same block). You won’t be disappointed. Do note that CRG is open 07.00-18.00 on weekdays, 08.00-17.00 on Saturday, and closed on Sunday. Очин приятне!


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